118 Great Directors: Jean Cocteau

“A film is a petrified fountain of thought.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Orphic trilogy, but mostly La Belle et La Bete.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: La Belle et La Bete.

What Did I Watch: Orpheus (had already seen Blood of a Poet).

Where Does He Fit: Orpheus is all about the allure of dreams that characterized Blood of a Poet made a bit more literal, but the touches absolutely fit that narrative, with Jean Marais’ titular character being just one of many gays looking to get seduced by death and the costume that changes based on her mood. Meta jokes abound, such as being told that it’s a stupid question to ask why one’s hair blows in the wind without any real wind to speak of. Shame the man still cannot really end his works, and the slightly unsatisfying nature works less well here than in La Belle et La Bete, but this is still a lovely journey into a genius’ mind.


Most Valuable Asset: Dreams and old art.
Most Excited For: Testament of Orpheus.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Creepy craftsman John Carpenter.


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