Cocteau's last film is as personal and private as its title suggests, and it makes little sense for viewers unfamiliar with his other work. It's a wry, self-conscious re-examination of a lifetime's obsessions, with Cocteau playing himself at the centre of the mythology that he created in countless books, plays, films and paintings. This mythology yields a torrent of familiar characters, situations, effects and images, all of them quoted in a spirit of bewilderment and growing disillusionment: Cocteau finally disappears into his fictional world, leaving the real world to a noisy new generation. Nothing about the film is in the least seductive except for its fundamental openness; the tone veers between gentle irony and low-key pessimism. Cocteau admirers will probably find it very moving.
Le Testament d'Orphée
Cast and crew