Summer in Japan

Elegant Beast

Shitoyakana kedamono

Yuzo KawashimaJapan96 minutes1962PGColourJapanese

Jul 10
  • Press & Industry screenings and events are only for accredited passes.
  • Please note that only items from our Quiet Snacks menu may be consumed during this screening. This menu has been selected to ensure our audiences' experience is not disrupted. TIFF is committed to providing the best film-going environment possible for all audience members.


Drop everything! We present a 4K restoration of Yuzo Kawashima's scathing satire of postwar Japanese materialism, "maybe the best example of black comedy in Japanese film" (Gregory Barrett). Shot in Scope, Elegant Beast is largely confined to the cramped flat of a family whose shrewd mother and father, experts in fraud and hypocrisy, have taught their children well: the daughter drifts from one sugar daddy to the next, while the son misappropriates millions from his boss, who wants to bring Elvis Presley to Japan. Everyone is on the make, even the boss' accountant, a lovely but larcenous widow who uses the money embezzled by the son to buy a hotel. (While the film's title has been translated many ways, the rendering that best captures Kawashima's intentions is The Well-Mannered Beasts — that way the whole family, and perhaps an entire society, is implicated.) "Elegant Beast is a knock-it-out-of-the-park winner that ought to prompt a Kawashima retrospective" (Slant Magazine).