La belle et la bête (1947)
Director Jean Cocteau’s mystical and visually arresting film version of the classic Beauty and the Beast story line proves to be even more timeless than Disney’s popular adaptation. Relying primarily on his stunning visuals and tableaus to tell the story, Cocteau communicates in a universal language the conflict, love, and heartbreak of the unforgettable fairy tale. Get swept away by Cocteau’s vision by experiencing the classic on the big screen in ArtsEmerson’s film series this month.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
No list, of course, would be complete without mentioning the version of Beauty and the Beast that translated the tale on to the modern generation. As usual, Disney took plenty of artistic license when adapting the story into a new animated screen version, but they still managed to keep the romance, didactic qualities, and heart of the original story. The version was respected enough to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture—the first animated film to do so. Disney has fashioned a contemporary classic that can never be re-visited too often.
No Such Thing (2001)
A Monster has been loosed in Iceland, killing anything or anyone who crosses his path and angers him. A young journalist—whose fiancée has gone missing and is suspected to have been killed by the Monster— is sent to report on the Monster’s activities and track him down once his has retreated. Of course, things can’t be that easy. Soon she meets the Monster face to face and begins to form a relationship with him. The questionably contemporary setting is bolstered by a heavy-weight cast including Sarah Polley, Helen Mirren, and Julie Christie.