Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Film Review: Le Belle et la Bete

La Belle et la Bête: Written in 1946 by Jean Cocteau. This French Black and White movie is an enjoyment to watch. Being the first in the creations of “The Beauty and the Beast” it’s clear symbolism of romance and that beauty is only skin deep shows throughout the film “ Jean Cocteau'sBeauty and the Beast (1946) bluntly celebrates a love that privileges interior beauty over external repulsiveness. Embodied by the titular Beast, physical ugliness here is only skin-and-mottled-fur deep.” 

[fig 1, the front cover of La Belle at la Bete

In the beginning of the film we see Beauty waiting on her sisters while her father awaits shipment of goods to save their home. This idea of two evil sisters is connected to the story of Cinderella by Walt Disney (1950) 

The idea of the sisters feeling higher than Belle, (and in Cinderella). The father ventures out to obtain the goods from his ships to find they haven’t returned. It is late at night but he decides to travel home anyway, the night is foggy and dangerous so the father finds safety within the castle, the beasts castle. He picks a rose for Beauty which upsets the beast and he demands that he be killed. The father begs for forgiveness and the Beast demands a replacement for his death, his daughter. Beauty takes the place but is treated like a princess by the Beast, being asked every day to wed him till the point when the curse is lifted and she accepts. The story line is pretty magical and very love orientated.

[fig 2, Belle is asked to wed the beast]

This story influenced Walt Disney’s recreation; 'Beauty & the Beast'(1991). Many points in the theatrical version you see influencing the fairytale film by Disney, such as the mirror, the rose and the ornaments being alive. “In this film, Cocteau uses the mirror to allow the characters to see things happening in other places. In his other works such as Orpheus, Blood of the Poet, Les Parents Terrible, and Les Enfants Terribles he uses a mirror as a mode of transporting from the real to the surrealistic worlds. Cocteau used the mirror for introspective exploration".




1 comment:

  1. Hi Lisa!

    I seem to have previously overlooked your Metropolis review, so have a look back at that one for comments that are pertinent to this review too!
    Don't forget to reference the quote directly after it, otherwise it will show up as being plagiarised when you come to do an essay. For lots more advice about the referencing, look at 'Metropolis' review.