Jean Cocteau
Overview
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (ʒɑ̃ kɔkto; 5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) was a French poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

, novelist, dramatist, designer
Designer
A designer is a person who designs. More formally, a designer is an agent that "specifies the structural properties of a design object". In practice, anyone who creates tangible or intangible objects, such as consumer products, processes, laws, games and graphics, is referred to as a...

, playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

, artist
Artist
An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only...

 and filmmaker. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger
Kenneth Anger
Kenneth Anger is an American underground experimental filmmaker, occasional actor and author...

, Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

, Jean Hugo
Jean Hugo
Victor Jean Hugo is a South African professional golfer.Hugo matriculated at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch, South Africa in 1994 and graduated three years later with a BA Degree from the University of Stellenbosch prior to becoming a professional golfer...

, Jean Marais
Jean Marais
-Biography:A native of Cherbourg, France, Marais starred in several movies directed by Jean Cocteau, for a time his lover, most famously Beauty and the Beast and Orphée ....

, Henri Bernstein
Henri Bernstein
Henri-Léon-Gustave-Charles Bernstein was a French playwright associated with Boulevard theatre.The far-right royalist Camelots du Roi youth organization of the Action française organized an anti-Semitic riot against a production of one of his plays in 1911...

, Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer.Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films...

, Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel
Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist thought, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion. She was the founder of one of the most famous fashion brands, Chanel...

, Erik Satie
Erik Satie
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde...

, María Félix
María Félix
María Félix was a Mexican film actress and one of the icons of the golden era of the Cinema of Mexico and also one of the myths of the Spanish language Cinema for her life style and personality...

, Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf , born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer and cultural icon who became widely regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads...

 and Raymond Radiguet
Raymond Radiguet
Raymond Radiguet was a French author whose two novels were noted for their explicit themes and writing style and tone.-Early life:...

.
Cocteau was born in Maisons-Laffitte
Maisons-Laffitte
Maisons-Laffitte is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. It is located in the north-western suburbs of Paris from the center....

, Yvelines
Yvelines
Yvelines is a French department in the region of Île-de-France.-History:Yvelines was created from the western part of the defunct department of Seine-et-Oise on 1 January 1968 in accordance with a law passed on 10 January 1964 and a décret d'application from 26 February 1965.It gained the...

, a village near Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, to Georges Cocteau and his wife, Eugénie Lecomte; a socially prominent Parisian family. His father was a lawyer and amateur painter who committed suicide when Cocteau was nine.
Quotations

I have a piece of great and sad news to tell you: I am dead.

"Visite" in Discours du Grand Sommeil (1920); later published in Collected Works Vol. 4 (1947)

A prig always finds a last refuge in responsibility.

The Wedding on the Eiffel Tower (1922), Preface

I am a lie who always speaks the truth.

"La Paquet Rouge in Opéra (1925)

The Louvre is like the morgue; one goes there to identify one’s friends.

"Le Secret Professionnel" in Le Rappel à l’Ordre (1922; 1926)

Poets don’t draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently.

Dessins (1924), as quoted by Pierre Chanel in "A Thousand Flashes of Genius", Jean Cocteau and the French Scene (1984)

True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.

Le Mystère Laïc (1928); later published in Collected Works Vol. 10 (1950). .

Wealth is an inborn attitude of mind, like poverty. The pauper who has made his pile may flaunt his spoils, but cannot wear them plausibly.

Les Enfants Terribles translation by Rosamond Lehmann (1929).

Mystery has its own mysteries, and there are gods above gods. We have ours, they have theirs. That is what’s known as infinity.

"Anubis|Anubis" in Act 2 of The Infernal Machine (1932); Collected Works Vol. 5 (1948).

The day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me, without hurrying.

"Postambule" in La Fin du Potomac (1939); later published in Collected Works Vol. 2 (1947)

One of the characteristics of the dream is that nothing surprises us in it. With no regret, we agree to live in it with strangers, completely cut off from our habits and friends.

Encyclopedia
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (ʒɑ̃ kɔkto; 5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) was a French poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

, novelist, dramatist, designer
Designer
A designer is a person who designs. More formally, a designer is an agent that "specifies the structural properties of a design object". In practice, anyone who creates tangible or intangible objects, such as consumer products, processes, laws, games and graphics, is referred to as a...

, playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

, artist
Artist
An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only...

 and filmmaker. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger
Kenneth Anger
Kenneth Anger is an American underground experimental filmmaker, occasional actor and author...

, Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

, Jean Hugo
Jean Hugo
Victor Jean Hugo is a South African professional golfer.Hugo matriculated at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch, South Africa in 1994 and graduated three years later with a BA Degree from the University of Stellenbosch prior to becoming a professional golfer...

, Jean Marais
Jean Marais
-Biography:A native of Cherbourg, France, Marais starred in several movies directed by Jean Cocteau, for a time his lover, most famously Beauty and the Beast and Orphée ....

, Henri Bernstein
Henri Bernstein
Henri-Léon-Gustave-Charles Bernstein was a French playwright associated with Boulevard theatre.The far-right royalist Camelots du Roi youth organization of the Action française organized an anti-Semitic riot against a production of one of his plays in 1911...

, Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer.Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films...

, Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel
Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist thought, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion. She was the founder of one of the most famous fashion brands, Chanel...

, Erik Satie
Erik Satie
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde...

, María Félix
María Félix
María Félix was a Mexican film actress and one of the icons of the golden era of the Cinema of Mexico and also one of the myths of the Spanish language Cinema for her life style and personality...

, Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf , born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer and cultural icon who became widely regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads...

 and Raymond Radiguet
Raymond Radiguet
Raymond Radiguet was a French author whose two novels were noted for their explicit themes and writing style and tone.-Early life:...

.

Early life

Cocteau was born in Maisons-Laffitte
Maisons-Laffitte
Maisons-Laffitte is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. It is located in the north-western suburbs of Paris from the center....

, Yvelines
Yvelines
Yvelines is a French department in the region of Île-de-France.-History:Yvelines was created from the western part of the defunct department of Seine-et-Oise on 1 January 1968 in accordance with a law passed on 10 January 1964 and a décret d'application from 26 February 1965.It gained the...

, a village near Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, to Georges Cocteau and his wife, Eugénie Lecomte; a socially prominent Parisian family. His father was a lawyer and amateur painter who committed suicide when Cocteau was nine. He left home at fifteen. He published his first volume of poems, Aladdin's Lamp, at nineteen. Cocteau soon became known in Bohemian
Bohemianism
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits...

 artistic circles as The Frivolous Prince, the title of a volume he published at twenty-two. Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton , was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer.- Early life and marriage:...

 described him as a man "to whom every great line of poetry was a sunrise, every sunset the foundation of the Heavenly City..."

