The self-titled Belle and her captor-turned-prince Beast ont returned to cinema screens around auto world. In Disney’s latest live-action reiteration of one de their much-loved animated fairytales, bill Condon’s live-action Beauty and the Beast has reintroduced modern-day audiences to thé pair. Through their return has come explorations ns Disney’s representations de gayness, auto question du modern viewing habits, and record-breaking des boites office success (the film has broken auto March prendre note for le meilleur opening v a $175m domestic gross).

Vous lisez ce: La belle et la bete film jean marais

This multiplicity of film on the same tale has been viewed before, with the reintroduction ns Snow white in 2012 arriving in the form du three really different films. 2012 brought the strong and defiant rebel ‘Snow’ in Snow White et the Huntsman, while Mirror winter restyled the classic tale. Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves proves thé most thoughtful, with the director turning the tale into a much more personal, humanized story.

However, Beauty and the Beast’s reintroduction right into popular cultistes inevitably carries with it the film that precede it. Christophe Gans’ 2014 feuilles Seydoux starring version is the next most famous live-action adaptation, while Disney’s 1991 animations is unsurprisingly on the minds ns both audiences et critics. Yet, most cardinal of toutes les personnes is Jean Cocteau’s 1946 La belle et les Bête. Making use of innovative lighting and cinematography, personified candelabras, et Jean Marais ont both villain et hero, Cocteau’s film can be viewed to ont inspired ‐ unintentionally jaune not ‐ the films that follow it.

Walt disney himself had trepidation end whether venir adapt thé tale following thé beauty et magical realism of Cocteau’s. At some point his film danimation studio did, but not without “borrowing,” à put it lightly, many of Cocteau’s signature ideas (with une example being the personified meaningless objects). It’s clear in Condon’s entretien with Vulture’s Kevin Lincoln that thé live-action director du the 2017 reiteration faced thé same hesitancy, with Condon stating that cette was intimidated “to a degree since it’s such a beautiful movie.” Condon continues de describing auto timelessness ns the fairytale, noting that it’s “one ns those histoires that, in haricot de soja many different arts forms et media, ce does continue to stay relevant et get reinvented.”

Yet Condon seems à forget the influence of Cocteau’s histoire ‐ the itself differs slightly from the d’origine tale de 18th century french author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot aux Villeneuve et Jeanne-Marie Leprince aux Beaumont’s popularized rewritten job-related ‐ nous Disney’s animations that Condon would at some point turn right into live-action. The seul recent nods to Cocteau’s conséquences sur are the subtle “tips of the hat” in the live-action film et Tim Walker’s Le Sang ns Poète-inspired photoshoot et video with Emma Watson à la Vanity Fair. Those more, Cocteau’s La beau et la bête proves that the tale lives nous in reinvention, but with end eleven reiterations (including Condon’s) since the 1946 French-language version, cette has à be asked why Cocteau’s is the one audiences revenir to. (Short answer: due to the fact that it’s the best.)

To recognize Cocteau’s influence on the films succeeding his La beau et les Bête, cette is important to savoir the origins of the story cette adapted. Often thought to oui been inspired by the painting de the “man of the woods” Petrus Gonsalvus, who endured from a état that fabriqué him grow more hair than normal, bring about him looking favor a half-man, half-wolf, Villeneuve’s story proves thé most complex of the deux most prominent version from 18th-century français society. Villeneuve’s longue tale has most of what audiences check out in Cocteau’s adaptation. There’s the dream-like atmosphere oui Villeneuve’s belle dreams du a Prince in the Beast’s castle, auto use of magic as poetry v transportation through a ring and a mirror, et the sense du the heightened realist domestic people with Belle’s deux vulgar sisters et three brothers. Meanwhile, Beaumont’s abridged déditions turns Villeneuve’s tale into an archetypal histoire with much less complex et easier-to-understand characters.

It’s clear that the tale of Belle et the Beast’s longevity exists in that ability à be reinvented. Et with Cocteau’s film, the histoire transcends thé written word and the liminalities of reality à become, according à Roger Ebert, thé “most magical of all films, <…> giving nous a Beast who is lonely favor a man et misunderstood like an animal.” that a film, or perhaps much more a poem, the isn’t intended parce que le children no one adults, but instead for the poetic mind. Avant La beau et la bête plays, Cocteau appears in his position de the artist, with us ‐ the audience ‐ oui his friends. Through a focus on his hand (a motif hey has explored through numerous mediums, such as his first cinématique Le Sang une Poète and his portrait photographs with Philippe Halsman) Cocteau describes comment children will think what nous (storytellers) raconter them. Writing nous a chalkboard, he continues describing thé simplicity ns belief, asking audiences parce que le a “little du this childlike simplicity.” The cinématicien begins no after thé child’s version of “open sesame,” thé significant il était une fois… (once ns a time), but after Cocteau’s signature with the étoiles under his name.

Cocteau’s presence makes ce clear that, despite his commitment to aux Beaumont Villeneuve’s original tale, this is his édition of the story; and it’s a déditions that focuses on the clarity du symbolism and imagery. Cocteau interpreted that “only clean, unadorned photography might properly convey auto sense du mystery hey was after, making thé on-screen human being that much much more immediate et believable.” Working through cinematographer Henri Alekan et with aider from rênes Clément due to Cocteau’s ill health and wellness (that is exhaustedly cataloged in his on-set journaux Beauty and the Beast: journal intime of a Film), the director transformed auto everyday into the fantastical and the fantastical right into a world of familiarity.

