From Antinous (1954).
A few drawings and paintings by Jean Boullet, a prolific French illustrator who was also a writer—passionate about “sexology, conjuring, magic, demonology, and mythology”, says Wikipédia—and a film critic. His illustrations range from books by Raymond Radiguet, Boris Vian and Edgar Allan Poe to unabashed homoerotic collections of his own, one of which, Tapis volant (1945), has an introduction by Jean Cocteau. Boullet’s figures are very Cocteau-like, especially those depicting the sailors which Cocteau also liked to draw and fantasise about. The Au Bonheur du Jour gallery has many pages of Boullet’s drawings and publications, while Bibliothèque Gay has several posts showing complete sets of drawings from some of his books. Many of the artist’s drawings circulating without credit on the web seem to originate there. Don’t miss Metamorphoses (1950).
• See also: The Male Universe of Subversive Genius Jean Boullet by Julien Beyle.
Portrait of Jean Marais.
Portrait of Kenneth Anger.
Continue reading “The art of Jean Boullet, 1921–1970”
A 35-minute color film by Cocteau entitled La Villa Santo Sospir. Shot in 1952, this is an “amateur film” done in 16mm, a sort of home movie in which Cocteau takes the viewer on a tour of a friend’s villa on the French coast (a major location used in Testament of Orpheus). The house itself is heavily decorated, mostly by Cocteau (and a bit by Picasso), and we are given an extensive tour of the artwork. Cocteau also shows us several dozen paintings as well. Most cover mythological themes, of course. He also proudly shows paintings by Edouard Dermithe and Jean Marais and plays around his own home in Villefranche. This informal little project once again shows the joy Cocteau takes in creating art, in addition to showing a side of his work (his paintings and drawings) that his films often overshadow.
La Villa Santo Sospir, 1952, 250 mb, (AVI)
The film is in French but Ubuweb provide a subtitle file if you know how to use those. This isn’t really essential however (despite the copious narration), the film is more concerned with giving the viewer a guided tour of the villa and its decorations. Fascinating seeing Cocteau working with colour even though many of the drawings and murals on display are his characteristic black lines on a white field. Nice also to see again his habitual delight with cinematic trickery in the reverse-motion sequences, wiping a blank canvas with a cloth so that a drawing appears, or piecing together living flowers from fragments of stalk and petal.