In his early twenties, Cocteau became associated with the writers Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu...

, André Gide
André Gide
André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide...

, and Maurice Barrès
Maurice Barrès
Maurice Barrès was a French novelist, journalist, and socialist politician and agitator known for his nationalist and antisemitic views....

. In 1912, he collaborated with Léon Bakst
Léon Bakst
Léon Samoilovitch Bakst was a Russian painter and scene- and costume designer. He was a member of the Sergei Diaghilev circle and the Ballets Russes, for which he designed exotic, richly coloured sets and costumes...

 on Le Dieu bleu for the Ballets Russes
Ballets Russes
The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company from Russia which performed between 1909 and 1929 in many countries. Directed by Sergei Diaghilev, it is regarded as the greatest ballet company of the 20th century. Many of its dancers originated from the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg...

; the principal dancers being Tamara Karsavina
Tamara Karsavina
Tamara Platonovna Karsavina was a famous Russian ballerina, renowned for her beauty, who was most noted as a Principal Artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and later the Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev...

 and Vaslav Nijinsky
Vaslav Nijinsky
Vaslav Nijinsky was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer of Polish descent, cited as the greatest male dancer of the 20th century. He grew to be celebrated for his virtuosity and for the depth and intensity of his characterizations...

. During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 Cocteau served in the Red Cross as an ambulance driver. This was the period in which he met the poet Guillaume Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother....

, artists Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 and Amedeo Modigliani
Amedeo Modigliani
Amedeo Clemente Modigliani was an Italian painter and sculptor who worked mainly in France. Primarily a figurative artist, he became known for paintings and sculptures in a modern style characterized by mask-like faces and elongation of form...

, and numerous other writers and artists with whom he later collaborated. Russian choreographer Sergei Diaghilev
Sergei Diaghilev
Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev , usually referred to outside of Russia as Serge, was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, from which many famous dancers and choreographers would arise.-Early life and career:...

 persuaded Cocteau to write a scenario for a ballet, which resulted in Parade
Parade (ballet)
Parade is a ballet with music by Erik Satie and a one-act scenario by Jean Cocteau. The ballet was composed 1916-1917 for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes...

, in 1917. It was produced by Diaghilev, with sets by Picasso, the libretto
Libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 by Apollinaire and the music by Erik Satie
Erik Satie
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde...

. The piece was later expanded into a full opera, with music by Satie, Poulenc and Ravel. "If it had not been for Apollinaire in uniform," wrote Cocteau, "with his skull shaved, the scar on his temple and the bandage around his head, women would have gouged our eyes out with hairpins." Cocteau denied being a Surrealist or being in any way attached to the movement. Cocteau wrote the libretto for Igor Stravinsky's opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex
Oedipus rex (opera)
Oedipus rex is an "Opera-oratorio after Sophocles" by Igor Stravinsky, scored for orchestra, speaker, soloists, and male chorus. The libretto, based on Sophocles's tragedy, was written by Jean Cocteau in French and then translated by Abbé Jean Daniélou into Latin...

, which had its original performance in the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt in Paris on May 30, 1927.

An important exponent of avant-garde art, Cocteau had great influence on the work of others, including the group of composers known as Les six
Les Six
Les six is a name, inspired by The Five, given in 1920 by critic Henri Collet in an article titled "" to a group of six composers working in Montparnasse whose music is often seen as a reaction against the musical style of Richard Wagner and impressionist music.-Members:Formally, the Groupe des...

. In the early twenties, he and other members of Les six frequented a wildly popular bar named Le Boeuf sur le Toit
Le Boeuf sur le Toit (cabaret)
Le Boeuf sur le Toit is the name of a celebrated Parisian cabaret-bar in Paris, founded in 1921 by Louis Moysés which was originally located at 28, rue Boissy d'Anglas in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It was notably the gathering place for the avant garde arts scene during the period between...

, a name that Cocteau himself had a hand in picking. The popularity was due in no small measure to the presence of Cocteau and his friends.

Friendship with Raymond Radiguet

In 1918 he met the French poet Raymond Radiguet
Raymond Radiguet
Raymond Radiguet was a French author whose two novels were noted for their explicit themes and writing style and tone.-Early life:...

. They collaborated extensively, socialized, and undertook many journeys and vacations together. Cocteau also got Radiguet exempted from military service. In admiration of Radiguet's great literary talent, Cocteau promoted his friend's works in his artistic circle and also arranged for the publication by Grasset of Le Diable au corps
Le Diable au corps (novel)
Le Diable au corps is an early 1923 novel by Parisian literary prodigy Raymond Radiguet. The story of a young married woman who has an affair with a sixteen-year-old boy while her husband is away fighting at the front provoked scandal in a country that had just been through World War I...

(a largely autobiographical story of an adulterous relationship between a married woman and a younger man), exerting his influence to have the novel awarded the "Nouveau Monde" literary prize. Some contemporaries and later commentators thought there might have been a romantic component to their friendship. Cocteau himself was aware of this perception, and worked earnestly to dispel the notion that their relationship was sexual in nature.

There is disagreement over Cocteau's reaction to Radiguet's sudden death in 1923, with some claiming that it left him stunned, despondent and prey to opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 addiction. Opponents of that interpretation point out that he did not attend the funeral (he generally did not attend funerals) and immediately left Paris with Diaghilev for a performance of Les noces
Les Noces
Les noces by Igor Stravinsky, is a dance cantata, or ballet with vocalists.-History:The ballet was premiered on June 13, 1923 at the Théâtre de la Gaîté, by the Ballets Russes with choreography by Bronislava Nijinska...

(The Wedding) by the Ballets Russes
Ballets Russes
The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company from Russia which performed between 1909 and 1929 in many countries. Directed by Sergei Diaghilev, it is regarded as the greatest ballet company of the 20th century. Many of its dancers originated from the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg...

 at Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco....

. Cocteau himself much later characterised his reaction as one of "stupor and disgust." His opium addiction at the time, Cocteau said, was only coincidental, due to a chance meeting with Louis Laloy, the administrator of the Monte Carlo Opera. Cocteau's opium use and his efforts to stop profoundly changed his literary style. His most notable book, Les Enfants terribles
Les Enfants Terribles
Les Enfants Terribles is a 1929 novel by Jean Cocteau, published by Editions Bernard Grasset. It concerns two siblings, Elisabeth and Paul, who isolate themselves from the world as they grow up; this isolation is shattered by the stresses of their adolescence. It was first translated into English...

