Le Chateau du Raray: La Belle et la Bete

Le Chateau du Raray: La Belle et la Bete

I have always loved Cocteau’s  version of Beauty and the Beast.I also love Simon Marsden’s photos. it was looking through his wonderful book Haunted France and found photos of the fabulous gate and the chateau where Cocteau shot his eerie and beautiful film. Chateau du Raray is a real place with that wonderful parapet of carved beasts that Belle and the Beast stand on during the film. The still image below shows the scale of the sculptures. I think they look more dramatic in the film that in reality. Scroll down and let me know what you think.

This bit of video had some shots of Chateau du Raray. For anyone who hasn’t seen this gem of a film its all on Youtibe in pieces. I suggest renting the DVD or better yet see it in the cinema if you have the chance. This one stays with you like a powerful dream.

I am reprinting this article from a dead blog of mine called My Mysterious Domain that was devoted to some of my favorite artistic inspirations and locations.

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La Belle et la Bete by Jean Cocteau

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The Unicorn Gate, or the Portal of Diana, leads to the magical mansion of  Le Chateau du Raray.  The French filmmaker, Jean Cocteau, used this  beautiful, atmospheric house, with its fine animal sculptures and curious parapet, for the palace of the Beast in his famous masterpiece.  For me, it is the quintessential Mysterious Domain.

A note on Beauty and the Beast by the psychologist Bruno Bettelheim: “Beauty and the Beast teaches that something must be loved before it is lovable… ” ” In the fairy tale is a magic mirror which reflects some aspect of our inner world…For those who immerse themselves in what the fairy tale has to communicate, it becomes a deep, quiet pool which at first seems to reflect our own image; but behind it we soon discover the turmoils of our soul — its depth, and ways to gain peace with ourselves, and with the world, which is the reward of our struggles.”

In my  Videos you will find two Utube clips from the film whose stills are depicted here. I hope these excerpts inspire you to rent or buy the DVD of one of the most wonderful films ever made: Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast

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View of  le Chateau du Raray by Sir Simon Marsden

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Interiors: the Domain of the mind

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I am sure this is a set, but it is  unforgettable.

Fire of the soul.

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The  parapet. This kind of love could only happen in a place like this.

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The fabulous parapet as it really is

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Le Chateau in Winter

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The Lady of le Chateau and her Beast

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Raphael

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