The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
"[A] haunting mix of curiosity and compassion" -Variety
½ "Bestiire argues persuasively without words, making a case without explicating one at all" -Slant Magazine
"Essential viewing" -New York Times
"Absorbing... Bestiaire exposes the mechanics of a strange, multi-layered voyeurism" -Village Voice
"Shrewd and lovely" -Chicago Tribune
Recommended! "Simple, direct, and ultimately, poignant" -NewCity Chicago
A popular sensation in medieval Europe, bestiaries were catalogs of beasts featuring exotic animal illustrations, zoological wisdom, and ancient legends. Denis Côté's startling Bestiaire unfolds like a filmic picture book where both humans and animals are on display. Filmed at Quebec's Parc Safari, this is a film about looking, as it begins with a group of art students attempting to sketch an animal, an activity that blurs the line between observer and observed. Surprisingly witty and continually surprising, Bestiaire also shows us a team of taxidermists as they seek to provide a kind of ironic immortality to the park's expired "residents," meditating (albeit, obliquely), on the idea of human spectatorship itself.
Filmmaker Denis Côté (All That She Wants, Carcasses) invites his audience to reflect on control and power as lions rattle cages and a taxidermist recreates a duck. Using the film form to challenge the very notion of representation, Côté wordlessly creates a beautifully compelling rumination on our relationship to nature and the costs of captivity. "...this film is about contemplationand something else. Something indefinable, something more obscure which I hope to find out more about with the help of the audience." (Denis Côté)
Directed by Denis Côté, Canada, 2012, 72 mins. No dialogue.