“La Belle et la Bête” directed by Jean Cocteau in 1948 is a beautifully designed film, able to immerse the viewer in a world of fairy tales. James Travers states that: “Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la bête is that rarest thing in cinema, a film that has the ability to transport an adult spectator into the realm of childhood imagination without ever appearing twee or childish.” (Travers, 2014). The invisible servants in the enchanted castle of the Beast are an example of an interesting and new ideas, conveyed through the film (fig. 2)
Peter Bradshaw talks about the film: “Jean Cocteau's erotic and surreal fable is now revived on the big screen as part of the BFI's fascinating Gothic season. Watched now, 67 years after its first release, you can sense how its echoes have reverberated in the figures of Guillermo del Toro and Michael Jackson” (Bradshaw, 2014) “La Belle et la Bête” is an influential film, maybe not so because of its acting, but the environment and surreal feel it brings to the screen.
Bosley Crowther talks about the film: “The dialogue, in French, is spare and simple, with the story largely told in pantomime, and the music of Georges Auric accompanies the dreamy, fitful moods.” (Crowther, 2014). Figure 3 shows the theatrical nature of the film.
In conclusion “La Belle et la Bête” is a romantic film, it conveys its message through design and is theatrical and possibly slightly camp, but still engaging and mesmerizing.
Bradshaw, P. (2014). La Belle et la Bête – review. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/jan/02/belle-et-bete-review [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].
Travers, J. (2014). La Belle et la bete - Jean Cocteau - film review. [online] Frenchfilmsite.com. Available at: http://frenchfilmsite.com/movie_reviews/FFS_La_Belle_et_la_bete_1946.html [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].
Crowther, B. (2014). Movie Review - La Belle et la Bete - THE SCREEN IN REVIEW - NYTimes.com. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9B03EFD71E3EEE3BBC4C51DFB467838C659EDE [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].
Fig. 1 - Beast, B. (2014). Beauty and the Beast (1946). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038348/ [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].
Fig. 2 - ShowFilmFirst, (2014). La Belle Et La Bête. [online] Available at: http://www.showfilmfirst.com/la-belle-la-bete/ [Accessed 30 Oct. 2014].
Fig. – 3 - (1946), L. (2014). La Belle et la bete - Jean Cocteau - film review. [online] Frenchfilmsite.com. Available at: http://frenchfilmsite.com/movie_reviews/FFS_La_Belle_et_la_bete_1946.html [Accessed 30 Oct. 2014].