In the eye of the beholder
Beauty and the Beast , Jean Cocteau’s 1946 magical retelling of an 18th-century fairy tale, is the French director’s most accessible film. It tells the story, using a variety of surrealistic effects, of the long-suffering Beast (Jean Marais) and his love for the beautiful Belle (Josette Day). Its background score, by Cocteau’s friend Georges Auric, provides an evocative underpinning for a story that has inspired several composers through the years. The film opens at the Jean Cocteau Cinema on Friday, Feb. 13. On the cover is a poster for the film by Paul Davis; image courtesy Janus Films/Jean Cocteau Cinema.