The Beard, a film by Ian Emes


The Beard (1978) is a short, surreal animated film, directed by Ian Emes and based on an idea and illustrations by Peter Till. Electronic musician Adrian Wagner provided the soundtrack. I’d been looking for this on YouTube for a while, hoping to see it again. It’s a great piece of work, opening in a comical fashion when a shaving man (voiced by William Rushton) finds his beard taking on a life of its own, then turning increasingly nightmarish. A low-res copy sourced from video tape does no justice to the detailed drawings but it’s still worth a watch.

Somewhat better known, if not quite so strange, is Martin Scorsese’s student film, The Big Shave (1967), which may be seen here.

2 thoughts on “The Beard, a film by Ian Emes”

  1. voiced by William Rushton

    Naturally I wondered whether this was the writer / cartoonist Rushton. Yes, says his BFI profile.

  2. He did quite a lot of voiceover work, often for TV ads. Oddly enough I think it was around 1978 that I walked past him in the street near the Houses of Parliament. He’s one of the few famous faces I encountered at random like that on trips to London.

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