The Eclectic Cinema is showing Belle on Monday 27th May 2024

The Eclectic Cinema is showing Belle on Monday 27th May 2024 at 19.30 in the Cheltenham Playhouse. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda. Watch the Trailer.

This film, whose full title is Belle: The Dragon and the Freckled Princess is loosely based on the story of Beauty and the Beast, updated to the age of social media. It’s directed by Mamoru Hosoda, who also directed our last anime screening – The Girl Who Leapt through Time.

Suzu is a shy high-school student in rural Japan, who has given up on her previous passion for writing and singing songs, following the death of her mother. She’s persuaded to enrol in a virtual world called U, where her avatar, known as Belle, becomes a rising star as a singer. The narrative shows how the real and virtual worlds can work together, so that Suzu can overcome adversity in the real world, but only with the help of Belle in the virtual one.

The film has become highly regarded in anime circles and, apparently, received a fourteen-minute standing ovation after its premier at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021. Not quite an anime musical, it’s anime with lots of music, and anime for all the family.

Cheltenham Playhouse box office is open from 10am – 4pm Tuesday – Friday and from 10am – 2.30pm on Saturdays, plus 90 minutes before a performance in the evening. Tickets can also be booked on-line here.

Members of Cheltenham Film Society are able to get complimentary tickets to try out The Eclectic Cinema, which has been running at Cheltenham Playhouse since January 2022 and will receive an email detailing this offer.