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Man, Woman and Beast (1977)
"L'uomo, la donna e la bestia - Spell (Dolce mattatoio)" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  20 May 1977 (Italy)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 197 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 3 critic

A Feast For All Of The Senses!

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maria Pia Luzi ...
Rosanna (as Jane Avril)
Martial Boschero ...
Comunista
Angela Doria ...
Prostituta
Emmanuele Guarino
Macha Magall ...
Maria
Aldo Massasso ...
Ernesto
Antonio Mea ...
Alfonso
Corrado M. Merani
Agostino Pilastri
Fabio Spaltro
Stefania Spugnini ...
Julia
...
Clara
Mónica Zanchi ...
Sabina (as Monika Zanchi)
Luigia Giuri
Paola Montenero ...
Luciana
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Storyline

The film takes place in a humble Italian Catholic village where everyone is acquainted with each other but no one truly knows about the secret lives that they all live. The entire community is preparing for the annual religious festival. There's the local butcher who covets the town's young teenagers and then goes into the freezer and makes love to hanging beef carcasses. The teenage daughter who has sex with her father and becomes pregnant at her grandfather's funeral. The communist drunkard who beats and rapes his wife. She lives through her dreams and fantasies or she'll go crazy. The Christ-like stranger who does not have a name. The women fantasize about him. The children all adore him but he does not belong to the village. He always seems to be at the right place at the right time. And there's a bizarre artist who clips out pictures of internal organs from medical journals and pastes them on magazine models with a completely insane wife who never speaks. She drinks water from ... Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

20 May 1977 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Man, Woman and Beast  »

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1.85 : 1
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Soundtracks

In the Hall of the Mountain King
(from "Peer Gynt")
Composed by Edvard Grieg
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User Reviews

 
Dionisius came into town
5 June 2008 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

"L'uomo, la donna e la bestia" is what one could call an avant-garde film - it has something of Pasolini and of the Buñuel of "Un chien andalou".

The film begins in black and white. A man is watching a gravestone. On the gravestone there's a photo - it's his own photo. We see some images in black and white. An image of a woman. B&w turns into colors. The woman moves.

The man who was staring at the gravestone is a communist in crisis (but he's not a wife-beater as another reviewer wrote). He doesn't know anymore if his ideology has any use or reality at all. What is truth? But he still hangs on to his icons: photos of Lenin, the hammer & sickle etc.. His wife is a mentally disturbed woman that can be sometimes very aggressive.

We are in a small town in Italy. People are preparing themselves for the feast for the town's patron saint. The film feels natural: Little boys running around selling drawings of saints. The priest organizing the procession. Boys meeting girls at the town's main square etc... You don't feel that you're watching a film. I had almost the feeling of being there.

There are many other characters in the film:

There's a butcher that gets his sexual kicks with the big chunks of meat hanging in the freezer.

There's a rude countryman, good at dealing with cows and in killing chickens, but very unsubtle when it comes to dealing with his own wife, and she's already fed up with being treated as a domestic slave and sexual object.

There's the girl who had an affair with her own father and now... well, she's carrying his baby.

There's the town's whore. She's young and pretty and seems in fact much more a hippie than a hooker.

There's the priest who organizes processions and stages rituals. He seems happy enough in his life.

And finally there's a mysterious drifter. He is the harbinger of change.

"L'uomo, la donna e la bestia" resembles an acid trip. The butcher's dreams, those of the countryman's wife and others... and reality mix, and the feast, the fun park, the people dancing to a band, the multicolored lights blinking, pulsating, the strange soundtrack... make for an hallucinating audiovisual trip. There are many ways to interpret this film, not the least of them the political/religious view, but my piece of advice is that you just let yourself flow with the images and sounds.

If I were to classify this film in few words, I would say that "L'uomo, la donna e la bestia" is a sexual/political/existential film. It's a typical product of the 70s. I doubt that a film like this could be made nowadays.


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