All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
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.
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 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.
Why I watched this movie? The 135th Danny Peary Cult Movie that I have watched of the 200 listed in his 3 Volume book series. This one is listed in Volume 1.
What is this one about? The French version of the famous story of a Beauty, a Beast and love.
My thoughts on this one? I could not help but compare this movie to the 1990's Disney hand drawn animated movie. It looks like the Disney artists took many of the images found in this movie and put it in their movie. This French version seems to include many other classic stories. Belle has two evil sisters (Cinderella), has a magical glove that can transport her from one location…
Jean Cocteau's adaption of La Belle et la Bête is a film of tender beauty so striking in its visual presentation that it for a good 90 minutes transports the audience into a world of magic and wonder. I've always been a huge fan of the story itself and have seen the Disney version many times, loving it each and every time, but Cocteau's version is truly something else. Although grounded mostly in realism and having few reminders (if you can look past the beast) of the fantastical nature of the story and setting, such as the infamous candles sequence, they are so impressive and wonderfully realised that you never forget you're watching a fairytale. When the candles light themselves…
I think most are familiar with the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, there are so many films made about it but Jean Cocteau's 1946 take on it (Le Belle et la Bete) is clearly the best one. Anyway if you didn't know a man steals a rose from the "beasts" castle and the Beast says he must die unless one of his daughters pays the price, so one of his daughters a pretty young lady (Belle) goes to his castle. She begins to fall for the beast and see's the loneliness within his eyes, she has a man at home that's wanting to marry her and at this time her Father is very sick.
The man wanting to…
I take back what I said about Orpheus; Jean Cocteau definitely knows how to direct. It's just a completely different way of doing so than any other director, ever.
Cocteau was a poet, designer, sculptor, playwright, painter and a filmmaker. Whenever he directed (and that was few,) he used film as an artistic medium, to tell a story that couldn't be told in any other way. So he felt about Beauty and the Beast, in which he fully utilizes the capabilities of film as an art form.
His revolutionary use of reversal of film, and other surrealist camera tricks, combined with very necessary stage-like melodrama in all aspects, make Beauty and the Beast one of the most hauntingly beautiful, fantastical, unforgettable visual fairy tales ever made.
This had to be Diane Arbus' favorite movie, right?
The first fifteen minutes are drowsy, obligatory period hokum. Haughty dudes, pampered daughters, and some sort of debt that nobody cares about. There's absolutely no payoff to any of this: It's like watching a roulette wheel that never stops spinning.
And then, not a moment too soon, the mood darkens and Cocteau starts painting with some nightmare fog: disembodied arms, animated statues, and hallways as empty as hollowed out rib cages.
Even with Cocteau's cool imagery, it's hard to care too much about Josette Day; she's pretty much just a boring version of Catherine Deneuve. Day emits no real emotion; no palpable terror or realistic empathy. She's basically as cold as a loose bolt in a tool box.
The best thing about watching this film is that I finally get where Catherine Breillat was coming from when she made the fabulous "Blue Beard".
once upon a time...A French Director made the best adaptation of this story..(sorry disney)
love can make you fly
There is only one Beauty and the Beast. Forget about the colorful song-filled Disney version that children across the world have been forced to watch, but instead look closer at the magnificent direction, style, and creativity of Jean Cocteau’s 1946 version. Released by the Criterion Collection as an early spine (as well as an uncredited direction by Rene Clement), this film continues to amaze and impress me with how much fantasy is contained in the black and white borders, but also how honest the love between Belle and the Beast is represented. Then, well, there is the ending. Pages upon pages could be discussed on what Cocteau is trying to say about modern love, the corruption of material items, and…
A French fairy-tale fantasia of beautiful, ghostly, dream-like imagery. This is art as much as it is a film, full of moments that will stay with you, that look like paintings that have come to life. I'm thinking of Belle running in slow motion through the Beast's castle, her dress flying up behind her, or of Belle floating, rather than walking, down a hallway. Of her bedroom full of twisting plants and the statues that move their heads and doors that open by themselves. The actors pose as if they're doing layouts for Vogue magazine or something. There's a lot of magic being made here. And the final romantic clinch, as the couple ascends into the swirling clouds, is swoon and sigh-worthy. A gorgeously composed and photographed film.
Gorgeous, low-fi movie magic abounds in this. It's a mise-en-scene masterpiece. Luckily so, too, because the narrative takes a few shortcuts it doesn't need. The movie is barely 90 minutes long and skimps on the love story at its heart, with the Beast falling in love with Belle because she's beautiful and passed out in his arms, then Belle only growing "fond" of him because she says so. There are no actions to make these characters fall for each other, which is upsetting. But in the grand scheme of things, the astonishing filmmaking on display glosses over its lesser aspects.
Gorgeous and magical. I've rarely seen such a poetic piece of cinema.
A solid, 70 year old version of the classic fairy tale, whose special effects and make-up are still pretty cool today. I didn't know there was a version besides the animated Disney film until recently, but they must have taken a lot of cues from this version.
This movie isn't violent but is dark in places, and I could see it being scary to me as a child (I was afraid of a bunch of movies). There is a creepiness to the beast's castle, and the beast is also pretty scary at first. Of course, over time, he becomes a lovesick wussy, but that's what's so interesting about this fairy-tale. It plays with the idea of monsters and sensitivity, of…