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Jean Cocteau Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (7) | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 5 July 1889Maisons-Laffitte, Yvelines, France
Date of Death 11 October 1963Milly-la-Forêt, Essonne, France  (heart attack)
Birth NameJean Maurice Eugène Cocteau

Mini Bio (1)

Jean Cocteau was one of the most multi-talented artists of the 20th century. In addition to being a director, he was a poet, novelist, painter, playwright, set designer, and actor. He began writing at 10 and was a published poet by age 16. He collaborated with the "Russian Ballet" company of Sergei Diaghilev, and was active in many art movements, but always remained a poet at heart. His films reflect this fact. Cocteau was also a homosexual, and made no attempt to hide it. His favorite actor was his close friend Jean Marais, who appeared in almost every one of his films. Cocteau made about twelve films in his career, all rich with symbolism and surreal imagery. He is now regarded as one of the most important avant-garde directors in cinema.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Alan Katz <katz@panther.middlebury.edu>

Trade Mark (2)

Rich, poetic films filled with symbolism
Almost always cast his protege and lover, 'Jean Marais'.

Trivia (7)

Longtime companion of Jean Marais.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945." Pages 144-147. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.
Was posthumously nominated for Broadway's 1995 Tony Award as author of Best Play nominee "Indiscretions."
Honorary president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1957.
President of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1954.
President of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953.
He was an Ambulance Driver during the First World War.

Personal Quotes (11)

Film will only become an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper.
I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.
History consists of truths which in the end turn into lies, while myth consists of lies which finally turn into truths.
[on cinema] That temple of sex, with its goddesses, its guardians and its victims.
A film is a petrified fountain of thought.
[on the cast of "Les Parents Terribles"] If I keep Jean Marais for last, it's because his performance escapes analysis. Not only is it prodigious: he played what he used to execute, instinctively, and tripled his effects by a fusion of passion and style.
[on Marlene Dietrich] In your voice we hear the voice of Lorelei; in your look, the Lorelei turns to us. But the Lorelei was a danger to be feared. You are not, because the secret of your beauty lies in the care of your loving kindness of the heart. This care of the heart is what holds you higher than elegance, fashion or style; higher even than your fame, your courage, your bearing, your films, your songs.
[on Orson Welles] An active loafer, a wise madman.
What's a Frenchman? An Italian in a bad mood.
[on being accused by fellow-Frenchmen of fraternizing with Nazi officials during the WWII occupation] Why should the destiny of a poet change? My realm is not of this world. and the world resents me for not following the rules. I will always suffer the same injustice.
In Paris, everybody wants to be an actor; nobody is content to be a spectator.

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