New Year’s Comparative Criticism: Beauty and the Beast; an Aside, and a Tangent.

Kinda bored, kinda relaxed, on this first day, having decided to take it as holiday and aspire to not much of consequence. The late morning ambition was thick french toast and salty bacon, and the chemex, to incent mild ambulation and activities. Poured on said toast, made from bread as close to a brioche as could be mustered on Saturday — it being the last day to shop until Tuesday, and thus requiring a bit of logistical bravery — thin, anemic, maple syrup that would be mocked by even the healthiest of Canadians. After the obvious success of breakfast, despite the hemophiliactic nature of whatever weak kneed tree was the source of the syrup, evenings decision for a goal: do a comparative viewing of these two films on this first day of the year. Pretty absurd really.

After tackling the first half hour of the Disney version I paused, looked up, and bought the French version to see if it was perhaps less clichéd and saccharin. Unfortunately, amazon did not have English subtitles for my region, but I decided to give it a go in its original french given I know the story, have some familiarity with the language, and it would be an interesting exercise to see how much of the language I could catch. On this last front I was less successful than I would like, but still I find the film is rather more interesting even with this challenge and my less than linguistically precise comprehension, than its Disney cousin. I would have preferred subtitles, and it is an annoyance that living in Germany, acquiring English subtitled films presents a strange and peculiar difficulty, but that is the absurd nature of IP distribution.

[quick aside: I have to admit that the effort is tiring, reminiscent of my the second and third years of living in Germany and tackling some rather enjoyable films
and some rather schmaltzy ones
which aspired to American romcom pop, but I remember being charismatic enough to excuse its predictability: Aside out.]

The American version by contrast is humans aspiring to animation verisimilitude: caricatures prancing about as animatronic versions of 1950s inspired cartoons. Even if the story gives us one of the more interesting heroines in popular culture, and is played by a charismatic lead, supported by a likable and respected cast, and is professionally executed is just kinda deflating and blasé. And well, since I really dislike 98 percent of show tunes and hence skip through them…

{a tangent: well I mean, is that a good estimate for percent to dislike? I mean
, how is that not good? Its pretty good… and this
I mean, it’s opera right? So it doesn’t count in the sample, pretty good though…and by that standard,
less good?,.. well for one not the best bit of the thing anyway? Ill even confess a bit of a soft spot for great moral philosophy in song
But then on the other side of this line, and quite clearly so, is, all this kind of gag inducing sap.
with its bullshit technicolor outerwear: tangent b}

Did I mention this was not objective criticism?

(Well yes it is, there are standards of taste after all ;-p)

To finding tasteful things in the new year!


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