, was written in a week during a strenuous opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 weaning. In Opium, Diary of an Addict, he recounts the experience of his recovery from opium addiction in 1929. His account, which includes vivid pen-and-ink illustrations, alternates between his moment-to-moment experiences of drug withdrawal and his current thoughts about people and events in his world. Cocteau was supported throughout his recovery by his friend and correspondent philosopher Jacques Maritain. Under Maritain's influence Cocteau made a temporary return to the sacraments of the Catholic Church.

The Human Voice

Cocteau's experiments with the human voice peaked with his play La Voix humaine
The Human Voice
The Human Voice a 1930 play, first staged at the Comédie Française in 1930, written by Jean Cocteau, is a monologue taking place in Paris, where a middle-aged woman is on a phone call with her lover of the last five years. He is to marry another woman the next day, which causes her to despair...

. The story involves one woman on stage speaking on the telephone with her (invisible and inaudible) departing lover, who is leaving her to marry another woman. The telephone proved to be the perfect prop for Cocteau to explore his ideas, feelings, and "algebra" concerning human needs and realities in communication.

Cocteau acknowledged in the introduction to the script that the play was motivated, in part, by complaints from his actresses that his works were too writer/director-dominated and gave the players little opportunity to show off their full range of talents. La Voix humaine was written, in effect, as an extravagant aria for Madame Berthe Bovy
Berthe Bovy
Berthe Bovy , sometimes known as Betty Bovy, was a Belgian actress who appeared in theatre, films and television programmes for over 60 years....

. Before came Orphée
Orphée
Orpheus is a 1950 French film directed by Jean Cocteau and starring Jean Marais. This film is the central part of Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy, which consists of The Blood of a Poet , Orpheus and Testament of Orpheus...

, later turned into one of his more successful films; after came La Machine infernale
The Infernal Machine
The Infernal Machine is a play by the French dramatist Jean Cocteau, based on the ancient Greek myth of Oedipus. It received its première in 1934 under the direction of Louis Jouvet.-Sources:...

, arguably his most fully realized work of art. La Voix humaine is deceptively simple—a woman alone on stage for almost one hour of non-stop theatre speaking on the telephone with her departing lover. It is, in fact, full of theatrical codes harking back to the Dadaists' Vox Humana experiments after World War One
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Alphonse de Lamartine's "La Voix humaine", part of his larger work Harmonies poétiques et religieuses and the effect of the creation of the Vox Humana ("voix humaine"), an organ stop
Organ stop
An organ stop is a component of a pipe organ that admits pressurized air to a set of organ pipes. Its name comes from the fact that stops can be used selectively by the organist; some can be "on" , while others can be "off" .The term can also refer...

 of the Regal Class by Church organ masters (late 16th century) that attempted to imitate the human voice but never succeeded in doing better than the sound of a male chorus at a distance.

Reviews varied at the time and since but whatever the critique, the play represents Cocteau's state of mind and feelings towards his actors at the time: on the one hand, he wanted to spoil and please them; on the other, he was fed up by their diva antics and was ready for revenge. It is also true that none of Cocteau's works has inspired as much imitation: Francis Poulenc
Francis Poulenc
Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a French composer and a member of the French group Les six. He composed solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, choral music, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music...

's opera La Voix humaine
La voix humaine
La voix humaine is a one-act opera for one character, with music by Francis Poulenc to a libretto by Jean Cocteau, based on his 1930 play. La voix humaine was first performed at the Opéra-Comique, Salle Favart in Paris on 6 February 1959...

, Gian Carlo Menotti
Gian Carlo Menotti
Gian Carlo Menotti was an Italian-American composer and librettist. Although he often referred to himself as an American composer, he kept his Italian citizenship. He wrote the classic Christmas opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, among about two dozen other operas intended to appeal to popular...

's "opera bouffa" The Telephone and Roberto Rosselini's film version in Italian with Anna Magnani
Anna Magnani
Anna Magnani was an Italian stage and film actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress, along with four other international awards, for her portrayal of a Sicilian widow in The Rose Tattoo....

 L'Amore
L'Amore (film)
L'Amore is an anthology film directed by Roberto Rossellini starring Anna Magnani and Federico Fellini. The two segments are "Il Miracolo" and "Una Voce Umana", the latter based on the play The Human Voice by Jean Cocteau...

(1948). There has also been a long line of interpreters including Simone Signoret
Simone Signoret
Simone Signoret was a French cinema actress often hailed as one of France's greatest movie stars. She became the first French person to win an Academy Award, for her role in Room at the Top...

, Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and the Tony Award for Best Actress. She is ranked as the fourth greatest female star of American cinema of all time by the American Film Institute...

 and Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann
Liv Johanne Ullmann is a Norwegian actress and film director, as well as one of the "muses" of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman...

 (in the play) and Julia Migenes
Julia Migenes
Julia Migenes is an American mezzo-soprano working primarily in musical theatre repertoire. She was born on the Lower East Side of New York to a family of Greek and Irish-Puerto Rican descent...

 (in the opera).

According to one theory about how Cocteau was inspired to write La Voix humaine, he was experimenting with an idea by fellow French playwright Henri Bernstein
Henri Bernstein
Henri-Léon-Gustave-Charles Bernstein was a French playwright associated with Boulevard theatre.The far-right royalist Camelots du Roi youth organization of the Action française organized an anti-Semitic riot against a production of one of his plays in 1911...

. "When, in 1930, the Comedie-Française
Comédie-Française
The Comédie-Française or Théâtre-Français is one of the few state theaters in France. It is the only state theater to have its own troupe of actors. It is located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris....

 produced his La Voix humaine... Cocteau disavowed both literary right and literary left, as if to say, 'I'm standing as far right as Bernstein, in his very place, but it is an optical illusion: the avant-garde is spheroid and I've gone farther left than anyone else.'"

Maturity

In the 1930s, Cocteau had an affair with Princess Natalie Paley, the beautiful daughter of a Romanov
Romanov
The House of Romanov was the second and last imperial dynasty to rule over Russia, reigning from 1613 until the February Revolution abolished the crown in 1917...

 grand duke
Grand Duke
The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

 and herself a sometimes actress, model, and former wife of couturier Lucien Lelong
Lucien Lelong
Lucien Lelong was a French couturier who was prominent from the 1920s to the 1940s.-Career:Born in Paris as the son of Arthur Lelong, the owner of a textile shop, he trained at the Hautes Etudes de Commerciales in Paris and opened his fashion house in the late 1910s...

