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Monday, June 20, 2016

La Belle et la Bête - Beauty and the Beast (1946)

La Belle et la Bête (1946) 
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Beauty and the Beast (1946)
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La Belle et La Bête (Beauty and the Beast, 1946) by quicheisinsane, via Flickr:
Beauty and the Beast (French: La Belle et la Bête) is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. Starring Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais, it is an adaptation of the 1757 fairy tale of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and published as part of a fairy tale anthology.
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The plot of Cocteau's film revolves around Belle's father who is sentenced to death for picking a rose from Beast's garden. Belle offers to go back to the Beast in her father's place. Beast falls in love with her and proposes marriage on a nightly basis which she refuses. Belle eventually becomes more drawn to Beast, who tests her by letting her return home to her family and telling her that if she doesn't return to him within a week, he will die of grief.
Beauty and the Beast is now recognized as a classic of French cinema.
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Extrait

A l'occasion de la restauration en 4K de la Belle et la Bête par SNC, découvrez un extrait du film restauré. Le chef d'œuvre de notre enfance ressortira au cinéma le 25 septembre. Jean Cocteau le réalisateur s'entoure de Jean Marais et de Josette Day.
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Directed by     Jean Cocteau
Produced by     André Paulvé
Screenplay by     Jean Cocteau
Based on     Beauty and the Beast
by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont

Starring:
Jean Marais as La Bête (The Beast) / The Prince / Avenant
Josette Day as Belle
Mila Parély as Félicie
Nane Germon as Adélaïde
Michel Auclair as Ludovic
Raoul Marco as The Usurer
Marcel André as Belle's Father

 
Cinematography     Henri Alekan
Edited by     Claude Iberia

Release dates  29 October 1946
Running time      93 minutes
Country     France

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L'élaboration du film
Juste après la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, Jean Marais a proposé à Jean Cocteau de faire un film qui se baserait sur deux œuvres du XVIIe siècle et XVIIIe siècle. L'une, dont le titre et la majeure partie du contenu narratif, est le conte de fées de Madame Leprince de Beaumont, publié pour la première fois dans l'anthologie Le Magasin des Enfants, ou Dialogues entre une sage gouvernante et ses élèves à Londres en 1757 et que Cocteau avait déjà pensé avant la guerre à adapter pour le théâtre ou pour un pantomime. La seconde source narrative du film est aussi un conte de fées : La Chatte blanche de Madame Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy, publié quelque soixante ans auparavant dans une des premières anthologies du genre des Kunstmärchen (contes littéraires) imprimées en France : Les Contes des Fées, Paris, 1697-1698. De ce conte, un seul motif évocateur se trouve dans le film : les domestiques, ayant été transformés par magie, en sont réduits à leur seuls bras et mains, encore prêts à servir.

Cocteau a trouvé l'idée excellente : non seulement elle coïncidait avec les rêves qu'il avait eus dans son enfance, mais elle lui offrait une nouvelle possibilité cinématographique : mettre en scène des contes de fées. À première vue ce film est différent du précédent pour lequel Cocteau avait écrit le script et qu'il avait dirigé, mais tous les deux travaillent sur des mythes et créent une ambiance d'une beauté qui dérange. Dans son esprit le film reste fidèle à ces deux contes de fées mentionnées, mais la mise en image est de Cocteau et de personne d'autre. Il a ouvert une voie qu'emprunteront après lui des metteurs en scène, comme Ingmar Bergman, François Truffaut et Vincente Minnelli. L'œuvre d'Alexandre Arnoux, La belle et la bête, pièce de théâtre publiée en 1913 en Belgique, aurait aussi inspiré ce film3. L'intrigue du film est plus proche de cette pièce que du conte original, notamment dans la mise en situation de l'intrigue, l'absence de la fée, etc.

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Cocteau devait initialement cosigner le film avec Marcel Pagnol et s'était associé à la Gaumont qui se désengagea en 1944 alors que Pagnol avait rompu son contrat car il venait de quitter sa compagne Josette Day, rôle principal du film, pour l'actrice Jacqueline Bouvier.
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Le maquillage de la bête
Au départ, Jean Marais avait pensé à une tête de cerf. Il semble qu'en faisant cette proposition, il se souvenait d'un détail dans La Chatte blanche, où le heurtoir à la porte du château magique de la Chatte Blanche/la princesse est en forme d'un pied de biche ou chevrette. Cette proposition suivait les lignes narratives de ce conte de fées, et aurait eu évoqué aussi de loin le mythe de Cernunnos, dieu celtique des bois à tête de cerf ; mais Jean Cocteau pensait que les spectateurs trouveraient une telle tête ridicule pour une bête féroce et dangereuse. Moulouk, le chien de Jean Marais servit de modèle pour le visage de la bête.

