Beauty and the Beast

So, next we are talking about Beauty and the Beast. and we watched Jean Cocteau’s 1946 version. It it a lovely film, but another one I haven’t seen. I read the fairytale as a child, but my connection with the story really comes from Disney’s version which is so obviously inspired by the French film.  The most poignant difference for me between the Beasts and the Beauties is twofold; Beast’s rage, and Beauty’s thirst for story. In the Disney version, Beauty longs for transformation, and searches (rightly so) for that tranformation in story, through her obsession with stories. Belle has her “nose in a book” throughout the whole film. Beast also longs for transformation, but unlike the sweet feminine yearning of Belle, he is full of rage. Disney films are, to my mind, the single most clear reflection of what has been called our collective dream.

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