Tag Archives: La Belle et la Bete

Flashback Friday-Beauty And The Beast (1946)

Many of us know have seen at least once the 1991 Disney adaptation of Beauty And the Beast.

But there is another Beauty And The Beast movie (based on the original fairy tale), which to me, is a far better movie.

In 1946, La Belle Et La Bete (translated to Beauty And The Beast in English) was released.

Belle (Josette Day) is the youngest daughter of a once wealthy merchant who lost his fortune when the ships carrying his cargo drowned. While her siblings keep spending money that they do not have, Belle has taken on the role of family servant.  Avenant (Jean Marais) is a friend of Belle’s brother, who would like nothing more than to marry Belle. But she is uninterested in him.

While crossing through a dark forest at night, Belle’s father is welcomed into a castle the seems empty. On his way out, he steals a rose, an act which angers the beast (also Jean Marais) that owns the castle.  Belle’s father has two options: sacrifice his life or send one of his daughters in his stead. Taking her father’s place, Belle rides to the Beast’s castle, not knowing what or who is waiting for her.

Unlike the Disney movie, which is a bit simple (I love that movie, but it’s oversimplified in terms of character), this movie is full of psychological symbolism and not for young children. One of the most fascinating elements of this movie is not the movie, but what was going on in the world at the time. This movie was released just after World War II, when Europe was relying on the Marshall Plan to help rebuild from the destruction that the war created.

I highly recommend this movie.

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Scar

*This is not based on the Disney Beauty And The Beast. This is an extension of a scene from the Belle E La Beite play that was performed at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music last year.

*Rated M for mature content.

Scar

It was bound to happen. Despite their short acquaintance, they understood each other. He understood her loneliness; she understood his need for acceptance.

“A scar for a scar”

That was the moment they bonded. Life has not been kind to them.

But it was that first kiss that sealed their fate.

The moment her fingers grazed his cheek was the moment he was lost.

He had wanted to kiss her since the moment they met. He saw his former self, the handsome façade that he once prized, visiting her bed. The night she drank too much of the tea and lay in the guest bedroom, he opened the robe he lent her. As his lips grazed her abdomen, he knew that he could have done with her whatever he wanted. There was no one to stop him. But he couldn’t do it.

She was not a virgin, she lost her virginity to a high school boyfriend that she wanted to forget. She wanted to forget all of them. The father who abandoned her long ago, the previous boyfriends who returned her heart back to her in pieces. The feelings he brought to the surface; the anxiety, the questions if she was as attracted to him as her heart said she was. It had been a very long time since anyone had stirred such feelings in her.

She was in his arms, returning his kiss. He wanted to kiss every inch of her, to love her as she deserved to be loved.

She shucked off the brown trench coat, giving him access to her neck and shoulders. She melted into him as his lips blazed a trail down her neck and shoulders before turning her around again, falling to his knees, licking her breasts and pinching the nipples through the dress.

Pulling him to his feet, she undid the buttons of his shirt.

“You don’t have to” he stopped her.

“I want to see all of you” she kissed him again, continuing to unbutton his shirt.

When she finished with his shirt, she pulled off her dress.

“You’re beautiful”.

“What are you waiting for?”.

They were in each other’s arms once more and somehow made their way to his bed.

It would become a memorable evening that would forever affect the rest of their lives.

 

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A Scar For A Scar- Simple Yet Perfect

This weekend, I bought ticket to a limited run of Lemieux and Pilon’s La Belle et la Bete at  BAM.

It ran only three performances, but if this production comes to a theater near you, I highly reccomend it.

There have been numerous adaptations of Beauty and The Beast over the years, most famously, the Disney movie from the early 90’s.

But none as simple and powerful at this adaptation.

Stripped down to a 90 minute three act play with only three characters on a nearly empty stage, the special effects assist the story and the actors without overwhelming them.

The thing that makes this adaptation so memorable is that a single line in the play is all you need to know about the lead characters “A scar for a scar”.

Stripped of the 16th century trappings of the original story and the Disneyfied singing and dancing household objects, Beauty and Beast is a very simple, beautiful and timeless tale. It is the tale of two people, who have been knocked down by life, who feel like outsiders, who each bear scars from their pasts. Through their interactions with each other, they begin to heal, accept themselves and find the internal peace they have been searching for.

I wish it had a longer run, but I am glad I had a chance to see it this weekend. I would most certainly see it again if it came to my area.

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