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France, 1946 (MIFF 2011, MIFF 60th Retrospective)

Director: Jean Cocteau


"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time." - Jean Cocteau

Screening at the very first MIFF in 1952, Beauty and the Beast comes from one of the finest exponents of the avant-garde that France has ever seen, the prodigiously talented Jean Cocteau. It is a marvel of filmmaking, a surrealist masterwork that revels in the possibilities opened up by the moving image.

A children's fairytale transformed into haunting post-World War II allegory, Cocteau's vision of Beauty and the Beast is readily familiar yet deeply strange. Woven through with Dali-esque imagery, Freudian undercurrents and a lingering obsession with death, Cocteau painted a world both beautiful and perverse, a glittering phantasm of fevered love and the everpresent hope of redemption.

D Jean Cocteau P André Paulvé S Jean Cocteau, Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont WS SND L French w/English subtitles TD 35mm/1946

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