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    Love the Beast Directed by Eric Bana Essay

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    The documentary “Love The Beast” is about Eric Bana, his first car and his mates. To Bana these are the only things that have not changed in his life. The documentary explores the way in which Eric Bana’s identity was shaped in part by his car. Eric Bana began his career as a comedian in the sketch comedy series Full Frontal. After 12 years of being in Australian TV shows and films, Bana gained Hollywood’s attention for his performance in “Black Hawk Down,” “The Hulk,” “Troy,” and “Star Trek. He was awarded with Australia’s highest film and television awards for his performances in “Chopper,” “Full Frontal” and “Romulus, My Father. ” However, he has another life behind the wheel, he loves racing his Coupe in the Tasmanian TARGA race (an open road endurance car race). Eric Bana did not always have aspirations to be an actor. He also tried his luck at comedy, being a stand-up comedian. Yet his ultimate dream was to become a professional race car driver. “Fate, luck and circumstance had other ideas,” however, he fell into acting and has not looked back since.

    Throughout, the documentary Eric Bana interviews many celebrities such as Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear), Jay Leno (The Jay Leno Show) and Dr Phil (Dr Phil). All these people talk to Eric explaining how a car is a piece of a man’s identity. As Jeremy says “all non-car people do not understand that their car can be a big influence on their life. ” The environment in which Bana was brought up, greatly influenced his love for cars. He grew up loving Mad Max movies and watched Mel Gibson “marry” the two things he loved; a Ford Coupe and the cinema.

    He did what every Aussie did on Bathurst day, he sat glued to his television watching the 1977 race. Two Ford Falcon XB coupes battled it out to place 1st and 2nd and from that moment on he always was wanted to own a Ford Falcon XB Coupe of his own. It was a world where Muscle cars were booming and fuel was cheap as chips. When Bana was 15 he convinced his dad to buy him a Coupe costing him $1,500. Straight away he enlisted the assistance of his friends to help him fix it up. He wanted to get into car racing so he yet again called on the help of his friends to transform his car into a racer.

    Many years later, he was ready to enter the Tasmanian Targa Rally. He came 3rd in his category for his first race and was so proud, that from that moment on his car became part of his life and he still has it today. “Identity may be defined as the distinctive characteristic belonging to any given individual, or shared by all members of a particular social category or group” (Wikipedia). Some of the distinctive characteristics of Eric Bana include car lover, family man and a good friend.

    His mates never knew each other until Eric introduced them all and from that day on they were inseparable. They all had one thing in common, they all loved cars. The four of them spent hours in Bana’s garage working on their cars to the point where their cars determined their identities. Eric Bana self-directed the documentary which gave the audience a great look into Australian life as a child in the 60’s and 70’s. Bana used cinematography techniques that made the film more engaging for the audience.

    Eric narrates us through the early parts of his life and then goes to a home video style filming to capture everything as it happened. When driving in the Tasmanian Targa rally he presented the viewers with lots of angles of the car inside and out as well as adding upbeat music to excite the viewers. He also included “some fly on the wall” style camera shots whilst he and one of his mates were having a conversation about the race. When Bana crashed his car into the tree the music started to slow down to a somber style to reflect that Bana was depressed about “killing” his car.

    How does this documentary “Love The Beast” show identity? The film looks at the identity of Eric Bana, his car and how it was a big part of his and his mate’s identity. When the car was gone it still lived with him even if it was damaged beyond repair. Doc Phil told Eric that even though it is gone it will still live with him until he dies. This film captures Eric Bana’s identity as a car enthusiast, actor and father by reflecting on his past and taking us on the journey to his life today.

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