once upon a time

Children believe in the stories they are told, they have complete faith. They believe that a plucked rose may bring tragic consequences to a family. They believe in the smoking hands of a man-beast who kills and in the shame he feels before the maiden who is his guest. They believe in countless other artless things. It is a little of this artlessness that I ask of you, so that omens may smile upon all, let me pronounce four magic words that veritable Open Sesame: “Once upon a time…”

Words: Jean Cocteau, the introduction to the film La Belle et la Bête with Jean Marais and Josette Day.
Images: Film stills from the 1946 French film La Belle et la Bête.

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