Songs of Notre Dame de Paris Part 13

Lune (Moon)

Gingoire lune Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Gingoire and the moon

Lune is gorgeous. If you don’t believe that a Gringoire can sing then this knocks it out the park.

Gringoire sings this song as a storyteller and it about the dangers and the all consuming nature of love. Gringoire ask the moon to bare witness to Quasimodo who suffers from love.

There is so much power and pathos in this song. The melody is delicate and melancholic. It’s perfect!

Je te laisse un sifflet (I leave you a whistle)

Garou as  Quasimodo and Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo and Helene Segara as Esmeralda

Two words; Chekov’s Gun! If you introduced a prop, you better damn use it or why bother. This song is the biggest misstep in the show. In this song Quasimodo gives Esmeralda a whistle much like in the book however she never uses it in the show and it is never used ever.

I sort of HAVE to assume that they were songs cut from the show that would have made this song make sense because the transition between Vivre and The Attack on Notre Dame is awful and most of the songs in the show are bridge songs that transition.

They should fixed this song up so that there was no whistle mentioned because it’s stupid. I mean it’s one line that could have been fix as the most of the songs is rather sing-song and Quasimodo just give Esmeralda the load down of the cathedral. But even with that line about the useless whistle, I have no problem saying that this is the worse song in the musical by far.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

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1928 version of The Man who Laughs

Conrad Veidt as Gwynplaine and Mary Philbin as Dea The man who laughs picture image

Conrad Veidt as Gwynplaine and Mary Philbin as Dea

I just finished watching the 1928 The Man Who Laughs. Maybe it’s that I have a low attention span for silent films based on books I don’t really like or maybe it was because I have been on a crazy Modern Family watching binge, either way this movie was work to finish.

I will admit I was a little interested in seeing this movie as Mary Philbin, who was in Phantom, Conrad Veidt who I just saw in another movie recently where he plays a Frolloesque character and Brandon Hurst who played Frollo in the 1923 version. Here Hurst plays the villain again, man he is type-cast as Hugoian villains. So I didn’t not want to watch it but then it started…

Like the book the plot just goes Zoom-By. I still didn’t really get a feeling for any of the characters, in fact we lost Homo’s sensitivity and Ursus’ grumpiness but we didn’t get long histories of the peerage system OR that snow storm as sea scene, so take you pick at which one was better.

Conrad Veidt as Gwynplaine and Olga V. Baklanova as Josiana The man who laughs picture image

Conrad Veidt as Gwynplaine and Olga V. Baklanova as Josiana

Really, the only good thing about this movie is Veidt’s facial or rather eye emotions. The look of Gwynplaine it so otherworldly that is the only thing memorable about anything along with Veidt’s acting. The other people aren’t bad but there isn’t much to go on really.

The ending was a mixed bag too. The lovers live and that is fine, I actually think the ending didn’t make much sense in the book, Hugo just wanted a tragic ending so it was trite but before they can get to the happy ending there is a big dumb chase because silent movies love big dumb chases at the end, ask Phantom of the Opera. And if that wasn’t bad or dumb enough Homo kills Barky. It doesn’t really matter, Barky was a lame villain anyway but still he could have just drown which would have been at least a call back to the book. Also Homo was a dog not a wolf, that isn’t a complaint just a fact, was more likely easier on the production.

Now here are some weird things;

-The lady who played Josiana, Olga V. Baklanova, looked like Madonna, the singer…. good thing they didn’t remake this movie in Madonna’s heyday. Josiana also got a monkey,. Apparently Baklanova’s resemblance to Madonna has been noted by modern critic…… and people on IMBD but if you have eyes you can see it too, it not subtle.
-I don’t know what the heck they did to David’s character. I thought he was suppose to be sophisticated but he acted so derpy in this movie. Was he meant to be a flop?
-This movie is ALL over the place with its costumes and set pieces timeframe. Like it said 17th century (pretty sure), at the start but the costumes range from the 1700s to late Victorian to the 1920’s. They had no idea of what period this story takes place in. But you know that didn’t REALLY bother me but you know what did a little bit, the amusement park rides. This movie has a rides at the 17th century fair. This just looked so out of place.
-as of 2015 there hasn’t been an American remake of this movie and the 1928 movie it is the ONLY American version.
-This version is the basis for the Joker’s look, not a weird thing just awesome…

Basically with the this version of the book the best thing you can say is the make-up and the acting were decent but the rest of it felt moldy. I wish the characters were better developed but then we wouldn’t have gotten that chase scene…….. can’t win…….it’s either a snow storm or a chase.