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Il fallait environ trois heures pour fixer le masque de la bête, et une heure pour chaque griffe. Les dents du monstre étaient accrochées à celles de l'acteur par de petits crochets, ce qui n'était pas très pratique pour manger. La "bête carnivore" se nourrissait donc essentiellement de nourriture en bouillie (on peut lire ces témoignages de Jean Marais dans l'autobiographie qu'il a rédigée).
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Upon the film's December 1947 New York City release, critic Bosley Crowther called the film a "priceless fabric of subtle images, ...a fabric of gorgeous visual metaphors, of undulating movements and rhythmic pace, of hypnotic sounds and music, of casually congealing ideas"; according to Crowther, "the dialogue, in French, is spare and simple, with the story largely told in pantomime, and the music of Georges Auric accompanies the dreamy, fitful moods. 
The settings are likewise expressive, many of the exteriors having been filmed for rare architectural vignettes at Raray, one of the most beautiful palaces and parks in all France. And the costumes, too, by Christian Bérard and Escoffier, are exquisite affairs, glittering and imaginative." 
According to Time magazine, the film is a "wondrous spectacle for children of any language, and quite a treat for their parents, too"; but the magazine concludes "Cocteau makes about a half-hour too much of a good thing—and few things pall like a dream that cannot be shaken off."
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In 1999 Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert added the film to his The Great Movies list, calling it "one of the most magical of all films" and a "fantasy alive with trick shots and astonishing effects, giving us a Beast who is lonely like a man and misunderstood like an animal." 

A 2002 Village Voice review found the film's "visual opulence" "both appealing and problematic", saying "Full of baroque interiors, elegant costumes, and overwrought jewelry (even tears turn to diamonds), the film is all surface, and undermines its own don't-trust-a-pretty-face and anti-greed themes at every turn." 

In 2010, the film was ranked #26 in Empire magazine's "100 Best Films of World Cinema".
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  • American singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks wrote her 1983 ballad "Beauty and the Beast" after screening the film for the second time. While playing the song in concert, the film plays on the screen behind her and the band.
  • The fourteenth episode of Faerie Tale Theatre, broadcast in August 1984, featured an adaptation of Beauty And The Beast which was an homage to this film. It borrowed many visual elements, including the makeup for the beast, along with segments of the dialogue translated from French into English. It featured Susan Sarandon as Belle and Klaus Kinski as the Beast.
  • In 1994, composer Philip Glass created an opera version — also called La Belle et la Bête — one of a "Cocteau Trilogy" of operas. In its initial incarnation the musicians and singers would perform the work on stage with a restored, newly subtitled print of the film playing on a screen behind them. In the original presentation, Belle was sung by the mezzo-soprano Janice Felty. (The current Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-ray release offers the ability to view the movie while listening to either Glass's score or the original soundtrack.)
  • The 2003 American miniseries Angels in America features a dream sequence which duplicates the set design of the Beast's castle. A character is shown reading a book about Cocteau before the dream begins.
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La visite de la collection permanente nous a amené à parler du chef d'oeuvre cinématographique de Jean COCTEAU : 
"La Belle & La Bête". 
La Cinémathèque Française met à disposition sur ce film un magnifique dossier, que les élèves en déco ne devraient pas bouder  http://www.cinematheque.fr/journalcocteau/


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Artist Garip Ay Recreates Van Gogh Paintings On Water

Garip Ay
Recreates Iconic Van Gogh Paintings

On Water

Lee Moran  -  06/19/2016

Garip Ay then just swirls his mesmerizing artwork away



Garip Ay’s masterpieces sometimes last only seconds. But thanks to the internet, they can now be remembered forever.


The Turkish artist painstakingly recreates two of Vincent van Gogh’s iconic pieces on water, in a video has now been seen more than 25 million times:

Ay uses the ancient Ebru technique, also known as paper marbling, to first reimagine the Dutch post-impressionist’s masterpiece “The Starry Night.”

After mixing carrageenan, a thickening substance, into a bowl of water, he drops different colored oils onto the liquid and manipulates it with a thin metal rod to create the image.

Within minutes, he’s finished his first piece — but then just swirls it all away:

Starting again from scratch, Ay then uses exactly the same method to recreate one of the painter’s best-known self-portraits.

Slowly but surely, the well-known image develops before the viewers’ eyes:


But after completing this piece, Ay decides that he does want a permanent, physical record of this effort.

So this time, remaining faithful to the traditional art of Ebru, he places paper over the water and waits for the glorious image to be transferred.


Ay told ABC News that the entire process took around 20 minutes, and that it was one of his most complicated projects yet because “the water, in addition to being thickened by carrageenan powder, was colored black for this project.”

He now plans to use the same approach to reimagine other famous painters’ works. I want to do more to pay homage to the great artists who have inspired me and whose vision I feel I understand, just as I have done with my recent tribute to van Gogh,” he told CNN.

Ay uses the Ebru technique to magnificent effect. For instance, in this equally mesmerizing video, he creates and then rubs out a host of animals, characters and scenes.




Other artists around the world have recreated “The Starry Night,” which van Gogh painted in 1889 and which now hangs in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, in equally fascinating ways. 


Microbiologist Melanie Sullivan
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YouTuber FlippyCat



Hardware store owner David Goldberg
reimagined the famous piece with 1,250 doorknobs.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Meditation Classes at Primary School Children in Berkshire

Meditation Classes
BBC South Today
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Hundreds of primary school children in Berkshire have had meditation classes introduced into their timetables.
As Nikki Mitchell reports, the ‘mindfulness’ teaching aims to help them manage their own behaviour and anxieties, and improve their concentration
The 'mindfulness’ teaching aims to help them manage their own behaviour and anxieties, and improve their concentration and listening skills. 



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Guided Meditations for Children
Enchanted Forest


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How to Meditate