Brilliant fairytale fantasy, well ahead of It's time. Vampires is not the first time opera and film merged to create a truly modern viewing experience!Cocteau-favourite Marais, in turn, achieves a sort of tormented magnificence as the manimal of the title, although he fails to match it in his secondary roles as the foolish and overbearing wastrel Avenant and the smarmy prince.
Join Arizona Opera as we screen Jean Cocteau’s classic film La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast) with an updated, fully synced soundtrack by Philip Glass.
The old merchant bids his lovely daughters adieu and departs with an assistant on a business trip.
Marvellous surreal effects live on the minds eye long after the lights go up: the beasts smoking paws; a living mantelpiece; the billowing white drapes as Belle is carried along a castle corridor, seemingly without moving her feet; and ethereal human arms brandishing candelabra.
Cocteau uses wispy strands of lighting to magical effect and, to his credit, never attempts to fashion anything but a fairytale, inducing a childlike wonder rather than some cerebral reaction the subtitles are of a limited nature.
Even the warm comedy of the sleeping footmen in the farmyard and Belles spiteful sisters bickering still rings true.
Years have not dulled the lustre of this classic, the impact of a big screen viewing is nothing short of astonishing.
After riding for a long distance through the forest the two travelers suddenly realize that they have lost their way.
So, dismounting, they walk first in one direction and then in another in an effort to find the path which leads back to the village, and while they are thus exploring they come upon a beautiful garden in a remote part of the wood, where they sit down for a while to rest.
As I've seen only a fragment of this movie -- a fragment from the beginning, before the magic begins -- I shan't give it a rating.