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Enchanted Review: Shame on you if you missed all the Disney in-jokes

Enchanted picture image

Enchanted

The first time I ever saw the 2007 movie Enchanted, I was on a plane going from Quebec City to Montreal. I’m not sure why they offered in-flight entertainment for a thirty minute flight but I watched like ten or so minutes and I enjoyed it enough to rent it when I got home, ahh the days of rental places. Enchanted is an entertaining enough movie yes but does its message of real life vs fantasy get muddle in Disney-ideals and it’s own tropes? Let’s find out but the answer is yes.

Amy Adams as Giselle with Patrick Dempsey as Robert Enchanted picture image

Amy Adams as Giselle with Patrick Dempsey as Robert

Fair Maiden Giselle, one day meets Prince Edward and they promptly decide to get married the next day, why rush a good thing, right? However Edward’s stepmother Queen Narissa doesn’t want Edward to get married as it would diminish her power so on the wedding dat Narissa pushes Giselle down a fountian waterfall spring thing to a place where happy ever after don’t exist, Manhattan, and not like third world country no, fucking Time Square is where happy ever after don’t exist, like that’s the joke?

Anyway Giselle has a rude awaking but meets Robert and Morgan, father and daughter. Robert doesn’t want Morgan to idealize Princesses and Morgan does. Robert feels this way because Morgan’s mom left for reason. They take Giselle back to their apartment which causes a little fiction with Robert’s girlfriend Nancy. Giselle uses her fairy-Princess super powers to help people with love but Robert teaches Giselle about dating and forming attachments through getting to know a person.

While that is happing Narissa’s henchman, Nathaniel is trying to kill Giselle by poison apple method, Giselle’s chipmunk pal, Pip is trying to help Giselle not to die and Edward is searching for Giselle. Then when Nathaniel fails and Edward finds Giselle, Narissa comes into the fray as she had been previously communicating with Nathaniel through water.

So they all go to a ball where Giselle dons a modern gown. Giselle and Robert dance but then Narissa has Giselle eat a poison apple, Edward’s kiss fails to break the spell but Robert’s does and Nancy and Edward are okay with that. Narissa however turns into a dragon to kill everyone and drags Robert and Giselle up to the roof where Giselle slays her pretty darn easily. So Nancy and Edward go back to the fairy-tale world and get married, Nathaniel and Pip write tell-all-books and Giselle starts a fashion-line because she was good at sewing and I guess her and Robert get married maybe and she become a nice stepmother. Subversive!

Okay before I get into this movie I HAVE to say, with a Queen Stepmother trying to gain control by killing her step-son’s love (who happens to be dealing with a world that is not her own) to maintain her power and she uses water magic, this reminds of a a manga I like, it was almost distracting.

Amy Adams as Giselle Enchanted picture image

Amy Adams as Giselle

Enchanted does some nice things with subverting the Disney tropes however it undermines itself too. First off, yes, Giselle doesn’t just marry her “true love” she gets to know him and the true love thing is grown and somewhat cultivated in a way. Giselle is given more self-awareness however I doubt that Giselle would ever have a problem with Edward as the fairy-tale world or Andalasia as in it’s very existent is being ignorant of problems unless you’re a bad guy. So Giselle is the positive but as other side of that coin is Nancy.

Nancy Tremaine (voice by Idina Menzel) and Prince Edward (voiced by James Marsden) getting married in  Andalasia Enchanted picture image

Nancy Tremaine (voice by Idina Menzel) and Prince Edward (voiced by James Marsden) getting married in Andalasia

Nancy just throws a whole wretch into what the movie was trying to say, life isn’t like a fairy-tale except if you drop everything in your life and run off with a guy you haven’t know for a day and marry him. Seriously, Nancy and Edward get married at the end? Why? Because the screenwriters wanted them to have a happy ending after being dumped? Are we REALLY to believe a woman, who seems like she has a pretty good life would run off with some guy she JUST met and exchange maybe like handful of sentence? Sure, we didn’t REALLY get to know Nancy all that well but she didn’t seem the type who would abandon everything for some guy who spoke somewhat romantically and she REALLY didn’t seem too broken up about Robert leaving her away.

