Jean Cocteau

05.07.1889, Maisons-Laffitte, France - 11.10.1963, Milly-la-Foret, France



Jean Cocteau grew up in a wealthy family, was educated in private schools. At the age of fifteen he is thrown out from a school and runs away to Marseilles where he lives under a false name in a neighborhood full of brothels. He is especially favorable towards modernism when writing poetry and painting as well as when making movies that are imbued with symbols. He had relationships with the famous writer Raymond Radiguet and the actor Jean Marais. He also worked with many worldly acclaimed artists (Pablo Picasso), and wrote dialogues and
screenplays for many directors like Robert Bresson, G.W. Pabst, J.- P. Melville and others. His work in the movie Beauty and the Beast, marked by his illness and physical efforts, was documented in Cocteau’s book Beauty and the Beast: Film Diary (during shooting Cocteau received an injection of penicillin every three hours).


Le testament d'Orphée (1960)
La villa Santo-Sospir (1952)
Coriolan (1950)
Orphée (1949)
Les parents terribles (1948)
L'aigle ŕ deux tętes (1947)
La belle et la bęte (1946)
Le sang d'un počte (1930)
Jean Cocteau fait du cinčma (1925)

Films by this director

Beauty and the Beast

(La belle et la bęte, 1946.)

Directed by: Jean Cocteau

The story is based on the 18-century fairytale about the love between the Beauty and the Beast. One day the Beast captures Beauty’s father who just realized that his job has collapsed. The father is released to go home under the condition that he or one of his three daughters returns in three days. Two wicked daughters find an excuse but the Beauty goes to save her father. In the Beast’s magic castle it will be shown that love between two differences is possible...

black and white, 110 min


(Orphée, France, 1950)

Directed by: Jean Cocteau
PHOTOGRAPHY: Nicolas Hayer

An eccentric remake of the Greek myth of Orpheus; Cocteau has turned a simple story into a complex one by placing it in urban, postwar Paris. His Orpheus is in love with Euridice, and with the princess as well, who symbolizes death that has come to take him. To make things even more complex, princess’ driver is in love with Euridice.

b/w, 95'


(Bulgaria, 1978)

Directed by: Jean Cocteau

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