“An artist cannot speak about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture.”
– Jean Cocteau
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.
Jean Cocteau was born 18 km north-west of Paris in 1889, he died in 1963.
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. He followed new trends in art with great enthusiasm, especially Surrealism. His films reflect this fact.
His favorite actor was his close friend and partner 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.