The screenwriters kinda wrote themselves into a corner because either Nancy had to be the fairy-tale princess and leave her world behind or Edward would have needed to stay in New York City which means, Edward would have needed an arc which he did not get. If the movie wasn’t so entertaining this would be a bigger issue since the movie wanted to parody this kind of thing and work against it but it’s ok for side characters to marry people they don’t know, just not the main characters.

Amy Adams as Giselle with James Marsden as Prince Edward  and with Patrick Dempsey as Robert and Rachel Covey as Morgan Enchanted picture image

Amy Adams as Giselle with James Marsden as Prince Edward and with Patrick Dempsey as Robert and Rachel Covey as Morgan

Aside form that the movie is really well done. The acting is really good and everyone seems like they are having fun with their roles. I do think Susan Sarandon as Narissa is miscast but she is not that bad. I really enjoy James Marsden as Edward but I’m an unabashed 30 Rock fan so anything that reminds me of that is a-ok. And Amy Adams lives the role of Giselle, she was pretty perfect.

Amy Adams as Giselle performing That's How you Know Enchanted picture image

Amy Adams as Giselle performing That’s How you Know

The technicals in this movie were fun too. The animation is fluid and clean and it wasn’t done by Disney how is that for the ultimate irony. The live-action parts are nicely shot and have a fun and playfulness.

I have to love the costumes except for one, the one that disappointed me down to my very soul, that Tahari gown Giselle wore at the ball. I don’t know why films do this, but if there is a costume ball the main characters will ignore it and wear a regular dress. They did it in the 2004 Phantom of Opera and I will NEVER forgive them. I mean the dress is pretty, it is just number one, it’s too simple for the venue, if they had a more Oscar style evening gown, something with a wow-factor I could see it. And number two this dress is like going from zero to 360 for Giselle. I guess the point of Giselle’s costumes is that they get more modern the longer she is in the real work but come on movie, that Tahari gown was in no way the next step for her fashion evolution. I say no. Otherwise the costumes were great.

The musical numbers are a lot of fun. The big number, “That’s how you know” is bright and colorful and big. It reminds me of the pretty women number in Kal ho naa ho which is fun number.

I think the only number that wasn’t that great was the Ballroom dance, though maybe I just don’t like that scene, that darn dress and the final fight meh. Also why didn’t Narissa get a a villain songs, seriously we get three freaking songs about love and romance but no Villain songs. (is it just mea or did Giselle understand dating more than Robert with all the things she listed in That’s How you know?)

Susan Sarandon as Queen Narissa Enchanted picture image

Susan Sarandon as Queen Narissa

Okay, speaking of Narissa, what was her plan and how did the whole power thing work? First off, problem one, her motivation was to keep the prince single so she could remain queen? So why didn’t she just kill the prince instead of going after his bride? It’s just a stall. Then her motivation changes to just being evil because even though at that point it was established that Giselle wasn’t into Edward, so why did she bother and she was one weak fucking dragon. I would THINK it would take more than a sword wound to prevent her from flying and I dunno, burning people? I think they were referencing Sleeping Beauty but they fairies gave the prince buffes to his sword or whatever.

Second, how does succession work in Andalasia? Does the Queen maintain her power after the king is dead? But then why is Edward a prince and Narissa a queen? Shouldn’t Edward be King? Do you have to be married in Andalasia to get a King/Queen title? Is Edward’s father still alive? Why don’t Disney villain ever just try to manipulate the royals instead of being the ruler? Like Narissa could have wrapped Giselle around her figure and been a shadow ruler. What kind of power did Narissa hold anyway? Dis she share it with Edward? Or what she acting regent till he married? Then why didn’t she kill him and pull a coup? How does is work??? It’s not important to the story but it’s the villain’s motivation, I dunno maybe a song could have cleared it up, or she could have been a better evil villain to make me forget this kind of stuff, she is as menacing as tin foil. Also her costume looked more sci-fi than fantasy, more leading a legion of spiders than queen of place called Andalasia.

