IF YOU CALL YOURSELF A CAR NUT AND YOU HAVEN’T SEEN ERIC BANA’S FILM, LOVE THE BEAST, THEN DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR – SEEK IT OUT AND SEE IT.
I wrote about Love The Beast as part of my list of Top 5 Car Movies a few months ago. That post was enough to motivate Ian B to see the film and I’d like to share a note from him, received overnight, in an effort to encourage you to find this excellent film, then see it.
I was glad to finally have the opportunity to watch Love the Beast.
‘Passions’ are intrinsically self-indulgent but Eric Bana did a very good job of allowing the film to somehow transcend the subject matter and climb towards a study of the human state. Clearly one could substitute any brand of car – or other enthusiasm – into the centre-piece of this film. It struck me that he seemed to be trying to make sense of how much the whole thing meant to him. A lot of soul searching and seeking to justify to himself whether or not he should continue with his project, I think.
I have certainly wrestled with my conscience a time or three – as have we all I suspect? Usually about cars I have spent too much on and subsequently sold. The fact Eric Bana has the resources to repair his Beast a third time should always be born in mind by the observer in my opinion – but it’s not always easy to put mind over matter where cars are concerned.
‘Love the Beast’ certainly managed to draw me in as a viewer. It didn’t matter that, like Jeremy Clarkson, I have never had a particular affinity for muscle cars. Goes with the territory of being English I suppose: The closest we would have come would be the ubiquitous Ford V6 ‘Essex’ engine, which found its way into a myriad of 70’s & 80’s cars; most notably the Ford Capri.
In terms of having a passion outside of work (per Dr Phil) – that definitely sums up my attitude to life; whether it be running, cycling, Saabs (motoring in general/Saabs in particular) Cavalier King Charles Spaniels – whatever …these are the things that define us. As for there being a spiritual aspect to this subject – that may be open to debate…probably the hardest part to pin down. I’m not sure a well known Tibetan exile would necessarily agree for instance.
What really struck a chord with me was the camaraderie which bound together his closest friends over their life-span and particularly the bond that he shared through motoring, with his Dad. Like you I am not in a position to carry that forward with my Dad, though mine is still alive. I speak with him every week but it’s getting harder to maintain relationship due to his illness. I certainly found myself wishing he was sitting next to me while I watched that film… .and hence the tears flowed. Lucky I had a good pair of headphones and the dogs for company.
My thanks to Ian for sending along his thoughts on the film, and the photos.
I don’t know if this applies in all countries, but here in Australia, you can rent Love The Beast on YouTube. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
And for the Aussies reading this, Ian picked up a copy of the DVD at JB HiFi for $14, with the stickers included in the pack.
Watch it with your car club. Watch it with your Dad. Watch it with the family members who don’t understand your passion. Just make sure you watch it.
It’ll make you laugh, it’ll get your heart pumping and it’ll help anyone who sees it (including yourself) understand your obsessions just that little bit more.