Tuesday, March 25, 2014

La Belle et la Bête

I've always been a fan of "Beauty and the Beast" of which we all know the famous nineties Disney adaptation.
Beauty and the Beast (French: La Belle et la Bête) is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film adaptation of the traditional fairy tale of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and published in 1757 as part of a fairy tale anthology. Directed by French poet and filmmakerJean Cocteau, the film stars Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais.
This film adaptation of La Belle et la Bete adds a subplot involving Belle's suitor Avenant (a friend of her brother), who schemes along with Belle's brother and sisters to journey to Beast's castle to kill him and capture his riches while the sisters work to delay Belle's return to the castle. When Avenant enters the magic pavilion which is the source of Beast's power, he is struck by an arrow fired by a guardian statue of the Roman goddess Diana, which transforms Avenant into Beast as Belle declares her love for the Beast and reverses the original Beast's curse. When the Beast comes back to life and becomes human at the end, he transforms into a Prince Charming with Avenant's handsome features, but without his oafish personality (wikipedia).
There' a rather interesting read in journal form about the shooting of the movie, the problems they encountered filming in a post-war Europe, ... here.

Beauty (Josette Day) and the Beast (Jean Marais) - 1946 version

This Saturday (22nd) I decided to go see the 2014 French movie remake, directed by Christope Gans.
The moderen version is difficult to compare with its 1946 counterpart ... Both versions try to stick to the book where Disney has a really loose interpretation of the story.
Although the actual film is in French I really enjoyed looking at it!
Everything was pure eye candy ... the costumes (Léa wears four beautifull robes in this film, created by Pierre-Yves Gayraud who also designed costumes for other known films like Cloud Atlas, Albert Nobbs, The Three Musketeers, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, The Bourne Identity, ...), the jewellery, the decor(ation)s, the settings and everything else ... I really thought it a pitty when finished (it's almost 2 hours long :-).
You also get to know a little bit more about the story of the beast: why he has been cursed and who turned him into beast. The only two critics I have is (a) the lack of chemistry between both characters - even at the end I don't have the idea that they are soooo much in love and that they can't live without each other and (b) the Beast's features and voice which could've been more ferocious (now it's only a big cat meowing and not a predator).
Anyhow ... here's the candy part: pictures and trailers (in French).

Belle (Léa Seydoux) et la Bête (Vincent Cassel)

Hope you enjoyed reading about the story and looking at the trailers!

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