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Jean Cocteau
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Poet
    (July 5, 1889-October 11, 1963)
    Proponent of surrealist movement
    Wrote ‘Aladdin’s Lamp (1908),’ ‘The Frivolous Prince (1910),’ ‘The Cock and the Harlequin (1918),’ ‘A Call to Order (1926),’ ‘The Holy Terrors (1929),’ ‘Opium (1930),’ ‘Intimate Relations (1938),’ ‘Jean Marais (1951),’ ‘Colette (1955)’ and ‘The Requiem (1962)’
    Directed and wrote screenplays for ‘The Blood of a Poet (1930),’ ‘Beauty and the Beast (1946),’ ‘The Storm Within (1948),’ ‘The Holy Terrors (1949),’ ‘Orpheus (1950)’ and ‘The Testament of Orpheus (1960)’
    Poet/Novelist/Dramatist/Director/Painter/Designer
    He failed several examinations and left home at 15.
    As a youth he was nicknamed ‘The Frivolous Prince.’
    At 29, he had an affair with a 15 year old poet, Raymond Radriquet.
    He became addicted to opium.
    Fellow surrealist Andre Breton called him a ‘false poet.’
    Susan Sontag found his work campy.
    In old age, he started wearing leather pants and matador capes.
    He was a highly accomplished artist in several fields.
    He was openly gay.
    He drove an ambulance in Belgium during World War I.
    His movies influenced French New Wave filmmaking.
    He overcame his opium addiction.
    The Vichy Regime condemned his homosexuality and ‘decadent’ art.
    He worked with Erik Satie, Pablo Picasso, Edith Piaf, Coco Chanel, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky and several other major artists.
    Film critic Pauline Kael praised his ability to ‘raise chic to art.’

Credit: Georgina


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