Sunday, November 23, 2014

Out Spotlight

For today's Out Spotlight, life was art. This writer, illustrator, poet and filmmaker knew no boundaries in his creative endeavors. A prolific catalog of genre-spanning work makes him one of the most influential figures of the 20th century French art world.  Today's Out Spotlight is Jean Cocteau.

Jean Cocteau was born to a well-to-do family July 5, 1889, in the small French town of Maisons-Laffitte. His father committed suicide when Cocteau was 10. A troubled child, he was expelled from a host of private schools. Seeking an escape, he took off to the red-light district in Marseilles. At age 19, he published his first book of poetry, “Aladdin’s Lamp.”

Celebrated in Paris’s bohemian circles as “The Frivolous Prince,” Cocteau secured a spot at the epicenter of French culture, collaborating with celebrities of the era like Pablo Picasso, Marcel Proust and Edith Piaf. Looking to advance his career, he arranged a meeting with Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev, which resulted in their collaboration on the ballet “Parade.” He also wrote librettos, plays, novels, poems, and film scripts, and dabbled in art and illustration.

In his personal life, Cocteau mostly sought the companionship of men, although he did sporadically pursue women, including Princess Natalie Paley, a member of the Romanov family. His most notable relationship was with fellow poet Raymond Radiguet. Although Cocteau denied that the relationship was romantic, he developed an opium addiction when Radiguet died suddenly.

Cocteau was a key player in France’s emerging avant-garde movement. He found a new muse and lover in actor Jean Marais, who he cast in films such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “Orpheus.” Their 20-year relationship continued until Cocteau’s death.

Cocteau was a multidisciplinary artist with ceaseless creativity. By blurring the line between the reality of his life and the fiction of his work, his existence itself became a work of art.

Cocteau passed away October 11, 1963, in Milly-la-ForĂȘt, France

“What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.


Destiny said...

Beauty and the Beast is a gorgeous film. I didn't know much about his personal life, so nice to see him featured in the Spotlight.

Destiny said...

I just saw an ad for Jake on David Letterman tonight.

Special K said...

Thanks Destiny for the information about Jake on Letterman. It looks like Seth Rogen is on tonight, but Jake is going to be on Wednesday night.

It's nice that he is getting on more visit with Dave before Colbert takes over. Maybe he'll give Dave some turkey tips.

Special K said...

Oops! Here's the link for Letterman - Late Show Guests

Special K said...

I have always wanted to see Beauty and the Beast. Cocteau is a fascinating, he accomplished so much creatively.

prairiegirl said...

God help our country.

We're a mess, aren't we?

Scary to see the distress, the pain, the anger.

Twitter does allow people to vent. To plead. To speak out. To question. Social media like Twitter can be a good thing at times like these.

This is very scary to see what's gone on today, I don't know about anyone else.

Destiny said...

Oops, sorry about the misinformation. I thought they were advertising last night's Letterman show, I didn't realize it was an ad for the whole week.

It sure is a mess PG. I don't know that justice was done by not having a trial.

Way to go Jake! said...

Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal and Emma Stone lead the nominees at the 2015 Spirit Awards: Leadi... #TheIrfanism