Last week  I had the  opportunity to  go  the  preview  of  Eric Bana’s  new  film,  Love the Beast screening  from March 12.

It is  an honest  documentary about Eric Bana, his family, children, career,  passion for  his  XB coupe and  motorsport.

I walked into the screening  with a  little  apprehension as  I am  a  Holden supporter and frankly  watching a  Ford  film would leave me a  little cold……. “so what,  it’s a story about Eric the once stand-up comedian’s  (here comes  that  four letter word)  Ford  XB Coupe GT  that  disappeared  into the Tasmanian scenery a  couple of years  ago…blah…blah…blah…..”

But, it’s  not, it’s  so much more, as it’s also a record about  Targa Tasmania, one of the world’s  very  last of  this  type of bitumen race-rally event, with competing cars  utilising  closed-off  sealed roads without  crash barriers  or fences at  speeds  in excess  of 260kph.

It’s a graphic  portrayal  told  with flair and emotion about  one  man’s love  affair  with a car and an obsession to  go motor racing!

There  are  smatterings  of photos and grainy family super 8 film shots  of  a very young Eric,  his  car, his  parents,  siblings, his  dad’s  obsession… a  seldom  driven Ford  Thunderbird and his  life long relationship with a loyal group friends who’s social lives centered  around the Bana family  garage, a  shared  interest of motor sport and tinkering  on the  XB coupe.

As the  25 year story unfolds, it follows the two rebuilds  of the  Ford XB GT coupe  into a  street  machine and eventual  complete  make-over in 2007  to  a  Targa Tasmania  race  car.

The camera work is very  good with lots  of  exciting in and  out-of-car  seat-of-your-pants race footage and  off course the accident while competing in the Targa that  ended  the XB’s life – Fortunately, Eric and navigator, Tony Rammuno, escaped serious injury living to tell the tale!

During the  course  of the film there  are some  funny  interviews with  Dr. Phil examining   automobile-human inter-relation behavior, conversations with American talk host and exotic automobile  collector, Jay Leno  and Top Gear’s  Jeremy  Clarkson who often  sees  the  humour  of a  situation, providing the  best  quote  of the  film “… So you have  600 plus horsepower  and leaf  springs in the rear -What  are  you  thinking  of?”

Love  the  Beast  is (pardon the  pun) an auto-biography with no spin or  bull… A  film about car enthusiasts, motor racing fans and those  who occasionally like living  life  on the  edge!…. 4 out  of  5 stars!

Fiv Antoniou is a self confessed petrol head disguised  as arts and cultural manager.