. She became pregnant. To Cocteau's distress and Paley's life-long regret, the fetus was aborted
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

. Cocteau's longest-lasting relationships were with the French actors Jean Marais
Jean Marais
-Biography:A native of Cherbourg, France, Marais starred in several movies directed by Jean Cocteau, for a time his lover, most famously Beauty and the Beast and Orphée ....

 and Edouard Dermithe, whom Cocteau formally adopted. Cocteau cast Marais in The Eternal Return (1943), Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast (1946 film)
Beauty and the Beast is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film adaptation of the traditional fairy tale of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and published in 1757 as part of a fairy tale anthology . Directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, the film stars Josette...

(1946), Ruy Blas
Ruy Blas
Ruy Blas is a tragic drama by Victor Hugo. It was the first play presented at the Théâtre de la Renaissance and opened on November 8, 1838. Though considered by many to be Hugo’s best drama, the play initially met with only average success....

(1947), and Orpheus (1949).

During the Nazi occupation of France, Cocteau's friend Arno Breker
Arno Breker
Arno Breker was a German sculptor, best known for his public works in Nazi Germany, which were endorsed by the authorities as the antithesis of degenerate art....

 convinced him that Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 was a pacifist and patron of the arts with France's best interests in mind. In his diary, Cocteau accused France of disrespect towards Hitler and speculated on the Führer's sexuality. Cocteau effusively praised Breker's sculptures in an article entitled 'Salut à Breker' published in 1942. This piece caused him to be arraigned on charges of collaboration after the war, though he was cleared of any wrongdoing and had in fact used his contacts to attempt to save friends such as Max Jacob
Max Jacob
Max Jacob was a French poet, painter, writer, and critic.-Life and career:After spending his childhood in Quimper, Brittany, France, he enrolled in the Paris Colonial School, which he left in 1897 for an artistic career...

.

In 1940, Le Bel Indifférent, Cocteau's play written for and starring Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf , born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer and cultural icon who became widely regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads...

, was enormously successful. He also worked with Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 on several projects and was friends with most of the European art community. Cocteau's films, most of which he both wrote and directed, were particularly important in introducing the avant-garde into French cinema
Cinema of France
The Cinema of France comprises the art of film and creative movies made within the nation of France or by French filmmakers abroad.France is the birthplace of cinema and was responsible for many of its early significant contributions. Several important cinematic movements, including the Nouvelle...

 and influenced to a certain degree the upcoming French New Wave
French New Wave
The New Wave was a blanket term coined by critics for a group of French filmmakers of the late 1950s and 1960s, influenced by Italian Neorealism and classical Hollywood cinema. Although never a formally organized movement, the New Wave filmmakers were linked by their self-conscious rejection of...

 genre.

Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants terribles
Les Enfants Terribles
Les Enfants Terribles is a 1929 novel by Jean Cocteau, published by Editions Bernard Grasset. It concerns two siblings, Elisabeth and Paul, who isolate themselves from the world as they grow up; this isolation is shattered by the stresses of their adolescence. It was first translated into English...

(1929), and the films Blood of a Poet (1930), Les Parents terribles
Les parents terribles (film)
Les Parents terribles is a 1948 film adaptation directed by Jean Cocteau from his own stage play Les Parents terribles. Cocteau used the same cast who had appeared in a successful stage revival of the play in Paris in 1946...

(1948), Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast (1946 film)
Beauty and the Beast is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film adaptation of the traditional fairy tale of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and published in 1757 as part of a fairy tale anthology . Directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, the film stars Josette...

(1946), and Orpheus (1949).

In 1945, Cocteau was one of several designers who created sets for the Théâtre de la Mode
Théâtre de la Mode
Théâtre de la Mode was a 1946 touring exhibit of fashion mannequins, approximately 1/3 the size of human scale, crafted by top Paris fashion designers. It was created to raise funds for war survivors and to help revive the French fashion industry in the aftermath of World War II...

. He drew inspiration from filmmaker René Clair
René Clair
René Clair born René-Lucien Chomette, was a French filmmaker.-Biography:He was born in Paris and grew up in the Les Halles quarter. He attended the Lycée Montaigne and the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. During World War I, he served as an ambulance driver. After the war, he started a career as a journalist...

 while making Tribute to René Clair: I Married a Witch. The maquette
Maquette
A maquette is a small scale model or rough draft of an unfinished architectural work or a sculpture...

 is described in his "Journal 1942-1945," in his entry for February 12, 1945:

Cocteau was openly gay
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

. His muse and lover for over 25 years was actor Jean Marais
Jean Marais
-Biography:A native of Cherbourg, France, Marais starred in several movies directed by Jean Cocteau, for a time his lover, most famously Beauty and the Beast and Orphée ....

.

Cocteau died of a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 at his chateau
Château
A château is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of nobility or gentry, with or without fortifications, originally—and still most frequently—in French-speaking regions...

 in Milly-la-Forêt, Essonne
Essonne
Essonne is a French department in the region of Île-de-France. It is named after the Essonne River.It was formed on 1 January 1968 when Seine-et-Oise was split into smaller departments.- History :...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, on 11 October 1963 at the age of 74. It is said that upon hearing of the death of his friend, the French singer Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf , born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer and cultural icon who became widely regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads...

 the same day, he choked so badly that his heart failed. He is buried beneath the floor of the Chapelle Saint Blaise Des Simples in Milly-la-Forêt. The epitaph on his gravestone set in the floor of the chapel reads: "I stay with you" ("Je reste avec vous").

Honours and awards

In 1955 Cocteau was made a member of the Académie française
Académie française
L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

 and The Royal Academy of Belgium
The Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium
There are two Royal Academies for Science and the Arts in Belgium, corresponding to the two main languages of the country, Dutch and French . The Academies are located in the Palace of Academies in Brussels....

.

During his life Cocteau was commander of the Legion of Honor
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

, Member of the Mallarmé Academy, German Academy (Berlin), American Academy, Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

 (U.S.A) Academy, Honorary President of the Cannes film festival
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

, Honorary President of the France-Hungary Association and President of the Jazz Academy and of the Academy of the Disc.

Filmography

  • Le Sang d'un poète
    The Blood of a Poet
    The Blood of a Poet is an avant-garde film directed by Jean Cocteau and financed by Charles de Noailles. Photographer Lee Miller made her only film appearance in this movie, and it also features an appearance by the famed aerialist Barbette...