Amy Adams as Giselle with Pip Enchanted picture image

Amy Adams as Giselle with Pip

Despite its flaws, and boy does it have them, Enchanted is a fun and entertaining movie that does a nice job of parodying and paying homage to Disney tropes all while totally buying into them.

Time for Clues, Clue 1 & Clue 2

One of those clues makes me laugh, try and guess which one and the next movie.

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Anti-Hypothetical Casting; Jim Carrey as Clopin

Jim Carrey picture image

Jim Carrey

I asked on Facebook for a casting suggestion and I got an Anti-Hypothetical Casting for Jim Carrey as Clopin. My first thought was “Oh, Dear God!”

Jim Carrey picture image

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey is known as a comedy actor so for him to even play Clopin the tone would have to be comedic, which has been done before but I REALLY doubt Hollywood would do that to a Victor Hugo Novel or the casting director would have to high as fuck or bribed. Though maybe Canada would make a humorous Hunchback movie starring Jim Carrey as Clopin. Or the scariest option and one that is more likely, Disney’s Live action remake with Jim Carrey as Clopin.

Jim Carrey  as Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber picture image

Jim Carrey as Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber

But the question is why Jim Carrey shouldn’t play Clopin. To be perfectly frank Jim Carrey is one of those actors who is known for the goofy dumb humor a la Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura, etc (I’m sure there are more). However Jim Carrey also has been in a lot of roles that while are comedic they do have a seriousness to them like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Truman Show, etc (again I’m sure there are more). So Carrey wouldn’t be a bad option really if the tone of the movie was in keeping with kind of acting style.

Jim Carrey with Elmo and Telly on Sesame Street picture image

Jim Carrey with Elmo and Telly on Sesame Street

So one on level, I could see him working as Clopin on like how Disney portrayed him, where he is the fun-loving, silly leader of the Court of Miracles. However Carrey isn’t that threatening even though he has played a villain before as Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events but it’s not the same as Clopin’s menace.

Jim Carrey picture image

Jim Carrey

I don’t think Jim Carrey would be the worst casting choice for Clopin but I would deeply question it.

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Songs of Notre Dame de Paris Part 12

Visite de Frollo à Esmeralda (Visit of Frollo to Esmeralda)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Esmeralda as Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image Visite de Frollo à Esmeralda

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Esmeralda as Helene Segara

I once had the je t’aime as a ringtone, it was awesome. I want to say that any good version of Hunchback should have a jail scene but what I really mean is a confession scene. In that scene the lines do not have to be line for line of the book but lines that capture the mood energy of the scene. That’s what separates a good confession scene like the 1939 version from a meh one like the 1977 version.

However Visite de Frollo à Esmeralda is the perfect version, it gets the scene down perfectly. They only thing that is different is that Frollo isn’t as threatening or a scary as he is in the book, he is done right crazy. Here is just more sexually-repressed which gives was to crazy laster one but he doesn’t have the ice gaze with fiery eyes, however that more on a perform level than the intention of the show, but I don’t mind it, Lavoie’s Je t’aime is powerful, it’s great.

As far as the song goes, it is a lead in to the next song. It has the same off-ness that the other songs have had, defiantly a tone of this part of the musical. But it a a really good lead in.

Un Matin tu Dansais (One morning you danced)

Esmeralda and Frollo Un matin tu dansais Helene Segara Daniel Lavoie Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Frollo

Un Matin tu Dansais is the really the confession scene proper. In it Frollo confesses his feeling and thoughts towards Esmeralda, she rejects him and he tries to force himself on her, so we get the port de rouge scene mixed in. You got love Lavoie acting here when she pushes him away and he touches the spot where Esmeralda pushed him.

Again. like the lead in, the tone of the song has that off-balanced vibe that we all have come to love, haven’t we?

I don’t have any complaints about this song, the tone it perfect, I really enjoy the acting and the staging. If I did have one issue it would that Esmeralda isn’t scared of Frollo, which fits her character in the musical but not the book.

Libérés (Liberty)

Quasimodo freeing Esmeralda Liberes Helene Segara garou Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo freeing Esmeralda

Libérés is a great high energy song that is the perfect contrast to the songs that have some before however I do have some issues with it.

In the song, Quasimodo sets Clopin and his people free and then they save Esmeralda. The song is about revolution and their rights to asylum. The singer just sings this some with such power and conviction that it’s great. Also the staging and use of the space is awesome. They remove the iron bars and people suspend down the climbing wall which is cool.

