Testament of Orpheus Film Still

Testament of Orpheus

Jean Cocteau

 
  • France
  • 1959
  • 80 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  •  
  • Spine #69

In his last film, legendary writer/artist/filmmaker Jean Cocteau portrays an 18th-century poet who travels through time on a quest for divine wisdom. In a mysterious wasteland, he meets several symbolic phantoms that bring about his death and resurrection. With an eclectic cast that includes Pablo Picasso, Jean-Pierre Leáud, Jean Marais and Yul Brynner, Testament of Orpheus (Le Testament de Orphée) brings full circle the journey Cocteau began in The Blood of a Poet, an exploration of the torturous relationship between the artist and his creations.

Cast

The PoetJean Cocteau
CégesteEdouard Dermithe
The princessMaría Casares
OedipusJean Marais
HimselfCharles Aznavour
The court usherYul Brynner
The nurseFrançoise Christophe
The young motherNicole Courcel
The professorHenri Crémieux
The internDaniel Gélin
The schoolboyJean-Pierre Léaud
HimselfPablo Picasso
HeurtebiseFrançois Périer

Credits

DirectorJean Cocteau
Written and directed byJean Cocteau
With technical assistance fromClaude Pinoteau
CinematographyRoland Pontoizeau
Costumes and sculptures byJanine Janet
SetsPierre Guffroy
EditingMarie-Josèphe Yoyotte
SoundPierre Bertrand and René Sarazin
MakeupAlexandre Marcus
Dame Distraite’s wardrobe byCristobal Balenciaga
Some special effects byPierre Durin
MasksBebko
MusicGeorges Auric
ProducerJean Thuillier

Disc Features

  • New digital transfer, with restored sound
  • New English subtitle translation
  • Villa Santo Sospir, a 16 mm color film by Cocteau featuring many of the locations used in The Testament of Orpheus
  • A collection of Cocteau’s writings on the film
  • A Cocteau bibliofilmography

Film Essays

Testament of Orpheus

By Jean Cocteau April 24, 2000

PREFACE A man who dozes, his mouth half open, in front of a wood fire, lets slip some secrets from that night of the human body that is called the soul, over which he is no longer master. The . . . Read more »

Film Essays

Testament of Orpheus

By Jean Cocteau April 24, 2000

PREFACE A man who dozes, his mouth half open, in front of a wood fire, lets slip some secrets from that night of the human body that is called the soul, over which he is no longer master. The . . . Read more »