La Belle et la Bête (1946)

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

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Re: La Belle et la Bête (1946)

#51 Post by Orlac » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:39 am

I got no response, but the disc turned up today.

Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:47 am

Re: La Belle et la Bête (1946)

#52 Post by ethel » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:07 am

Watching the interesting range of extras on this release, I was struck by a few things:

* again a special package is marred by inadequate subtitling. Repeatedly “tirage” (referring, in context, to various reference prints used for guidance on restoration decisions) is translated as “cutting”. Who knows why? It reduces the restoration discussion to gibberish. Was there no one at the BFI who spotted this stuff? There are crucial mistranslations of technical and artistic terms. Other mysteries include repeated references to Cocteau’s important friendship with someone only called “Hugo”. Again, no idea. The Cocteau-Berard feature mentions Georges Hugnet, a close friend and storyboarder. Same person? I dunno. Does anyone?

* the deleted scene is extraordinary. A fully cut and scored scene featuring the ostensibly macho Jean Marais and Michel Auclair camping it up at considerable length while impersonating Beauty’s cruel sisters. The story pretext, that they are trying to entice a rich merchant to marry one of the sisters and provide the family with more cash, seems thin to a practised eye. No context is given on this deletion or the two brief audio cuts. An opportunity missed...

* ... as was the studied avoidance of any gay context. Of Cocteau! Pierre Berge’, then head of the Cocteau Committee and life partner of Yves Saint Laurent, is permitted a single mention of the gay milieu which actor-manager Louis Jouvet initially found offputting. Then we just get stuff about how Jean Marais had a fervent female following and had allegedly had a previous affair with the actress playing one of Beauty’s sisters. His long affair with Jean Cocteau goes unmentioned! I can’t really see why Cocteau should be shoved back in the closet by the BFI. Historically, the French have customarily soft pedalled such realities about their artistic lions, but in the 21st century this is completely unacceptable.

An interesting package which, like Cohen’s LES PARENTS TERRIBLES, mars a truly spectacular film with avoidable sloppiness.

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