Now it may seems like have a lot of issue with this song but I nitpick and just watching the musical you would more than likely not even think about these things.

1, As powerful as this song is, it is weak if you compare its counterpoint in the book where Quasimodo descends from Notre Dame and save Esmeralda right before she about to be hanged and proclaims Sanctuary. Here he just opens a cage door and the Clopin is the one to actually save Esmeralda.

I get why they did it this way, practicality and budget.

2, On contextual level, how did Quasimodo know where to go and when to show up?
Last time he was on stage he was in Notre Dame asking where Esmeralda went off to.

One could speculate that Gringoire told him as Clopin failed to save Esmeralda with his complaining song but how would Gringoire know that Quasimodo had interest in Esmeralda? Gringoire and Quasimodo have zero interaction with each other except for the Feast of Fools. Gringoire’s part in Libérés seems to indicate that he told Quasimodo BUT Gringoire has a storyteller role in Notre Dame de Paris so is he in this song as Gringoire the character or as Gringoire the storyteller?

Consider this? Gringoire’s part in Libérés is independent of the other singers, he is singing on his own and he off to the the side for most of the song and comes in separately from Quasimodo toward the middle on the song. It seems like he more of a storyteller than a player in the plan.

However the simpler method is typically the more likely so we’’l just go with Gringoire told Quasimodo even though it makes no sense, since the play made it a point that Gringoire told Clopin but not Quasimodo, better drama I guess.

 

Side Note- The English version of this song is really awkward. it sounds like an ad for a Mattress Store One Day sale.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

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The Man who Laughs Part II: Book 9 and Conclusion

The Man who Laughs Part II:  Book 9; In Ruins

                                               &

The Man who Laughs Part II: Conclusion: The Night and the Sea  

I was going to talk about the ninth part and the conclusion separately but to heck with that, I’m so happy to be done with this book. Seriously this book was like some kind of life-sucking monster only more boring.

So what happens at the end? If I said not much would be you surprised?  Gwynplaine goes full on emo and almost kills himself as his family is gone and his former life. I did like this part because it was very Hugo, it was like reading a Frollo chapter which I find a delightful combination of beautiful and hilarious. They are lovely proses but read them out loud and it is so melodramatic.

So Gwynplaine is about to kill himself when Homo licks his hand. Homo leads him to Ursus and Dea. Dea is dying because Gwynplaine is not there. However when Gwynplaine presents himself to Dea, she dies anyway because she is too happy or something. Ok, what the shit? This makes no fucking sense. Tragic it is but fuck it, Hugo just wanted a tragic ending. Oh and then Gwynplaine kills himself. Whatever I don’t care really.

I get that this story is more thematic than story or characters or a plot. It’s more a tale of society and its outlook on wealth, customs and humanity. It’s art more than entertainment and more stylistic of the times it was written in, I get it.

HOWEVER it’s still a story, I have to make a sense of it.

Basically the plot goes that King had noble child kidnapped, disfigured, and left to die but then he is  adopted with a  blind infant to a wise curmudgeon and his sensitive wolf. The boy grows up and is in  an ethereal love with the blind girl and is both revered and mocked for his laughing face but it’s cool because he has love. And then in the MOTHER of all coincidence some old jerky guy working at the palace who wants to piss off a hot noble chick just so happens to find evidence that the disfigure guy is a noble and should marry the lady who he wanted to piss off and has a thing for disfigure guy. So they make him a peer but since rich people suck and don’t get it, the disfigure peaces out and finds his love dying and then he dies. WHY?

I wish Hugo had taken more time in the story to get us emotionally connected to the characters. The most I can say about Dea is that she innocent and ethereal. I don’t really doubt her love for Gwynplaine but I didn’t feel anything when she died because Hugo likes sad endings but for an ending to be sad you need an emotional connection.

More than there was no other closure with Josiana who was big player in this story. All there was like a “fine, whatever” on her end and it was in the form of a letter. And just to make me a little more bewilder, the events of the story proper, are like two days, tops. So in the course of two days Gwynplaine says he will be a peer,  leave and Dea dying.  Just because it’s a thematic story with meaning doesn’t mean you can’t have good characters. So while I don’t know much about the characters of this story I know shit tons about how storms start at sea and the British  Peerage System, Classic Fucking Entertainment.

