Jean Cocteau

By James S. Williams

Jean Cocteau

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-5884-4
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: April 2010
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / Individual film directors, film-makers, The arts / Film scripts & screenplays
  • Series: French Film Directors Series


This is a comprehensive, original and accessible account of all aspects of Jean Cocteau's work in the cinema. It is the first major study in English to appear for over forty years and casts new light on Cocteau's most celebrated films as well as those often neglected or little known.

Jean Cocteau is not only one of French cinema's greatest and most influential auteurs whose work covered all the major genres but also an experimenter, collaborator, theorist and all-round ambassador of film.

This lucid account provides a complete introduction to Cocteau's cinematic project in the context of his entire oeuvre, detailed analysis of individual films, and a thematic engagement with all his cinema from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.

The Cocteau that emerges is at once a materialist filmmaker and visionary who is committed to realism in all its guises and reveals the wonder and mystery of what he called 'the cinematograph'.


List of plates
Series editors' foreword
1. His name was Jean
2. All is possible: 'Le Sang d'un poète'
3. The tricks of the reel:
I. 'L'Eternel retour'/'La Belle et la bête'
II. 'L'Aigle à deux têtes'/'Les Parents terribles'
III. 'La Villa Santo-Sospir'/'Le Testament d'Orphée'
4. In the zone:' Orphée'
5. Cocteau, Jean Marais and collaboration
6. For our eyes only: body and sexuality in reverse motion
7. En route
Select bibliography


James S. Williams is Professor of Modern French Literature and Film at Royal Holloway, University of London

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