Friday, March 17, 2006


I've had it with these Thursdays.

So, yesterday, after returning here and going back to sleep at around 2pm, I rewrote the first half of the new Boschen and Nesuko script, then went to Tim's to play Final Fantasy X. Yes, I long ago beat the game, but suddenly I decided I wanted everyone's ultimate weapons. I've already unlocked Rikku's and Auron's, and, gee, it's satisfying seeing them hit for anywhere between 30,000 and 99,999 points of damage, after they'd been capped at 9999 for so long.

After that, I came back here again and wrote the second half of the Boschen and Nesuko script. I find I'm sort of a different person at different times of the day, and it can be helpful to coordinate that with what sorts of scenes I plan to write.

I watched Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast again last night. I wanted to after Wednesday night, when I watched the Francis Ford Coppola Dracula. That latter movie often has me thinking about what an underestimated influence it's been on media since it's release, and also of what a collection of influences it itself boasts.

I'd frequently noticed the many allusions to previous Dracula movies, but the other night I was noticing the influences from Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast in particular. The obvious thing is Dracula turning Mina's tears into diamonds, which is directly from Beauty and the Beast. But then there are similarities in the stories that make me wonder if Bram Stoker didn't have Mme. Leprince de Beaumont's original tale in mind when he wrote the book. In fact, I bet I've read about it somewhere before, but have forgotten.

It's too obvious--man is forced into a deal with a beastly lord while staying at the lord's castle . . . The deal ends up endangering man's beautiful girl back home.

But there are things about the Cocteau movie that are visible in the Coppola movie that aren't found in the original Beauty and the Beast story. Not only do the films respective castles bear striking resemblances, but I'd say there's a similarity to the main romantic relationships of both movies--and some interesting contrasts. Both movies feature the woman pitying the beastly qualities of the beast character--I mean, loving the beast not because of a perceived buried humanity, but loving the beast as beast. Though in the Dracula movie, Mina seems more interested in becoming a beast herself, which makes her character curiously more sympathetic.

One thing I like about both movies is that the beast tries to make the case that he's really as human, at heart, as the next Joe, but in reality clearly perceives himself as a beast. It's especially nice in the Cocteau film, as it seems as though the beast is essentially giving the story's traditional climax right in his first conversation with Belle. It leads you into wondering where the hell things could go from there. Where they go, of course, is into a more complex and interesting relationship. And it's much better than the Disney film where he needs Belle's love to fix his curse. In the Cocteau film, he needs Belle's love because, well, he needs love.

That's one of the reasons I greatly prefer It Happened One Night over Roman Holiday. They're both essentially the same story, except in the former, all the cards are on the table and we get to see an actual relationship. While in the latter, it's a silly game, and we can't imagine it amounting to more than lust.

Anyway, I'd better cut this short as I've a lot to do to-day.

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