Nope, I didn’t like this story, nooooooope  maybe the movies  will be better at least they can’t describe the storm at sea as much a Hugo did.

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La Belle et La Bete 1946 Review; No Subtile Necessary, this movie is perfect!

La Belle et la Bete  Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

La Belle et la Bete

Guys, I can’t do it, I think movie broke me. I’m not sure I have a single negative thing to say about Jean Cocteau’s 1946 movie La Belle et La Bete, not even like a snarky nitpick… well maybe, let’s find out if can I say anything bad against this beautiful surreal movie.

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete  Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

Before the film even starts the director asks the viewer to keep a childlike mind, that’s no problem for me. The movie proper starts with a former wealthy family trying to get by. The family consists of a father, three daughters and a son. Two out of the three daughters would rather pretend they still had their former wealth and are in fact shallow bitches. The third, Belle, is fairly content to do housework. She has an admirer, Avenant, a friend of her brother. Avenant wants to marry Belle but she declines stating she can’t leave her father.

They then get news that one of the father’s ship was recovered. When asked what she wants back from the trip, Belle asks for a rose. However the ship’s stocks was seized leaving the father with nothing. As he goes home with nothing for any of his children he stumbles on a haunting castle, where he’s well feed. Before leaving he picks a rose for Belle but the Beast appears and demands his life. The father begs and tells him it was for his daughter. The Beast tells him that he can live if his one of daughters dies in his place. The Beast allows him the use of his horse, Magnificent, and he goes home. He tells his children that he will go back to die but Belle sneaks off with Magnificent to die in her father place.

Belle enters the dreamlike castle and faints at the sight of the Beast. The Beast carries her to her room and her clothes transform into regal splendor, ah the costumes are so pretty. When she comes to the Beast tells her that every night she should dine with him. At dinner the Beast tells her Belle that she is in command of the every night the beast will ask one question, Will she marry him. She refuses him.

Belle over time becomes accustom to life with the Beast though she refuses to marry him every night and suggests that they should remain friend but Belle wants to see her father again. Through a magic mirror that the Beast has, she sees that her father is deathly ill. The Beast left Belle go back to her family. He gives her a magic glove that can teleport her there and a magic key that is to a pavilion which is the source of his power. If she does not return in a week, he will die.

Belle returns home sees they are living in poverty because of the brother’s money loaning. Her family is envious of her riches and conspires to steal the key, which they do. He brother and Avenant also steal Magnificent as the Beast sent him to retrieve Belle as she was convinced by her sisters to stay longer. However the Beast also sent the magic Mirror, Belle uses it to see the Beast’s sorrowful face. She uses the glove but realizes she forgot the key and tries to find but can’t find it anywhere. Belle returns to Beast and finds him dying. As he is dying Belle’s brother and Avenant break into the pavilion the Beast spoke of called Diana’s Pavilion, a place that no one can enter. They scale the walls and break the glass ceiling. Avenant tries to go into it but is shot by an animated statue of Diana and turns into a Beast and dies. The Beast then transform in a handsome Prince who looks like Avenant. He tells Belle that he was turned in a Beats because his parents didn’t believe in spirits and his being a Beast was their revenge. Belle tells him she loves him and the fly away to his kingdom where she will be a queen.

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete  Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

If you recall in my Thief of Bagdad review, I said that the characters is this movie were compelling even though they are presented simply and they are. I think this comes down to the acting. Belle is presented as earnest, sweet girl who does stand her ground. Her attachment to the Beast does come through albeit subtlety. Throughout the movie she refers to the The Beast as “La Bete” or “The Beast.” When she comes back to him after seeing her family she start calling him “Ma Bete” or “My Beast.” It’s subtle but powerful.

The Beats too is subtly done. You can tell that he walking a very thin line between being a beast and acting like a human. It’s a little different than other versions where he starts acting beastly and through love starting acting like a human. It’s a nice take and it’s acted wonderfully by Jean Marais, who also played Avenant.

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete  Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

The only real criticism isn’t really a criticism since by the film’s own admission things don’t make sense, that the plot is meant to be simple taken at face value. So when the Beast tells us things about his power or when  smoke raises off of him after killing things, it’s not explain, it just emotional.