    (The Blood of a Poet) (1930)
  • L'Éternel retour
    L'Éternel retour
    L'Éternel retour is a French drama romance film from 1943, directed by Jean Delannoy, written by Jean Cocteau, starring Madeleine Sologne and Jean Marais...

    (The Eternal Return) (1943)
  • La Belle et la Bête
    Beauty and the Beast (1946 film)
    Beauty and the Beast is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film adaptation of the traditional fairy tale of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and published in 1757 as part of a fairy tale anthology . Directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, the film stars Josette...

    (Beauty and the Beast) (1946)
  • L'Aigle à deux têtes
    The Eagle with Two Heads
    The Eagle with Two Heads is a French film directed by Jean Cocteau released in 1948. It was adapted from his own play L'Aigle à deux têtes which was first staged in 1946, and it retained the principal actors from the first Paris production.-Synopsis:On the 10th anniversary of the assassination of...

    (The Eagle with Two Heads) (1948)
  • Les Parents terribles
    Les parents terribles (film)
    Les Parents terribles is a 1948 film adaptation directed by Jean Cocteau from his own stage play Les Parents terribles. Cocteau used the same cast who had appeared in a successful stage revival of the play in Paris in 1946...

    (The Storm Within) (1948)
  • Coriolan (1950) never released
  • Orphée (Orpheus) (1950)
  • La Villa Santo-Sospir
    La villa Santo-Sospir
    La Villa Santo-Sospir is a 35-minute amateur or home film directed by Jean Cocteau in which Cocteau takes the viewer on a tour of a friend's villa on the French coast, a major location later used in his film Testament of Orpheus ....

    (1952)
  • 8 × 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements (1957) co-director, experimental film
    Experimental film
    Experimental film or experimental cinema is a type of cinema. Experimental film is an artistic practice relieving both of visual arts and cinema. Its origins can be found in European avant-garde movements of the twenties. Experimental cinema has built its history through the texts of theoreticians...

  • Le Testament d'Orphée
    Testament of Orpheus
    Testament of Orpheus is a 1960 film directed by and starring Jean Cocteau. It is considered the final part of the Orphic Trilogy, following The Blood of a Poet and Orphée...

    (The Testament of Orpheus) (1960)

Literature

Each year links to its corresponding "[year] in literature" article, except for poetry and poetry criticism, which link to corresponding "[year] in poetry" articles.
Poetry
  • 1909 La Lampe d'Aladin
  • 1910 Le Prince frivole
  • 1912 La Danse de Sophocle
  • 1919 Ode à PicassoLe Cap de Bonne-Espérance
  • 1920 Escale. Poésies (1917–1920)
  • 1922 Vocabulaire
  • 1923 La Rose de FrançoisPlain-Chant
  • 1925 Cri écrit
  • 1926 L'Ange Heurtebise
  • 1927 Opéra
  • 1934 Mythologie
  • 1939 Énigmes
  • 1941 Allégories
  • 1945 Léone
  • 1946 La Crucifixion
  • 1948 Poèmes
  • 1952 Le Chiffre septLa Nappe du Catalan (in collaboration with Georges Hugnet
    Georges Hugnet
    Georges Hugnet , was a French poet, writer, artist, art historian, graphic artist, and film director. He was a figure in the Dada movement and Surrealism.-References:...

    )
  • 1953 Dentelles d'éternitéAppoggiatures
  • 1954 Clair-obscur
  • 1958 Paraprosodies
  • 1961 Cérémonial espagnol du PhénixLa Partie d'échecs
  • 1962 Le Requiem
  • 1968 Faire-Part (posthume)

Novels
  • 1919: Le Potomak (definitive edition: 1924)
  • 1923: Le Grand ÉcartThomas l'imposteur
    Thomas l'imposteur
    Thomas the Impostor is a 1964 French film directed by Georges Franju and starring Emmanuelle Riva, Fabrice Rouleau, Sophie Dares, Jean Marais and Charles Aznavour. It is based on a novel of the same name by Jean Cocteau, which had first been published in French in 1923 and had been inspired by...

  • 1928: Le Livre blanc
  • 1929: Les Enfants terribles
    Les Enfants Terribles
    Les Enfants Terribles is a 1929 novel by Jean Cocteau, published by Editions Bernard Grasset. It concerns two siblings, Elisabeth and Paul, who isolate themselves from the world as they grow up; this isolation is shattered by the stresses of their adolescence. It was first translated into English...

  • 1940: La Fin du Potomak

Theater
  • 1917: Parade
    Parade (ballet)
    Parade is a ballet with music by Erik Satie and a one-act scenario by Jean Cocteau. The ballet was composed 1916-1917 for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes...

    , ballet
    Ballet
    Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

     (music by Erik Satie
    Erik Satie
    Éric Alfred Leslie Satie was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde...

    , choreography by Léonide Massine)
  • 1921: Les Mariés de la tour Eiffel
    Les mariés de la tour Eiffel
    Les mariés de la tour Eiffel is a ballet to a libretto by Jean Cocteau, choreography by Jean Börlin, set by Irène Lagut, costumes by Jean Hugo, and music by five members of Les six – Georges Auric, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc and Germaine Tailleferre. The score calls for two...

    (music by Georges Auric
    Georges Auric
    Georges Auric was a French composer, born in Lodève, Hérault. He was a child prodigy and at age 15 he had his first compositions published. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Georges Caussade, and under the composer Vincent d'Indy at the Schola Cantorum...

    , Arthur Honegger
    Arthur Honegger
    Arthur Honegger was a Swiss composer, who was born in France and lived a large part of his life in Paris. He was a member of Les six. His most frequently performed work is probably the orchestral work Pacific 231, which is interpreted as imitating the sound of a steam locomotive.-Biography:Born...

    , Darius Milhaud
    Darius Milhaud
    Darius Milhaud was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as The Group of Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and make use of polytonality...

    , Francis Poulenc
    Francis Poulenc
    Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a French composer and a member of the French group Les six. He composed solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, choral music, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music...

     and Germaine Tailleferre
    Germaine Tailleferre
    Germaine Tailleferre was a French composer and the only female member of the famous composers' group Les Six.-Biography:...

    )
  • 1922: Antigone
    Antigone (Cocteau)
    Antigone is a play by Jean Cocteau, written in Paris in 1922.It is based entirely on a theme already treated by the mythological playwright Greek Sophocles the Vth century BC. and frequently repeated since...

