John Rylands Library, 10th January Bride of Frankenstein (1935) + La Belle et La Bete (1946) Manchester. Victorian Gothic library Tickets Available from www.GrimmFest.com
Location: For the grand finale of our season we find ourselves in the John Rylands is one of the great literary treasure houses of the world, the library, designed by Basil Champneys, is a startling example of late Victorian neo-Gothic architecture at its most imposing and delightfully decadent. . A perfect space in which to hold our second and final site-specific screening, featuring a brace of book-born monsters, both of whom can be traced back to the earliest literary manifestations of the Gothic imagination.
Bride of Frankenstein: James Whale’s darkly funny and mordantly mischievous take on Mary Shelley’s celebrated parable of overweening pride, scientific arrogance and man-made monsters. With its inventive production design and expressionist visuals, archly witty and moving script, and striking, eccentric performances, this exploration the need for love even among monsters offers a high-camp, Hollywood-Gothic take on the fairytale which forms the basis of our second film of the evening, Jean Cocteau’s lyrical, surreal, and startling LA BELLE ET LA BETE.
La Belle a La Bete: Jean Cocteau’s cinematic interpretation sees him utilising all of his considerable skills as poet, playwright, artist and designer to create a truly magical film, by turns elegant and eerie, romantic and nightmarish, with a powerful performance from the great Jean Marais as the suave, sinister and strangely seductive Beast. A fairytale for children and adults alike, and a far cry from Disney’s saccharine animated version, this is a dark and delirious movie that will haunt your dreams.
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