Jean Marais, a young, obscure, strikingly handsome actor, became Jean Cocteau’s protégé and lover in 1937, and it was Marais who persuaded the opium-addicted poet to detox and take up the cinema again after a 15-year hiatus. In this imaginative and eternally popular version of the fairy tale, Marais is an uncommonly appealing Beast (Greta Garbo reportedly said after seeing the film, "Give me back my Beast!"), and Josette Day a suitably enchanting Beauty. Henri Alekan’s lustrous cinematography fulfills Cocteau’s directive to give the film "the soft gleam of hand-polished old silver." In French with English subtitles. Newly restored 35mm print. (MR)
Beauty and the Beast
La Belle et la Bête
1946, Jean Cocteau, France, 95 min. With Jean Marais, Josette Day.
★★★★ "One of the most magical of all films." – Roger Ebert
"Ravishing ... a recent restoration offering an opportunity to rediscover its undimmed pictorial splendor." – Kristin M. Jones, Wall Street Journal
APRIL 11: The 6:00 pm is a Movie Club event facilitated by critic Patrick McDonald. Patrick McDonald has been a film critic and entertainment writer for for eight years, and currently appears on HollywoodChicago.com and Film Autonomy.com. He has been chief tour guide for the Chicago Film Tour for seven seasons, and is a member of the Chicago Film Critics association.
2015, Paddy Breathnach, Ireland/Cuba, 100 min. With Héctor Medina, Jorge Perugorría.
"A genuine crowd-pleaser…packs an emotional wallop." — Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter
"Uncovers an authentic Cuba…sensational." — Gary M. Kramer, Indiewire
Irish talent behind the camera and Cuban talent on screen make for a powerfully potent combination in this emotional coming-of-age drama in which a young gay man struggles toward his dream of becoming a show-lounge diva. Short-listed for an Oscar nomination, VIVA highlights vibrant musical numbers and the colorful diversity of Havana’s inner city as Jesus (Medina), neighborhood hairdresser by day, wig-wrangler for the drag queens he idolizes by night, faces the challenge of his life when ex-con Angel (Perugorría), the brutal father he never knew, reappears. Executive-produced by Benicio del Toro. In Spanish with English subtitles. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. DCP digital widescreen. (BS)
MARCH 13 & 14: Screenwriter Mark O’Halloran (ADAM & PAUL, GARAGE), will be present for audience discussion at both screenings. The 6:00 pm screening on Monday is a Movie Club event.