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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

La Belle et la Bête 美女と野獣

Updated: Jan 14

An unplanned mini-series of photos just outside the Cafe Florian during the Venice Carnevale. Inspiration for the costumes and photos come from the 1946 French movie La Belle et la Bête. The photos were done on a cold wintry evening....

Beauty and the Beast (French: La Belle et la Bête – also the UK title) is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. Starring Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as the Beast, it is an adaptation of the 1757 story Beauty and the Beast, written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and published as part of a fairy tale anthology.

The plot of Cocteau's film revolves around Belle's father, who is sentenced to death for picking a rose from the Beast's garden. Belle offers to go back to the Beast in her father's place. The Beast falls in love with her and proposes marriage on a nightly basis, which she refuses. Belle eventually becomes more drawn to the Beast, who tests her by letting her return home to her family, and telling her that if she does not return to him within a week, he will die of grief.

Beauty and the Beast is now recognized as a classic of French cinema. The movie was presented entirely in monochrome. Similarly, the photo series was first presented entirely in monochrome, although I found the color version quite enchanting as well.

The models are Eloise Masse and Florian Hencher.

I first met Eloise on the streets of Venice during Carnevale in 2015. I am always fascinated by all her princess outfits that she wears to Venice.

Florian Hencher is a Britsh actor and model trained at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. He is known for Neville Rumble (2015), Sir Lanval (2011) and A Dance for Grace (2010).

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