This excellent biographical documentary focuses on Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) the acclaimed French writer, painter, film director, screenwriter, set designer, and actor who had published poetry and was editing a magazine at the age of 16. Using audio and video interviews with Cocteau before his death, director Edgardo Cozarinsky adeptly brings out Cocteau’s multitalented genius, sharp wit, and perceptive views of people, places, and past eras. An admirer of Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, and Claude Debussy — to name a few of the major artists and composers he knew — Cocteau provides both moving and amusing anecdotes about his famous and not-so-famous favorite people. (For example, Sarah Bernhardt considered the acclaimed, innovative Ballets Russes “jumping fleas.”) Clips from a few of Cocteau’s films are included, as well as footage of himself with well-known personalities from the first half of the 20th century. Both entertaining and enlightening, this is a well-crafted and clear approach to one of the century’s most unusual and gifted personalities. —movies.nytimes.com
Edgardo Cozarinsky (born 1939 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a writer and filmmaker. He is best known for writing Vudú urbano.
His family name goes back to his great grandparents, Jewish immigrants from Kiev and Odessa at the end of the 19th century, his first name tells of his mother’s infatuation with Edgar Allan Poe.
After an adolescence mostly spent in neighbourhood cinemas showing double bills of old Hollywood films and reading an inordinate amount of fiction in Spanish, English and French (favourite authors – Stevenson, Conrad, some Henry James), he studied literature at Buenos Aires university, wrote for local and Spanish cinephile magazines and published an early essay on James which developed out of graduation work – El laberinto de la apariencia (The Labyrinth of Appearance, 1964), a book he later suppressed. He was barely twenty when he became acquainted with Borges, Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo, all writers of prestige whom he saw frequently during his years… read more