  • 1924: Roméo et Juliette
  • 1925: Orphée
  • 1927: Oedipus Rex
    Oedipus rex (opera)
    Oedipus rex is an "Opera-oratorio after Sophocles" by Igor Stravinsky, scored for orchestra, speaker, soloists, and male chorus. The libretto, based on Sophocles's tragedy, was written by Jean Cocteau in French and then translated by Abbé Jean Daniélou into Latin...

    (music by Igor Stravinsky
    Igor Stravinsky
    Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

    )
  • 1930: La Voix humaine
    The Human Voice
    The Human Voice a 1930 play, first staged at the Comédie Française in 1930, written by Jean Cocteau, is a monologue taking place in Paris, where a middle-aged woman is on a phone call with her lover of the last five years. He is to marry another woman the next day, which causes her to despair...

  • 1934: La Machine infernale
    The Infernal Machine
    The Infernal Machine is a play by the French dramatist Jean Cocteau, based on the ancient Greek myth of Oedipus. It received its première in 1934 under the direction of Louis Jouvet.-Sources:...

  • 1936: L'École des veuves
  • 1937: Œdipe-roi. Les Chevaliers de la Table ronde, premiere at the Théâtre Antoine
  • 1938: Les Parents terribles
    Les parents terribles
    Les Parents terribles is a 1938 French play written by Jean Cocteau. Despite initial problems with censorship, it was revived on the French stage several times after its original production, and in 1948 a film adaptation directed by Cocteau himself was released...

    , premiere at the Théâtre Antoine
  • 1940: Les Monstres sacrés
  • 1941: La Machine à écrire
  • 1943: Renaud et Armide. L'Épouse injustement soupçonnée
  • 1944: L'Aigle à deux têtes
    L'Aigle à deux têtes
    L'Aigle à deux têtes is a French play in three acts by Jean Cocteau, written in 1943 and first performed in 1946. It is known variously in English as The Eagle with Two Heads, The Eagle Has Two Heads, The Two-Headed Eagle, The Double-Headed Eagle, and Eagle Rampant...

  • 1946: Le Jeune Homme et la Mort
    Le jeune homme et la mort
    Le Jeune Homme et La Mort is a ballet by Roland Petit, choreographed in 1946 to Bach's Passacaglia in C Minor, BWV 582 , with a one-act libretto by Jean Cocteau. It tells the story of a Young Man driven to suicide by his faithless lover. Sets were by Georges Wakhévitch and costumes variously...

    , ballet
    Ballet
    Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

     by Roland Petit
    Roland Petit
    Roland Petit was a French choreographer and dancer born in Villemomble, near Paris, France. He trained at the Paris Opéra Ballet school, and became well known for his creative ballets.-Biography:...

  • 1948: Théâtre I and II
  • 1951: Bacchus
  • 1960: Nouveau théâtre de poche
  • 1962: L'Impromptu du Palais-Royal
  • 1971: Le Gendarme incompris (posthumous, in collaboration with Raymond Radiguet
    Raymond Radiguet
    Raymond Radiguet was a French author whose two novels were noted for their explicit themes and writing style and tone.-Early life:...

    )

Poetry and criticism
  • 1918 Le Coq et l'Arlequin
  • 1920 Carte blanche
  • 1922 Le Secret professionnel
  • 1926 Le Rappel à l'ordreLettre à Jacques Maritain
  • 1930 Opium
  • 1932 Essai de critique indirecte
  • 1935 Portraits-Souvenir
  • 1937 Mon premier voyage (Around the World in 80 Days)
  • 1943 Le Greco
  • 1947 Le Foyer des artistesLa Difficulté d'être
  • 1949 Lettres aux AméricainsReines de la France
  • 1951 Jean Marais
    Jean Marais
    -Biography:A native of Cherbourg, France, Marais starred in several movies directed by Jean Cocteau, for a time his lover, most famously Beauty and the Beast and Orphée ....

    – A Discussion about Cinematography (with André Fraigneau)
  • 1952 Gide
    André Gide
    André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide...

     vivant
  • 1953 Journal d'un inconnu. Démarche d'un poète
  • 1955 Colette
    Colette
    Colette was the surname of the French novelist and performer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette . She is best known for her novel Gigi, upon which Lerner and Loewe based the stage and film musical comedies of the same title.-Early life and marriage:Colette was born to retired military officer Jules-Joseph...

    (Discourse on the reception at the Royal Academy of Belgium) – Discourse on the reception at the Académie française
    Académie française
    L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

  • 1956 Discours d'Oxford
  • 1957 Entretiens sur le musée de Dresde (with Louis Aragon) – La Corrida du 1er mai
  • 1950
    1959 in poetry
    Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:* In the United States, "Those serious new Bohemians, the beatniks, occupied with reading their deliberately undisciplined, protesting verse in night clubs and hotel ballrooms, created more publicity...

    :
    Poésie critique I
  • 1960: Poésie critique II
  • 1962 Le Cordon ombilical
  • 1963 La Comtesse de Noailles, oui et non
  • 1964 Portraits-Souvenir (posthumous ; A discussion with Roger Stéphane)
  • 1965 Entretiens avec André Fraigneau (posthumous)
  • 1973 Jean Cocteau par Jean Cocteau (posthumous ; A discussion with William Fielfield)
  • 1973 Du cinématographe (posthumous). Entretiens sur le cinématographe (posthumous)

Journalistic poetry
  • 1935–1938 (posthumous)


Film

Director
  • 1925 : Jean Cocteau fait du cinéma
  • 1930 : Le Sang d'un poète
    The Blood of a Poet
    The Blood of a Poet is an avant-garde film directed by Jean Cocteau and financed by Charles de Noailles. Photographer Lee Miller made her only film appearance in this movie, and it also features an appearance by the famed aerialist Barbette...

  • 1946 : La Belle et la Bête
    Beauty and the Beast (1946 film)
    Beauty and the Beast is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film adaptation of the traditional fairy tale of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and published in 1757 as part of a fairy tale anthology . Directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, the film stars Josette...

  • 1948 : L'Aigle à deux têtes
    The Eagle with Two Heads
    The Eagle with Two Heads is a French film directed by Jean Cocteau released in 1948. It was adapted from his own play L'Aigle à deux têtes which was first staged in 1946, and it retained the principal actors from the first Paris production.-Synopsis:On the 10th anniversary of the assassination of...

  • 1948 : Les Parents terribles
    Les parents terribles (film)
    Les Parents terribles is a 1948 film adaptation directed by Jean Cocteau from his own stage play Les Parents terribles. Cocteau used the same cast who had appeared in a successful stage revival of the play in Paris in 1946...

