A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
Beauty and the Beast
Il était une fois
The merchant and his children, Adélaïde, Belle, Félicie, and Ludovic, are near ruin bankruptcy, but Adélaïde and Félicie nonetheless still spend lavishly on themselves keeping beautiful, whereas Belle slaves around the house. Crossing the forest one evening, their father becomes lost and takes refuge in a castle. Upon leaving, he steals a blossom off a rose bush. An angered beast demands one of his daughters for the theft.
show this to your kids instead of the cartoon so they'll know that magic is real.
There is only one word to describe Jean Cocteau’s spellbinding adaptation of Beauty and the Beast - Magical.
The film begins with a direct plea to the audience, a plea to simply believe as a child would: to believe in the fantastical and magical. Whilst it expresses Cocteau’s intent it is perhaps a redundant introduction when it is so easy to believe in this cursed and enchanted world. It is one of those rare films that has enthralled countless generations, and old and young alike, without talking down to either audience. Above all it is the ultimate fairy-tale film that utilises the illusionary qualities of the medium to their fullest.
Whilst the film could be interpreted as having real world…
Film #22 of Project 40
”Don't address me as sir, I'm called the Beast!”
Before starting his magical tale of doomed princes and charming girls Jean Cocteau takes a moment and asks us to put away our rational and mathematical minds aside for 90 minutes and join him in something which doesn't make sense, something ridiculously childish, something that can’t be analyzed and dissected by logic. From that opening title card it’s obvious that La Belle et la Bête is going to be a movie exploring the always spellbinding territory of magic and fantasy, and when it comes to fantasy you know that you shouldn't ask a question as you won’t get an answer, it’s all about joy, thrill, surprise…
Jean Cocteau's adaptation of the timeless French fairy tale La Belle et la Bête is a masterful feat of special effects and makeup that surprisingly doesn't feel dated in the least with its age. Cocteau was a genius filmmaker, with such towering classics as The Orphic Trilogy and Les Enfants Terribles (which he wrote), his vision of Beauty and the Beast should be taken no less seriously. Make no mistake, this is a perfect adaptation that almost makes the Disney version feel like a cheap second-rate knockoff (although the latter does have marvelous technical feats of its own).
I always find myself fascinated with seeing earlier, less "Disney-fied" adaptations of classic tales such as this. When I was much younger,…
Jean Cocteau's Beauty and The Beast is a magical and transcendent ode to the limits of fantasy, brought to life with exceptional performances, awe-inspiring production design, startling atmosphere, and luscious direction. In particular, the close ups are given a mesmerizing and transfixing sense of purity, adding to the theatrical and intimate feel of the entire film.
This is the first time I've seen this masterpiece, and I can't wait to fall under its spell again.
Cocteau was truly singular. Always get caught up in the splendour.
The work of Cocteau is always a dream.
Beast-"Belle if I were a man, perhaps I could do as you say. But poor beasts who wish to prove their love can only grovel on the ground and die."
"Love can make a beast of a man. It can also make an ugly man handsome".
Belle-"I feel uneasy dressed up in such finery, nor am I used to being waited upon. But I know you"re doing your utmost to help me forget your ugliness"
"I don't mind being afraid...with you."
The ingenious effects and haunting imagery remain potent 70 years later.
"Can such miracles really happen?"
"You and I are living proof. Love can turn a man into a beast. But love can also make an ugly man handsome."
Things That Need to Spread their Grace to This Cruel World:
This is kind of a tough one to review. At once, I want to discuss how incredible the costume/makeup design is for the Beast and Belle, both creating a clear picture of the beautifulness of beauty and ugliness of beastliness.
On the other hand, I want to get personal and explain why this story (whether this film or the original fairy tale or Disney's version) always (yes, always ) makes me cry.
And I guess I'm gonna get personal.
Let's just say that my life, (which I usually never tend to speak about to anyone by the way), has always been a bit... tough. In school, I was always made fun of (usually for being "so weird," "awkward," and "ugly…
May seem a bit baroque by today's standards and the reason the beast turns human is completely bizarre, but this was really fanciful. The romance happens a little easy and the stuff with Belle's family is dumb as hell, but worth it for the visual tricks.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Aunque Cocteau le pide directamente al público tener una ingenuidad infantil antes de empezar la película, ciertamente se hace bastante fácil dejarse absorber no tanto por la historia que ya es harto conocida (y cuenta con otras versiones geniales, como la de Disney) sino porque la ejecución de la misma es ingeniosa desde cualquier punto de vista: si no es por el maquillaje y la actuación de Jean Marais entonces es por la puesta en escena en la que Cocteau, con trucos sencillos, muchos de ellos en cámara, ha logrado dotar a todas las secuencias fantásticas de la película de una verdadera magia (cinematográfica), más en el estilo de las películas de Méliès.
[queda como tarea verla con el score en forma de ópera que le hizo Philip Glass]
The minute Belle's father steps into the courtyard of the Beast's palace, everything about the film changes. Whereas the rural French setting is captured with realist sensibilities, the world of the Beast is something utterly different: a world of shadows and fog, of thick darkness and lush greenery, of massive mirrors and billowing curtains. In many respects evoking Kane's Xanadu (which perhaps says more about Kane than it does this film), this palace is that of the fantastic, a fitting home for the bubbling melodrama at the film's heart. Of all the Cocteau film's I've seen, this is the only one to truly capture my attention; though still not quite the work his myth surrounding Cocteau suggests, it is hard to deny how alluring his fantasy is here.
Cocteau was right to beg us to view his seminal retelling with the capacity for bewilderment and eyes of a child, because this version of Beauty and the Beast is actually kind of frightening - both visually and thematically.
Though the importance of his request diminishes over time, and is not be as necessary as one would imagine; his fairy-tale is beyond convincing with its lavish costumes, richly detailed sets, and that lingering score which never entirely disappears, flirting with both tension and levity. With crisp photography and enchanting lighting, the film just oozes with such a striking artistry that demands attention.
I adore the intricacies of the Beast's mansion - particularly, the prevalence of bodily ornaments lining the walls.…
This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…