A modern spin on a classic film: Beauty and the Beast closes the Berlinale

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A modern spin on a classic film: Beauty and the Beast closes the Berlinale

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The Berlinale film festival was rounded off with a particularly glamorous screening of a new Franco-German remake of Beauty and the Beast.

French actress Léea Seydoux plays the lead role of Belle, while Vincent Cassel – who did not attend the festival – takes on the role of the mysterious Beast.

The film officially closed the German festival, but is not in the running for the prestigious Golden Bear award, due to be announced on Saturday evening.

Jean Cocteau’s classic film was remade by French director Christophe Gans.

But unlike the original cinematic version, the 21st century interpretation is packed full of computer-generated images, and cost over thirty million euros to produce.

Nevertheless, Gans says he wanted to pay tribute to the man who brought the fairy tale to life on the silver screen.

“For me making this film was a way to converse with Jean Cocteau whom I greatly admire,” Gans told euronews. “I think our films complement each other and, in a way, show the persistence of a certain element of European culture.”

Léa Seydoux also wished to draw parallels with the original film version in her portrayal of the role of Belle.

“I think you have to become a child again,” she said. “As Jean Cocteau said in the opening to his version of the film. He included a text explaining the need to watch the film through a child’s eyes.”

Euronews correspondent Wolfgang Spindler was at the festival.

“With this screening sees the official end to the festival and now we’re waiting in suspense to hear who will be awarded the Golden Bear,” he said. “So far, there’s no clear favourite, but surprise winners are practically a tradition here in Berlin.”