Happy Birthday to Jean Cocteau—man of many (p)Arts: artist, novelist, poet, playwright, film-maker, and designer, born today in 1889.
Cocteau was firstly a poet, who described himself as a lie that always told the truth.
He was also a highly controversial figure—often criticized for being a mere dilettante; he was easily swayed in his political views (he thought Hitler a pacifist and once speculated about the Führer’s sex life); had an obsession with underage boys; and was addicted to opium.
Yet for all the questionable things Cocteau’s life is always redeemed by his Art.
Je suis Jean Cocteau is a short film that collects together moments from Cocteau’s films (Testament of Orpheus, Blood of a Poet, Beauty and the Beast, Orpheus, and Les Enfants Terrible) creating a showreel to his imagination.
“When I make a film, it is a sleep in which I am dreaming.”
Dreams that have inspired subsequent film-makers, writers and artists.
(And today is also my brother’s birthday, so Happy Birthday Michael!)