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Testament of Orpheus (1960)

Le testament d'Orphée, ou ne me demandez pas pourquoi! (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography | 18 February 1960 (France)
The Poet looks back over his life and work, recalling his inspirations and obsessions.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself - the Poet
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Storyline

The poet Jean Cocteau is lost in space-time. He has been in the 18th century and is now turning up at different moments in professor Langevin's life. The professor has invented some bullets, which travel faster than light. With one of them he kills Cocteau, who is resurrected as his old self, but is still caught in the space between fantasy and reality. At a gypsy camp a woman saves a photo out of the fire and restores it. On the photo Cocteau recognizes Cégeste from his film Orphée. He tears the photo into pieces and throws it into the sea. Immediately Cégeste himself jumps out of the water. He brings Cocteau to a rogatory commission led by Heurtebise and The Princess from the film Orphée. Cocteau admits that he has constantly attempted to enter a world which is not his own, a world that is beyond the limits of man, and that disobedience is like a religion for him. The commission imposes on him the sentence of life. In a hall inside some stone ruins the goddess Athena kills Cocteau ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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18 February 1960 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Le testament d'Orphée  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dedicated to the French New Wave. See more »

Quotes

Cégeste: It's no use. An artist always paints his own portrait. You'll never paint that flower.
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Connections

Featured in Brows Held High: Beauty and the Beast: Part 1 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Orphée et Eurydice
Composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck
(1762)
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User Reviews

Cocteau's transcendent sense of wonder shines brightly.
25 February 1999 | by (Sydney) – See all my reviews

Jean Cocteau's final filmic flight of fantasy is very special indeed.

Adopting the guise of a poet 'unstuck in time', Cocteau ranges over his life in the world of poetry. It's a phantasmorgorical whirl of imagery, with plenty of humour, pathos and an enormous, transcendent sense of wonder. There's also a trial sequence where the characters from his earlier success 'Orphee' try him for bringing them into existence !

Some of Cocteau famous friends feature in brief cameos. Look out for Picasso and Bardot.

You don't have to be a Cocteau fan to enjoy this movie. All you need is an interest in the nature of creativity and an enjoyment of poetry, symbolic art, and the wonderfully cinematic music of Georges Auric, who scored all Cocteau's major films.


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