Friday, August 12, 2011
La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast) (1946)
FRANCE --- fantasy
Dir: Jean Cocteau
I have grew up thinking "La Belle et la Bête" was another Charles Perrault or Grimm Brothers fairy tale, because it bore some resemblance to many other famous fairy tales, however it may have been inspired by those but is a fresh work on its own. Though Jean Cocteau borrowed the evil sisters directly from Cinderella, as the original tale had two brothers. Jean Cocteau's visionary masterpiece took unique practical effects to create a world where one can truly believe in magic and the triumph of love. Cocteau succeeds in correctly contrasting the sunny yet drudgery-soaked real world full of bickering, back-stabbing sisters a father at the end of his rope, and a vain suitor who seems to mean well, but can't really offer Belle the true escape she deserves. It's a story that has gone on to inspire countless other classic tales such as "Hunchback of Notre Dame", "Phantom of the Opera", and of course "King Kong".