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Beauty (Skoonheid) DVD


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Product details

  • Actors: Dean Lotz, Charlie Keegan
  • Directors: Oliver Hermanus
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Afrikaans
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Peccadillo Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Oct 2012
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007VZWWXA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,282 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

François (Dean Lotz) lives a skilfully controlled, well managed family life, in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

He is wholly unprepared when a chance encounter unravels his clean and ordered existence. 23-year-old Christian (Charlie Keegan) is the son of a long lost friend. By all accounts he is the personification of a handsome young man in the prime of his life. François is so disarmed by the young man that it instantly ignites within him an all consuming infatuation and misplaced lust.

Extras: Interview with director Oliver Hermanus.

Review

"A ferociously powerful, yet subtle and complex performance from Deon Lotz." --The Guardian

"An impressive piece of work." --The Times

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 11 Oct 2012
Format: DVD
This is a South African story about a middle aged, family man Francois (Deon Lotz). He has a wife and two daughters and a successful lumber firm, at one of his daughter's weddings he is reunited with an old friend and business acquaintance who has brought his 23 year old son along. This is Christian (Charlie Keegan -`The Sinking of the Laconia') and he has charm, wit and matinee idol good looks `to die for'.

The thin veneer of familial bliss is soon seen to be cracking with casual racism, homophobia, an unfaithful wife and children who lie. Also daddy isn't exactly what he seems to be as he goes to bear type all men swingers groups. Needles to say he is not gay, but he soon becomes smitten with Christian. But Christian lives in Cape Town and Francois is in Bloemfontein which is a fair old drive. Undeterred he invents an excuse to go to Cape Town where he will orchestrate a meeting to go to the next level. Well as Oscar Wilde famously said, `there is only one thing worse than unrequited love.....and that is when it is requited'.

Beauty or `Skoonheid' to give it its original title is an art house film in many ways. It is both cleverly and artistically shot, the acting is outstanding and the music is understated but works almost subliminally. The pace will be a bit slow for some, but that reflects the narrative which is hardly planned from the players perspective either.

There are some bedroom action bits but not in the least frequent but there are some scenes that will be upsetting to some, this is most definitely not a feel good movie. It was South Africa's best foreign language film entry to the 84th Academy awards, so by all accounts there is a lot to merit attention here.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 14 Oct 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've had to watch Beauty twice to feel I've more or less understood it, but this is not because it is unduly obscure; rather, it has a certain pared-down quality and fairly little dialogue, leaving a lot to the admirable Deon Lotz (as Francois) to convey simply through his expressions. Some of the most revealing moments come when he is in his car, as if it is only in such periods of isolation that he has some sense of the truth about himself. As a middle-aged married man, he manages to express his homosexual desires in secret group meetings with other married men, but when he falls for the 23-year-old son of an old friend from the airforce he is no longer able to keep this precarious balance and goes dangerously awry. To watch this happening is quite unsettling, and it is blended with other social observations suggesting the homophobia of his social milieu in South African society and also a degree of racism, although both remain somewhat nebulous. In other ways the film plays a bit like Death in Venice, but it could hardly be more different in terms of the contact he has with the object of his obsession in the end which has quite a shocking thwack. The film keeps the main character as the sole focus right to the final credits and does not deal with legal repercussions or tie anything up. A scene near the end reminded me strongly of the last scene in Michael Haneke's Hidden - a wide shot with many characters, where you scrutinise the image to find what matters! At other moments it feels as if the camera has been left on at the end of a scene by mistake, and the widescreen format leads to some interesting topping and tailing of characters that does seem to serve some expressive purpose. It is quite a fierce film, by no means easy to watch, and with a very flawed main character.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cartoon on 29 May 2013
Format: DVD
I know very very little about south African cinema but found this film a real treat. It is slow paced , visual and only tells you about the characters what it wants . How I love world cinema when it dares to tease its audience . This isn't a loud coming out love triumphs gay movie and I can imagine a much wider audience say those who enjoy Danish cinema , if it wasn't just classified because of this [ amazon does love a pigeon hole] . This is an africaans version of death in venice but because of the more masculine violence society a much more brutal ending . I did find some of the English hard to hear and also the ending is one to leave you hanging rather than satisfy . For those those like to think along side their late night movie . A rather forgotten classic .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ALANMARK on 18 Mar 2014
Format: DVD
A rather grim film, it moves along slowly, that in itself is fine for me but I found myself at the end thinking what was the point of this. It leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. I kept thinking why would anyone want to make this nasty film?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. King on 21 Feb 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm sure many people would find this very slow and maybe even give up before the end but I was totally engrossed from beginning to end. Very disturbing and shocking scenes towards the end. Stick with and you will remember it for a long time to come. Beautifully acted photographed and directed.
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Format: DVD
‘Beauty (Skoonheid)’, the second Afrikaans film that I have seen so far, is one of the finest achievements in contemporary cinema. Sleek, innovative, realistic and flawlessly realised, it is an intensely powerful, socio-political and psychological analysis of duplicitous behaviour. From the mysterious opening sequence, that gradually reveals the protagonists, to the challengingly enigmatic conclusion, the film sustains a sense of foreboding throughout, a suspense greater than that of a couple of Hitchcock movies put together. It does this quite intelligently by not giving anything away too easily to the audience. Instead, we are constantly enticed to interpret the behaviour of each character, just the way we normally react to one another in daily life, a narrative approach that I cannot recall experiencing before.

Deon Lotz, who performs the central character, is a stroke of genius in casting, because of his naturally menacing presence. He plays François van Heerden, a reasonably affluent and middle-aged, timber-factory owner, who outwardly is a happily married and decent figure in an exclusively Afrikaner community. He is openly racist and homophobic as everyone else in the neighbourhood is. Inwardly though, he is a volcano of sweltering homoerotic desire that is waiting to explode sooner or later. Whilst he frequents a secretive circle of racist homosexuals as an outlet for quenching these needs, his insatiable lust for the son of a close friend drives him to a desperate frenzy that soon gets out of control.

Co-writer and director, Oliver Hermanus uses this story metaphorically as a scalpel to dissect the universal ailment of repressed sexuality and its myriad implications on our society as a whole.
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