Cocteau is one of the most imaginative filmmakers. Here, he builds on the ideas of "Blood of the Poet" by creating different worlds to represent different levels of consciousness. His interest here is death, which is entered into and exited from via mirrors. This is a powerful idea: that a mirror is Death staring us in the face, reminding us, each time we see aging in it, that our time is limited
Jean Cocteau's Note sur la photographie - seriously, it's astounding how Cocteau predicts Barthes' work thirty years before it was published, right down to Eurydice who can only live through her last image lest she disappear from Orpheus's life. But cinema is more than photography, it has its own dream, its own wish, to turn back time on the atrocities of the past and to imagine a new, better world.
A dude obsessed with a car radio puts on rubber gloves to travel through a mirror. He eventually falls in love with his own death (who stalks him at night while he sleeps). Given its dreamy premise, it's no wonder why I adore this one. I love its simple effects like rear projection, reverse motion, and negative photography. It is also fun finding the seeds of inspiration for the Smiths, the Matrix, and Twin Peaks.
Both wackier and more accessible than I'd expected. I got the sense that I'd have enjoyed this film as much when I was eight as I did now, and for many of the same reasons (albeit at different levels of sophistication). Satisfying across the broadest spectrum of my tastes. Looking forward to multiple viewings...
Cocteau fuses literature, film and at times even performance art in this incredibly pretty movie. Whether you like the plot or not you have to recognize this as a marvel of its time. The lighting, mise-en-scene and use of cinematic tools is great without ever compromising the overall elegance.
Film étrange. Bourré de qualités (belle mise en scène, classique mais pas trop ; belle utilisation poétique des effets spéciaux; une relecture intéressante du mythe avec l'attrait d'Orphée pour la Mort), mais aussi de défauts (Jean Marais ne joue pas bien ; film très daté sur certains points ; méta-discours sur la poésie un peu lourdingue). On reste loin des meilleurs films français de la période (pour moi).