  • 1950
    1955 in film
    The year 1955 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* November 3 - The musical Guys and Dolls, starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, debuts.* June 27 - The last ever Republic serial, King of the Carnival, is released....

    :
    Orphée
  • 1950
    1952 in film
    The year 1952 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* January 10 - Cecil B. DeMille's circus epic, The Greatest Show on Earth, premieres at Radio City Music Hall in New York City....

    :
    Coriolan
  • 1952 : La Villa Santo-Sospir
    La villa Santo-Sospir
    La Villa Santo-Sospir is a 35-minute amateur or home film directed by Jean Cocteau in which Cocteau takes the viewer on a tour of a friend's villa on the French coast, a major location later used in his film Testament of Orpheus ....

  • 1955 : L'Amour sous l'électrode
  • 1957 : 8 × 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements
  • 1960 : Le Testament d'Orphée
    Testament of Orpheus
    Testament of Orpheus is a 1960 film directed by and starring Jean Cocteau. It is considered the final part of the Orphic Trilogy, following The Blood of a Poet and Orphée...


Scriptwriter
  • 1943 : L'Éternel Retour
    L'Éternel retour
    L'Éternel retour is a French drama romance film from 1943, directed by Jean Delannoy, written by Jean Cocteau, starring Madeleine Sologne and Jean Marais...

    directed by Jean Delannoy
    Jean Delannoy
    Jean Delannoy was a French actor, film editor, screenwriter and film director.Although Delannoy was born in a Paris suburb, his family is from Haute-Normandie in the north of France...

  • 1944 : "Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne
    Les dames du Bois de Boulogne
    Les dames du Bois de Boulogne is a 1945 French film directed by Robert Bresson. It is a modern adaptation of a section of Denis Diderot's Jacques le fataliste , telling the story of a man who is tricked into marrying a former prostitute.Les Dames was Bresson's second feature...

    " directed by Robert Bresson
    Robert Bresson
    -Life and career:Bresson was born at Bromont-Lamothe, Puy-de-Dôme, the son of Marie-Élisabeth and Léon Bresson. Little is known of his early life and the year of his birth, 1901 or 1907, varies depending on the source. He was educated at Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, close to Paris, and...

  • 1948 : Ruy Blas directed by Pierre Billon
    Pierre Billon (director)
    Pierre Billon was a French film director and screenwriter. In 1952 he served on the jury of the Cannes Festival.-Reference:...

  • 1950 : Les Enfants terribles
    Les Enfants terribles (film)
    Les Enfants terribles is a 1950 French film directed by Jean-Pierre Melville and based on Jean Cocteau's novel of the same name...

    directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, script by Jean Cocteau based on his novel
  • 1951 : La Couronne Noire directed by Luis Saslavsky
    Luis Saslavsky
    Luis Saslavsky was an Argentine film director, screenwriter and film producer, and one of the influential directors in the Cinema of Argentina of the classic era...

  • 1961 : La Princesse de Clèves directed by Jean Delannoy
    Jean Delannoy
    Jean Delannoy was a French actor, film editor, screenwriter and film director.Although Delannoy was born in a Paris suburb, his family is from Haute-Normandie in the north of France...

  • 1965 : Thomas l'imposteur
    Thomas l'imposteur
    Thomas the Impostor is a 1964 French film directed by Georges Franju and starring Emmanuelle Riva, Fabrice Rouleau, Sophie Dares, Jean Marais and Charles Aznavour. It is based on a novel of the same name by Jean Cocteau, which had first been published in French in 1923 and had been inspired by...

    directed by Georges Franju
    Georges Franju
    -External links:* at Allmovie...

    , script by Jean Cocteau based on his novel

Dialogue writer
  • 1943 : Le Baron fantôme (+ actor) directed by Serge de Poligny
  • 1961 : La Princesse de Clèves directed by Jean Delannoy
    Jean Delannoy
    Jean Delannoy was a French actor, film editor, screenwriter and film director.Although Delannoy was born in a Paris suburb, his family is from Haute-Normandie in the north of France...

  • 1965 : Thomas l'imposteur
    Thomas l'imposteur
    Thomas the Impostor is a 1964 French film directed by Georges Franju and starring Emmanuelle Riva, Fabrice Rouleau, Sophie Dares, Jean Marais and Charles Aznavour. It is based on a novel of the same name by Jean Cocteau, which had first been published in French in 1923 and had been inspired by...

    directed by Georges Franju
    Georges Franju
    -External links:* at Allmovie...


Director of Photography
  • 1950 : Un chant d'amour
    Un Chant d'Amour
    A Song of Love is French writer Jean Genet's only film, which he directed in 1950. Because of its explicit homosexual content, the 26-minute movie was long banned and even disowned by Genet later in his life....

    réalisé par Jean Genet
    Jean Genet
    Jean Genet was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing...


Poetry illustrator

  • 1924 : Dessins
  • 1925 : Le Mystère de Jean l'oiseleur
  • 1926 : Maison de santé
  • 1929 : 25 dessins d'un dormeur
  • 1935 : 60 designs for Les Enfants Terribles
  • 1941 : Drawings in the margins of Chevaliers de la Table ronde
  • 1948 : Drôle de ménage
  • 1957 : La Chapelle Saint-Pierre, Villefranche-sur-Mer
    Villefranche-sur-Mer
    Villefranche-sur-Mer is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera.-Geography:...

  • 1958 : La Salle des mariages, City Hall of Menton – La Chapelle Saint-Pierre (lithographies)
  • 1959 : Gondol des morts
  • 1960 : Chapelle Saint-Blaise-des-Simples, Milly-la-Forêt
    Milly-la-Forêt
    Milly-la-Forêt is a commune in the Essonne department in Île-de-France in northern France.-Geology:The Forest of Fontainebleau in the western end of which Milly-la-Forêt lies, is composed of the Oligocene Fontainebleau sands, which are a marine deposit, laid down in an intertidal...

  • 1960 : Windows of the Église Saint-Maximin de Metz

Recordings

  • Colette par Jean Cocteau, discours de réception à l'Académie Royale de Belgique, Ducretet-Thomson 300 V 078 St.
  • Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel and Portraits-Souvenir, La Voix de l'Auteur LVA 13
  • Plain-chant by Jean Marais, extracts from the piece Orphée by Jean-Pierre Aumont
    Jean-Pierre Aumont
    -Early life:Aumont was born Jean-Pierre Philippe Salomons in Paris, the son of Suzanne and Alexandre Salomons, owner of La Maison du Blanc . His mother's uncle was well-known stage actor Georges Berr. His father was from a Dutch Jewish family and his mother's family were French Jews...

