From Marco Ferreri, perhaps best known for the wildly sensational satire La Grande Bouffe, CultFilms is set to release one of the director’s earliest and most controversial films, The Ape Woman (1964) 4K restored.
The Ape Woman is based on the true story of 19th-century carnival performer Julia Pastrana. The film, has an elegant and devastating performance from Annie Girardot as Maria ‘the ape woman’. An Covent scullery maid whose body is covered in hair, from head to toe. Her life is uprooted when an unscrupulous hustler (Ugo Tognazzi), discovers and marries her in order to get her on the freak show circuit and cash in on her distinctive appearance.
Deemed too challenging for the 1964 Cannes Film Festival, an alternative ‘happy’ ending was created for the festival that eventually went on to pick up a Palme d’Or nomination that year. The Blu-ray release, will include Ferreri’s own original edit complete and uncut, restored in 4K for the Venice Film Festival in 2017.
This film is a powerful and personal film, for Ferreri said expressed his ‘anger towards society’, and stands as a hilarious and grotesque satire condemning the exploitative nature of a patriarchal system.
The film is inspired by a true story of the nihilistically 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 of 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 (a magnificent Ugo Tognazzi), discovers the young woman in a convent and marries her in order to get her on the freak-show circuit and cash in on the distinctive appearance of her body and face covered in hairs.
An exclusive 90-minute documentary on Marco Ferreri featuring Gerard Depardieu, Philippe Noiret, Christopher Lambert and Ornella Muti