Beautiful Beast: On Jean Cocteau's 'La Belle et la Bête'

Episode 96 · April 14th, 2021 · 1 hr 20 mins

About this Episode

Jean Cocteau's visionary rendition of Madame de Beaumont's fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast," itself the retelling of a story that may be several millennia old, is the topic of this Weird Studies episode, which proposes a journey down lunar paths to the crossroads where love and death intersect. Drawing on Surrealism, myth, and the occult, Cocteau's 1946 film transcends the limitations of media to become a living poem, a thing that is also a place, a place that is also a mind. This conversation touches on the genius of the child, the mysteries of Eros, the monstrosity of consciousness, and the sorcery of cinema.

Photo by Ivan Jevtic on Unsplash

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Jean Cocteau (dir.), La Belle et la Bête

Jaques Maritain, Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry
Sergei Diaghilev, Russian impresario
Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise (dir.), Beauty and the Beast
David Thomson, Have You Seen?
Bram Stoker, Dracula
Johannes Vermeer, Dutch painter
Philip Glass, La Belle et la Bête (opera)
Game of Thrones, Television series
Weird Studies, Episode 84 on the Empress Card
Weird Studies, Episode 94 on the Moon Card