2016 House Programs La Belle et La Bête - Page 5

For me Cocteau has always been an artist whose work was central to the “ modern ” art movement of the 20th Century . More than any other artist of his time , he again and again addressed questions of art , immortality and the creative process , making them subjects of his work . In his day , it seems that this was not well understood and , at times , he was not fully appreciated . He was even dismissed by some critics of his work as a talented dilettante who never finally settled on one medium to express himself . And , in fact he worked successfully as a novelist , playwright , artist and filmmaker . However , to me the focus of this work — the creative process itself — has always been clear . And it was equally clear that he was using thee various art forms to illuminate his chosen subject from as many angles as possible .
As far as film is concerned , Orphée , La Belle et la Bête and an earlier Cocteau film , Blood of a Poet are all extremely thoughtful and subtle reflections of the life of an artist . Of these three
La Belle et la Bête is the most openly allegorical in style . Presented as a simple fairy tale , it soon became clear that the film has taken on a broader and deeper subject — the very nature of the creative process . Once we begin to see the film in this way , it becomes hard to see the journey of the Father to the Chateau itself in the opening moments of the film as anything other than the journey of the artist into his “ unconscious .” The Chateau itself is then seen as the very site of the creative process where , through an extraordinary alchemy of the spirit , the ordinary world of imagination takes flight ( as seen quite literally in the last moment of the film ).
Perhaps for this reason , La Belle et la Bête has always been for me the most compelling of Cocteau ’ s films . This work more than any other , expresses the profundity of his thoughts and the eloquence of his artistic vision .
►► Philip Glass , 1994
For me Cocteau has always been an artist whose work was central to the “modern” art movement of the 20th Century. More than any other artist of his time, he again and again addressed questions of art, immortality and the creative process, making them subjects of his work. In his day, it seems that this was not well understood and, at times, he was not fully appreciated. He was even dismissed by some critics of his work as a talented dilettante who never finally settled on one medium to express himself. And, in fact he worked successfully as a novelist, playwright, artist and filmmaker. However, to me the focus of this ܚ%BܙX]]H\][%\[^\Y[X\[]\\]X[HX\]H\\[YH\[\\ܛ\[[Z[]H\XH\X[H[\\XK\\\[H\ۘ\Y ܜ0YKH[H]HH[[X\Y\X]H[KوB]\H[^[Y[HY[[XBYX[ۜوHYHو[\\ و\HYBH[H]HH\H[[H[YܚX[[[K\[Y\H[\HZ\H[K]ۈX[YHX\]H[H\Z[ۂHY\[Y\\XX8%H\H]\BوHܙX]]H\ˈۘHHY[YBH[H[\^K]XY\\YHB\^HوH]\H]X]H][[H[[[وH[H\[][›\[H\^HوH\\[\¸'[ۜ[\˸'HH]X]H][\[Y[\H\H]HوHܙX]]H\\KY[^[ܙ[\H[[^HوH\] Hܙ[\Hܛو[XY[][ۈZ\Y\Y[]Z]H]\[H[H\[قH[JK\\܈\X\ۋH[H]HH\˜[^\Y[܈YHH[\[[قX]x&\[\ˈ\ܚ[ܙH[[H\^\\Hٝ[]Hو\Y[H[]Y[Hو\\\X\[ۋ[\\ NNM