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Beauty and the Beast; Histoire(s) du cinéma

Directed by Jean Cocteau with Jean Marais, Josette Day, Marcel André



1946, France Jean Cocteau's classic remains one of the cinema's most enchanting and sensuous excursions into the realm of poetic fantasy. It is the story of Belle (Day), who, in order to save her father, agrees to live with the hideous Beast (Marais). Slowly, Belle grows to feel some emotion for the Beast, and her love transforms him. With its superb cinematography by Henri Alekan, splendid makeup creations, and fantastic sets, Beauty and the Beast is a feast for the fairy-tale faithful. But Cocteau reverses the happy ending by making the Beast's transformation a cause for regret. "My aim," he said, "would be to make the Beast so human, so sympathetic, so superior to men, that his transformation into Prince Charming would come as a terrible blow to Beauty, condemning her to a humdrum marriage and a future that is summed up in that last sentence of all fairy tales: 'And they had many children.'" (Adapted from Pacific Film Archive program notes)

“One of the most magical of all films. Before the days of computer effects and modern creature makeup, here is a fantasy alive with trick shots and astonishing effects, giving us a Beast who is lonely like a man and misunderstood like an animal.” –Roger Ebert

Followed by:

Histoire(s) du cinéma: Fatale beauté
(Directed by Jean-Luc Godard, BetaSP, color, 28 minutes)
1997, FranceGodard describes the fourth part of his magisterial reflection on the history of cinema as a brief study motivated by the idea “that cinema is mostly boys filming girls[,] and it is proved fatal to this story.”


Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Feb. 18 @ 7pm
Feb. 19 @ 7pm

Bright Family Screening Room



$10. $7.50 for Members. $5 for Students.



Running Time:

93 minutes


Black and white, 35mm
French with English subtitles

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