Often, auto Beast’s world, i m sorry is obscured by the natural scenery ns forestry and bushes, makes much more sense than auto world outside du it. There’s thé scene as soon as Belle’s father, played passant par Marcel André, travel into thé forest. V high-angled voyeuristic shots and Georges Auric’s marqué becoming louder thé further Belle’s father journeys in, Cocteau uses thé forest oui a border between auto world of Belle et the world ns the Beast. Belle’s home et the Beast’s castle room separated, yet, through thé mystery and magic ns the enigmatic forest, borders, and boundaries are crossed. To return to thé simplicity Cocteau asks de his audience before the cinématicien begins, thé filmmaker leaves auto answers to questions in the forest; toutes les personnes that matters is thé remaining poetry ns the film.

In his collected essays in The de lart of Cinema, Cocteau maïs his essays on cinema under thé cine-poetry term, calling lock Poésie de cinéma. Oui Robin Buss note in his présenter to the collection, Cocteau “asserts that thé underlying system of cinema is choose that de dreams.” Cocteau is neither a filmmaker nor a playwright no one a writer, cible a poet; and to him, poets operated not seul in thé form de poetry, but in the form of dreams. Importantly à him, however, cinematic city is no “deliberately ‘poetic’” (which command into thé world du elitist de lart cinema, according venir Cocteau), but derivative from auto real and the unreal; from je vous demande pardon audiences believe and what they see.

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What Cocteau permits his audience to watch in La beau et ns Bête can either it is in seen ont a manipur of his viewer or his ability venir use auto technicalities ns filmmaking oui a form de magic. For example, Cocteau has defined how cette persuaded Alekan “to shoot jean Marais, as the Prince, in ont saccharine a style as possible. Auto trick worked. When auto picture was released, letter poured in indigenous matrons, teenage girls, et children, complaining venir me and Marais about thé transformation.” A conflict between the artistic and the technological emerges here, as the ugliness of the Prince reminds the viewer du the lure et attractiveness ns the Beast.

Yet, à la the Beast’s gibbs Jean Marais (who also played what would it is in Disney’s déditions of Gaston, called Avenant, and the Beast-turned-prince), the cosey of the Beast was soja uncomfortable that marais developed painful sores when his skin to be damaged de the glue used venir keep the fur on his body. Parce que le Jean marais ‐ a human being who looks an ext like a Greek sculpture than a mere human ‐ turning into thé Beast carried pain et ugliness for the actor, while à la Josette Day’s Belle, et for the audience, the le noir only came oz the Beast had actually vanished, left seul with the uncomfortably real-looking Marais. In fact, there’s auto now well-known histoire that marlène Dietrich, au seeing the shimmering prince, dubbed “where is ma beautiful Beast?” auto technical is turned into poetry here, with Marais’ real-life damgussese mirroring both auto Beast’s internal struggle and the dargousier audiences feel ns seeing auto prince.

With senchaînent playing three various representations du ugliness, Cocteau translates auto magical realism of his world into his characters. Avenant, Belle’s brother, acts ont a living embodiment ns the ugliness ns the inner self juxtaposing with auto exterior. The Beast atelier as année opposite formula à Avenant’s character, if Marais’ final prince serves to remind the audience that Cocteau complicates auto idea of the typical hero and villain. Those more, effacer was Cocteau’s muse et lover, through some using this to read into thé idea de a man hiding a secret, freed only par the puissance of love.

The return of Cocteau’s preoccupation with mirrors as vehicles to différent worlds (that would be explored again in 1950s Orphée) is reminiscent du his id that film are mirrors pour both auto artist that has made them et the viewer watching. V this, La belle et ns Bête becomes not seul a carefully crafted film of poetry, cible also année experience. In every frame et image Cocteau et his cast et crew create layers upon each other, bringing auto pieces of broken glass ensemble in order to form a mirror v which the public can traverse into.

Like auto shadow that greets Belle’s father at thé Beast’s castle jaune the personified candelabras et fireplaces that haunt thé film, La beau et la Bête is a film that combines thé human et the non-human, the real and the magic, and poetry et film. Ultimately, Cocteau’s film is comparatif to the film that follow it. Instead, that a story, a film, a poem, the exists in its own right; something that is recreated again and again, ont seen through its affecter on brian Fuller’s Hannibal, jaune Philip Glass’ opéra interpretation ns the film.


Belle explores the many mysteries ns the Beast’s lock upon first entry. Elle finds high-ceilinged rooms, luxuriously decorated to compensate parce que le the sense ns emptiness present as if auto objects have the right to reflect thé emotion du the Beast. Elle also finds thé magic mirror, her ill father being sa reflection. However, auto most impressive part du the succession is no what beau discovers, cible instead what happens to her upon her discovery. Oui she travel from room to room, instead ns walking elle instead appears to be floating. This hovering sequence culminates when belle is in the Beast’s hallway. Sa feet are éteindre the floor yet elle still moves, with thé floating curtains both recalling thé idea ns a spectre and foreshadowing auto cloth-as-theatre imagery Cocteau uses later on in the film upon Belle’s arrival back home. Ont she moves, it’s ambiguous oui to what ce is the is moving her ‐ elle free will, or what lies in thé castle. Je vous demande pardon is clear, however, is that this is what cette feels like to watch La belle et les Bête, jaune any Cocteau film.

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It’s not apparent whether the you, auto viewer, who in control or Cocteau, but that doesn’t matter. Je vous demande pardon does matter is the sense of magic et poetry the lures you in.