Royal Beasts - shorter cut

The scene begins into a Royal Chapel, an old queen is surrounded by her two ladies in waiting and an audience of skulls. During the mass, the old monarch falls asleep, yawing and snoring loudly. Her two ladies in waiting, treated like inferior pets, start a fight for a string of sausages, while their lady is sleeping. Suddenly, they hear a sound, coming under the queen's skirt. A beautiful unicorn comes out of the huge skirt and it leaves this dark scenario. Once the fantastic beast is outdoor, into the wild nature and its creatures, it experiences pure joy. At a certain point, the Unicorn is tired, it sits down and falls asleep, the two lady in waiting appear into the background, reaching the beast with menacing movements. The Queen wakes up. We can see her face. She was dreaming herself as a young and strong creature while her dream was interrupted, invaded by her two maids. She is back into the Royal Chapel, in front of her the two ladies are asleep, probably drunk, next to them there is a little court dog who is eating some sausages, wearing a small unicorn horn.

  • Rachele Terrinoni
  • Rachele Terrinoni
  • Rachele Terrinoni
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Italy, United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Arts of London
Director Biography - Rachele Terrinoni

-Rachele Terrinoni is a set and costume designer/maker both for screen and stage, she started her career in Rome in 2006 and currently lives in UK. She completed the MA Costume Design for Performance at LCF (UAL) where she had the honor to design and make the Grayson Perry's 2019 UAL Chancellor Robe.
She recently won the 2019 UAL Grayson Perry Chancellor Challenge.

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Director Statement

"All is repeated in this life,
eternal youth is but a dream.
Only what has never been
can alone never age."
Friedrich Schiller

This short movie is my MA final project. I wanted to portray a fantasy atmosphere with a visual free interpretation of Elizabethan Era. The contrast between social status, duty and roles, the frailty of human life, death and the dreamy, inner world where freedom, strength and eternal youth are magically possibile. This unsolvable contrast between darkness and lightness is the core theme, the old queen dreams about herself to be an unicorn (which was believed to be an actual creature with extraordinary powers) while, in her real life, she is a mighty monarch but totally depended on her two ladies in waiting. The three women are constantly in competition among themselves, they all hate the younger, they all crave for a little power or a sausage, surrounded by death and skulls. Once the Unicorn is revealed, therefore the queen's dream, the locations change, natural landscapes and alive creatures replace the gloomy royal chapel. The original soundtrack follows the story, highlighting the key moments and changing of mood. In the end reality and imagination melt together and telling the difference becomes impossible. As a set and costume designer, outfits and locations are essential parts to illustrate this dark tale.

"One hour in port, the sailor, freed from fears, forgets the tempest of a hundred years."
Giambattista Basile - Pentamerone