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.