Cocteau and "Beauty And The Beast"

leading from
H R Giger's Art

Scene from"Beauty And The Beast

a) Introduction
One of Giger's first fascination into the world of the surreal was Jean Cocteau's film The Beauty And The Beast. At the time he didn't actually see the film but saw photos from a copy of Life Magazine that American soldiers brought with them when he was a child. His family owned a holiday home up in the mountains and after the war the soldiers spent time recuperating in the area.

Photograph from"Beauty And The Beast" 
as seen in Life Magazine in 1949
b) Images in a magazine
When he looked at the magazine, he didn't know what the photos were about let alone know anything about the movie, but he asked his mother who spoke English to explain to him what the long corridors with those arms holding the candelabras was about and she couldn't say either. It was surrealist of course and explaining Surrealism to a young boy was asking too much. 

Quote source 
  1. HR Giger: One of my first fascinations was Cocteau's film The Beauty And The Beast, I didn't see the film, but I saw photos from a copy of Life Magazine that American Soldiers brought with them.  (Rolling Stone, HR Giger by Debbie Harry & Christ Stein)
  2. HR Giger: Like Cocteau, I hate being limited to a particular genre. (Cinefantastique vol 9. no.1)
  3. HR Giger: C'est pour- quoi j'aime tant La Belle et la BĂȘte ! Cocteau est celui qui m'a le plus influencĂ©. (PREMIERE · Octobre 1995 · 81) (Google Translation:  This is why I so love Beauty and the Beast! Cocteau was the one who influenced me the most.)
  4. HR Giger: I saw photos in Life magazine, they were La Belle Et La Bete, or so I discovered later; I asked my mother who spoke English to explain to me what those long corridors mean with those arms and those candelabrums and .... she couldn't say either.  It was surrealist of course - how do you explain Surrealism to a young boy, that was asking too much. (as reported from the interview for Alien Evolution)
  5. Chris Stein: How did this begin? When you were still a boy in the Forties, television didn't exist.
    HR Giger: That's right, but there was radio. Actually what enchanted me at first was Cocteau's "La Belle Et La Bette". I didn't see the movie. I only came across the pictures of it in an issue of "Life" magazine., which had been given to me by American soldiers. We had a little vacation home up in the mountains and after the war soldiers spent time recuperating in the area. ( HR Giger's Necronomicon 2. "Interview with Giger" by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, p31)

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