While I do like when things are explain, most movies tend to bog down the narrative with exposition that sometimes it can ruin a movie. With this movie, it’s not really important that we know how the Beast’s power work and why Avenant transforms into a beast. The passing line about how he was transformed in a beast was just the right amount of exposition. Explaining thing too much wouldn’t have advanced the plot of a girl and a Beast falling in love nor would helped the surreal style and mood, if anything it enhanced it.

Josette Day as Belle La Belle et la Bete  Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle

This movie gives us a very dreamlike surreal style with its special effects and camerawork. I mean it’s just a lovely movie to watch. I really love the part when Belle first enters the castle, it’s just so dreamlike. But what I really love are the costumes. They were designed by Lavain. They are very grand and beautiful. The Beast’s make-up is great. Everything about this movie is just so pretty.

Josette Day as Belle La Belle et la Bete  Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle

One thing that bugs is because the movie is presented so simply with an emphasis on the style, I feel there is a lot to take on a symbolic nature. Like because we’re told to take it simply there is something else to be gained from more than just the mood or effects. Like I’m suppose to take this on pretentious, intellectual level, like maybe it’s Belle’s sexual awakening or the movie is about the collapse of society and our collective inability to communicate on a metaphysical level blah, blah, blah.

The movie seems to WANT you to read into more and I don’t want to, though I bet lots of film scholars have but that is just what they do.

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast as a human Prince La Belle et la Bete  Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast as a human Prince

La Belle et la Bete a beautiful movie that offers compelling character and stunning effects, if you haven’t figured it out, I really love this movie. It also has left a impact of films, like Gaston from the Disney version is based on Avenant, in fact they were going to call him Avenant and there is a piece of conceptual art that is pretty a straight copy. And the 2004 The Phantom of the Opera copied the candelabras. Heck, even I used elements of this movie in a novel I wrote for NaNOWriMo*. There are also many others homages and tributes to the movie, there also was semi-remake back in 2014, that we’ll get to and I have a lot of choice words for that movie.

Josette Day as Belle La Belle et la Bete  Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle

Because clues are fun, Clue 1 and clue 2

*Novel coming someday.

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Slight delay and video…

Do to some personal reasons, there will be no anti-hyptheical casting post today. I had asked for suggestions on Facebook so that is why I’m mentioning but I can’t get it out for today. I’m sorry, it will be out next week and maybe I will do two casting posts in August since people like seem to enjoy them.

Anyway Enjoy this video that is a Notre Dame de Paris blast from the past,

 

Again, next week will be an anti-hypothecial casting post on Jim Carrey as Clopin.

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Songs of Notre Dame de Paris Part 11

In most other versions the order of these songs is a little different. It goes Être Prétre et aimer une Femme, Phoebus, then Je te reviens vers toi and finally La Monture. Both orders make a level of sense but I prefer the original, it just always seemed odd to me that Frollo would sings about loving a woman right after he tortured her, but the order made sense to someone.

Phoebus

Esmeralda as Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris  Phoebus picture image

Helene Segara as Esmeralda singing Phoebus

Phoebus is Esmeralda’s plea to the aforementioned. She bittersweetly asks him to save her and gives some exposition about how the man in black stabbed him. She then begs him to at least remember her.

It’s a pretty yet simple song that has a lovely melody that has wave like quality.

Être Prétre et aimer une Femme (To be a Priest and to love a woman)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo singing Etre Pretre et aimer une Femme

Être Prétre et aimer une Femme lifts a lots of its lines from Frollo’s confession to Esmeralda in the jail, so basically I love this song and what is so great about Notre Dame de Paris is that we get two instances of the jail scene, so yay.

This song has a lot of power and moving lines. Frollo is a preist and therefore not free to love a woman but he can’t help it because as he stifled his emotions, he has no power to fight them when they are super strong.

The songs also makes it seem that Frollo’s “love” for Esmeralda is not just lust-based, he seems to love is some weird twisted way. This is in constast to other versions and even some versions of Notre Dame de Paris and it really could just come down to Daniel Lavoie’s acting.

The melody is also great. It has a great off-kilter tone that is still pretty which suits Frollo.