    , Michel Bouquet
    Michel Bouquet
    Michel Bouquet is a French film actor. He has appeared in over 90 films since 1947. He was born in Paris, France.-Selected filmography:* La petite chambre * Le Promeneur du Champ de Mars...

    , Monique Mélinand, Les Parents terribles by Yvonne de Bray
    Yvonne de Bray
    Yvonne de Bray was a French stage and film actress. She was born Yvonne Laurence Blanche de Bray in Paris and died there.-Selected filmography:1952 – We Are All Murderers1950 – Olivia1949 – Gigi...

     and Jean Marais, L'Aigle à deux têtes par Edwige Feuillère
    Edwige Feuillère
    Edwige Feuillère was a distinguished French stage and film actress....

     and Jean Marais, L'Encyclopédie Sonore 320 E 874, 1971
  • Collection of three vinyl recordings of Jean Cocteau including La Voix humaine by Simone Signoret
    Simone Signoret
    Simone Signoret was a French cinema actress often hailed as one of France's greatest movie stars. She became the first French person to win an Academy Award, for her role in Room at the Top...

    , 18 songs composed by Louis Bessières, Bee Michelin and Renaud Marx, on double-piano Paul Castanier, Le Discours de réception à l'Académie Française, Jacques Canetti JC1, 1984
  • Derniers propos à bâtons rompus avec Jean Cocteau, 16 September 1963 à Milly-la-Forêt, Bel Air 311035
  • Les Enfants terribles, radio version with Jean Marais, Josette Day
    Josette Day
    Josette Day was a French film actress.Born in Paris, she began her career as an actress in 1919 at the age of five...

    , Silvia Monfort
    Silvia Monfort
    Silvia Monfort was a French actress and theatre director. Daughter of the sculptor Charles Favre-Bertin and wife of Pierre Gruneberg....

     and Jean Cocteau, CD Phonurgia Nova ISBN 2-908325-07-1, 1992
  • Anthology, 4 CD containing numerous poems and texts read by the author, Anna la bonne, La Dame de Monte-Carlo and Mes sœurs, n'aimez pas les marins by Marianne Oswald
    Marianne Oswald
    Marianne Oswald was the stage name of Sarah Alice Bloch, a French singer and actress born in Sarreguemines in Alsace-Lorraine. She took this stage name from a character she much admired, the unhappy Oswald in the Ibsen play Ghosts...

    , Le Bel Indifférent by Edith Piaf
    Édith Piaf
    Édith Piaf , born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer and cultural icon who became widely regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads...

    , La Voix humaine by Berthe Bovy
    Berthe Bovy
    Berthe Bovy , sometimes known as Betty Bovy, was a Belgian actress who appeared in theatre, films and television programmes for over 60 years....

    , Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel with Jean Le Poulain, Jacques Charon
    Jacques Charon
    Jacques Charon was a French actor and film director.Born in Paris, Charon trained at the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique and made his début at the Comédie-Française in 1941...

     and Jean Cocteau, discourse on the reception at the Académie française, with extracts from Les Parents terribles, La Machine infernale, pieces from Parade on piano with two hands by Georges Auric
    Georges Auric
    Georges Auric was a French composer, born in Lodève, Hérault. He was a child prodigy and at age 15 he had his first compositions published. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Georges Caussade, and under the composer Vincent d'Indy at the Schola Cantorum...

     and Francis Poulenc
    Francis Poulenc
    Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a French composer and a member of the French group Les six. He composed solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, choral music, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music...

    , Frémeaux & Associés FA 064, 1997
  • Poems by Jean Cocteau read by the author, CD EMI 8551082, 1997
  • Hommage à Jean Cocteau, mélodies d'Henri Sauguet
    Henri Sauguet
    Henri Sauguet , was a French composer. Born in Bordeaux as Henri-Pierre Poupard, he adopted his mother's maiden name as his pseudonym. His output includes operas, ballets, four symphonies , concertos, chamber and choral music and numerous songs, as well as film music...

    , Arthur Honegger
    Arthur Honegger
    Arthur Honegger was a Swiss composer, who was born in France and lived a large part of his life in Paris. He was a member of Les six. His most frequently performed work is probably the orchestral work Pacific 231, which is interpreted as imitating the sound of a steam locomotive.-Biography:Born...

    , Louis Durey
    Louis Durey
    -Life:Louis Durey was born in Paris, the son of a local businessman. It was not until he was nineteen years old that he chose to pursue a musical career after hearing a performance of a Claude Debussy work. As a composer he was primarily self-taught. From the beginning, choral music was of great...

    , Darius Milhaud
    Darius Milhaud
    Darius Milhaud was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as The Group of Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and make use of polytonality...

    , Erik Satie
    Erik Satie
    Éric Alfred Leslie Satie was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde...

    , Jean Wiener
    Jean Wiener
    Jean Wiener was a French pianist and composer.- Life :Wiener was trained at the Conservatoire in Paris, where he studied alongside Darius Milhaud, and worked with Erik Satie. He then embarked on a career as concert impresario, composer and pianist...

    , Max Jacob
    Max Jacob
    Max Jacob was a French poet, painter, writer, and critic.-Life and career:After spending his childhood in Quimper, Brittany, France, he enrolled in the Paris Colonial School, which he left in 1897 for an artistic career...

    , Francis Poulenc, Maurice Delage
    Maurice Delage
    Maurice Delage was a French composer and pianist.Delage was born and died in Paris. A student of Ravel and member of Les Apaches, he was influenced by travels to India and the East. Ravel's "La vallée des cloches" from Miroirs was dedicated to Delage.Delage's best known piece is Quatre poèmes...

    , Georges Auric, Guy Sacre, by Jean-François Gardeil (baryton) and Billy Eidi (piano), CD Adda 581177, 1989
  • Le Testament d'Orphée, journal sonore, by Roger Pillaudin, 2 CD INA / Radio France 211788, 1998

Journals

  • 1946 La Belle et la Bête (film journal)
  • 1949 Maalesh (journal of a stage production)
  • 1983 Le Passé défini (posthumous)
  • 1989 Journal, 1942–1945

Further reading

  • Arthur B. Evans, Jean Cocteau and his Films of Orphic Identity. Philadelphia: Art Alliance Press, 1977.
  • Cornelia A. Tsakiridou, ed. Reviewing Orpheus: Essays on the Cinema and Art of Jean Cocteau. Lewisburg, Pa.: Bucknell University Press, 1997.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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