Author Topic: Jean Cocteau  (Read 979 times)

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(kelvin)

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Jean Cocteau
« on: November 11, 2003, 04:33:56 AM »
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I have seen "Blood of a Poet" by Cocteau and must say I liked it. Though, I also want to see his masterpiece, "Orpheus". My question is: can I watch "The Testament of Orpheus" before the abovementioned, or is there a continuity between those two?

Seraphim

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Jean Cocteau
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2003, 05:46:18 AM »
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Wow, a topic on Cocteau!

I saw Orpheus about a month or so, and it was really stunning. Highly original, very poetic and mystic/ mythic. Saw some really superb things...

The trilogy consists of Blood of a Poet ('30), Orpheus ('50) and Testament of Orpheus ('60).
I believe there is a consistency between those three films. I thus recommend to watch Orpheus first, although I also think (I haven't seen Testament d' Orphee!) that that work is better- so you may end with a work you may be a bit disappointed about after seeing Orphee.... :roll:

Still...definitively try Orphee!!!

I would also recommend Beauty and the Best (1948), which should also be a very poetic, mythic work. I can rent that film in my town, but I can't rent Blood of a Poet or Testament d' Orphee.

And maybe you can tell some more about Blood of a Poet?
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(kelvin)

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Jean Cocteau
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2003, 07:25:32 AM »
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Le sang d'un poète reminded me a lot of Bunuel's early works, such as L'age d'or or Un chien andalou. Surrealistic, so to speak. I liked some of the visual effects, especially the transition to another world through the mirror. Though I also have to say that the film had less complexity than those by Bunuel.
I own a French edition of Le sang d'un poète and Le testament d'Orphée. I think you can order at amazon.fr, if you want to.

Gold Trumpet

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Jean Cocteau
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2003, 10:00:21 AM »
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I think Orpheus stood more as a remake of Blood of a Poet. Cocteau later dismissed it as something juvenile, and when he came back to filmmaking over 10 years later with Orpheus, his plan was to try to please himself with what that first project didn't do and kept him away from filmmaking for so long. Testament of Orpheus, on the other hand, really is its own film. It has little to do with the trilogy except it brings back the characters from Orpheus. But, not in the way you'd expect, they all exist in a very congratulatory film for Cocteau's career because the film stars Cocteau himself and he looks back on his past (characters from Orpheus in play here) and searches for beauty. It really is a nearly impossible film to judge. It really just is what it is. Call it an enlightened note on a man's world or call it a trivial walk through style, either one could work. It is definitely hard to watch because it seems to go nowhere, but there are brilliant moments.

Beauty and the Beast is a good film. So wonderful moments of beauty, but I'm not sure it is a great film. I'd have to see it again.

 

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