Testament of Orpheus


Susan Sontag referred to Bresson as “an ascetic Cocteau,” noting, “Both are concerned, in their films, with depicting spiritual style.” In his adieu to cinema, Cocteau casts himself as a poet traveling through time as he encounters his creations, an odyssey rife with mythical allusions, fantastical images, and appearances by luminaries like Pablo Picasso, Jean-Pierre Leáud, Jean Marais, Brigitte Bardot, and Yul Brynner. Bresson once said about Cocteau, "I think what cemented our friendship is that we give our souls to our films. His teemed with strokes of inspiration, which I admired to no end. In The Testament of Orpheus...Minerva is getting ready to throw her spear while the soft voice of the air hostess pronounces, 'Please fasten your seat belts and extinguish your cigarettes...' This juxtaposition of such disparate, such distant things, to express the intimate has no analog in today's cinema, and no doubt will have none in tomorrow's."



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