(5/4/03 8:19 am)
I'm new, and Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast|
First off, I wanted to introduce myself. I'm Madeline (or Flourish, if you like); I'm a high school student in California with the ultimate goal of being a professional writer. Fairy tales have always been a passion of mine; my favorites are Beauty and the Beast and Tam Lin.
I searched the boards, and couldn't find anything on Cocteau's version of Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bete). I saw it for the first time yesterday and loved it, not only for the cinematic elements but also simply the interpretation. The only thing I could have wished was the inclusion of the dream sequences - but I suppose it wouldn't have fit as well with the theme he was espousing. I haven't had a chance to read the Beaumont version of the story, which Cocteau's is based on - was the idea of the five keys to the Beast's power in the Beaumont version, or did Cocteau think of it?
Something that struck me while watching Cocteau's version is how much the tale has changed over time. Originally the theme of the fairy tale seems to prod young girls to make the best of an arranged marriage. Cocteau's, made right after WWII, addresses the idea that some men are handsome outwardly but beastly within. The Disney version, which I thought was a fairly good rendition of it, makes Beauty into a more intelligent character (rather than simply being beautiful and kind, she's also smart) - in fact, the Disney version is what got me interested in fairy tales; I was very young when it first came out, but even then I related to Beauty well. If I had seen something with a theme more like Cocteau's or Villaneuve's, I probably wouldn't have been so intrigued.
Just some thoughts...