THE APE WOMAN is the highest-praised film by Marco Ferreri, the over-the-top iconoclastic director known for ‘La Grande Bouffe’. His signature edginess was revered by the Cannes Festival who screened and awarded many of his works. And as his epitaph Cannes pronounced that “No one was more demanding nor more allegorical in showing the state of crisis of contemporary man”.
Famed to be irreverent, Ferreri dissected our societal mores in all his masterful films, and he was so off-beat and scathing as an author that the Establishment even labelled him ‘dangerous’! The Ape Woman is inspired by a true story of the cruel exploitation of a young carnival performer, Julia Pastrana, whose body was completely covered in hair. She is brought to life here by an extraordinary Annie Girardot - France’s highest-paid actress at the time - in a natural measured and elegant performance from which emanates the ambiguous emotion of being alluring yet devastatingly poignant as “the ape woman”. An unscrupulous hustler (the magnificent Ugo Tognazzi) discovers the young woman in a convent and marries her in order to get her on the freak show circuit and to cash in on the distinctive appearance of her body and face fully covered in hairs.
For this world 1st ever Blu-ray release, CultFilms is showing all versions of the film recently restored in 4K for the Venice Film Festival finally doing justice to the previously condemned film. First is Ferreri’s own original edit now shown complete and uncut. And second, the Producer’s longer, upbeat ending version which garnered a Palme D’or nomination at the 1964 Cannes Films Festival.
Notable: Italian audio with new revised Eng Subtitles + SDH subtitles for Hard of Hearing
- An exclusive 90-minute documentary on Marco Ferreri with Gerard Depardieu, Philippe Noiret, Christophe Lambert, Ornella Muti etc.