La Monture (The Mounting)

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys singing La Monutre

La Monture is Fleur-de-Lys’ big number. It’s the songs that really drives home her personality which all the versions is the biggest is this musical. Pending on what version of the musical you are watching this songs is vastly differnet because of the order of song and the staging.

In the original, Fleur-de-Lys sings this song to herself/shadow. This looks cool on the DVD but perhaps to an audience it doesn’t have the same effect so they changed the staging. What is nice about her singing to herself is it makes her look desperate and at her limits and it also makes her asking for Esmeralda’s death seem like it has a pathos because she at the end of her rope and can’r cope with Phoebus anymore. There is no doubt that she means it, she wants Esmeralda dead as there is a just spitefulness in her voice.

The other staging has Fleur-de-Lys singing directly to Phoebus after he sings Je te reviens vers toi. She singings in less a desperate, spiteful way and more in a sexual way. Basically she doesn’t believe Phoebus‘ song even though Phoebus says in his song that Esmeralda will die (at least in the French and English version), though in English he asks Fleur-de-Lys what me must to to get back with her. This staging make Fleur-de-Lys more calculating, cruel and cold. She is more in control of herself and Phoebus and she uses her leverage to get what she wants, the competition dealt away with.

I think it comes down to preference. One staging gives Fleur-de-Lys a little more sadness as she in not as in control of herself or her emotions and the other gives her power and control but she uses it to ensure someone’s death.

Now as far as the song its self goes, because I almost forgot to discuss the song, silly me. It’s great. Like some other songs at this point in the show it has that off-kilter prettiness and Fleur-de-Lys‘ sweet voice is a great contrast to the horrors that she is singings. It’s is Fleur-de-Lys‘ best song in the show, which isn’t REALLY saying that much since it like three but it’s great non the less.

Je te reviens vers toi (I return to you)

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys and Patrick Fiori as Phobues performing Je te reviens vers toi Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys and Patrick Fiori as Phobues performing Je te reviens vers toi

I REALLY hate this song. It’s mean. Phoebus sings about how he is returning to Fleur-de-Lys and he is all better now. Since it’s clear that Phoebus is lying it probabdly why they switch the songs around but Esmeralda is going to die and yet Fleur-de-Lys is like, “ok makes she does,” not sure why that would have been hard for Phoebus, but even about the order changes.

I dunno this song just seemed mean but it does showoff Phoebus‘ singing and has a nice powerful beat. It’s the subject matter that is detestable and so is Phoebus.

Fun Fact – Patrick Fiori once made the mistake of saying “From the Deeps of you, it’s me I still love” instead of ‘From the Deeps of me it’s you I still love,” pardon my bad translation I only took a year of French but it’s a silly mistake that I could see a Phoebus saying.

Je reviens vers toi

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

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The Man who Laughs Part II: Book 8: Chapters 1-8

The Man who Laughs Part II:  Book 8: The Capital and things around it

I am not opposed to learning about British history, I’m opposed to it interrupting my boring story. Seriously, most of this part of the book is learning that the British peers are jerk-faces.  And because at this point I’m just trying to get this book done, I’m really skimming the thing and at one point I must have forgotten that I was alive because Gwynplaine’s snapped me back into breathing.

Gwynplaine goes on a nice tirade about how he is laughing at these false supreme Lords and that he is reality. That part I liked but you have to go through Lord Pooington, Earl of Crapiwoodshire, Blah blah blah, pardon my lame attempt at humor it was just really boring to read about  the Lords of England AGAIN for what like the third time?

I did like that at the end one of the chapters, where the Lords are upset that Gwynplaine didn’t bow to throne before leaving. Oh I should point out that this part was about Gwynplaine joining the House of Lords. And it at the end of this part that we learn about David and Gwynplaine being brothers. Also Josiana is just going to make David her lover so she figured out her problem, kudos.  Oh and David challenge some Lord to a dual, fun.

I know this is part of Hugo’s style, explaining context and histories but in books like Hunchback and Le Mis there was a larger plot, here it’s not like there isn’t a plot but it’s smaller and to keep going back and forth with characters and then describing architecture and the Lord  Fizzywater (again bad humor) just becomes tiring to read. I feel like nothing for characters, I mean I have little baring on Gwynplaine’s personality other than his looks and his lust.  AT least there was Ursus and Homo, they had personality.

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