Skip to main content

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (PG)

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

Director: Jean Cocteau

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (PG)

"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

See also...

Blood of a Poet

Le Sang d'Un Poete was commissioned by Vicomte dc Noailles, an enterprising patron of the twenties who also provided the money for L'Age d'Or. Never, perhaps has any other man produced two such ... More »

ORPHEUS

There is a story that in 1912 Diaghilev said to Jean Cocteau in a half serious mood, “Etonne-moi” (Astonish me) - and for the last forty years Cocteau has never ceased to surprise his ... More »

GUMMO

"No conceivable competition will match the sourness, cynicism and pretension of Mr. Korine's debut feature." - New York Times ... From the controversy and brutal honesty of Kids to the freak-show ... More »

THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND (M)

"The people in Fred Schepisi's The Devil's Playground are like sculpted figures that glow with their own light." - New Yorker ... The Devil's Playground revolves around Tom Allen, a 13-year-old boy ... More »

CLASS RELATIONS

The existential dilemma of Kafka's Amerika re-imagined as an insight into class struggle. ... The dark and poetic visions of Czech writer and unlikely national hero Franz Kafka have often lent ... More »

BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE (M)

"Beautifully directed, unsentimental and darkly funny." - Time Out London ... Bong Joon-ho (Mother, MIFF 2009; The Host, MIFF 2006), a true creative and commercial giant of South Korean cinema, made ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director