Jean Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy Screens this February

Date: February 14, 2020 - February 28, 2020, 6:00 pm
Release Date: November 27, 2019

Pasadena, CA—Norton Simon Museum presents a film series of Jean Cocteau’s celebrated Orphic Trilogy. Cocteau was the most versatile of artists in prewar Paris. Poet, novelist, playwright, painter, celebrity and maker of cinema—his many talents converged in bold, dreamlike films that continue to enthrall audiences around the world. In The Orphic Trilogy, Cocteau uses the Orphic myth to explore the complex relationships between the artist and his creations, reality and the imagination.

Films begin with an introduction by director, producer and screenwriter Gregory Nava. The films are screened on consecutive Fridays at 6:00 p.m. beginning on February 14, and are included with Museum admission. The theater opens at 5:30 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Blood of a Poet (1930), NR
Directed by Jean Cocteau
Friday, February 14, 6:00–6:50 p.m.
“Poets . . . shed not only the red blood of their hearts but the white blood of their souls,” proclaimed Jean Cocteau of his groundbreaking first film—an exploration of the plight of the artist, the power of metaphor and the relationship between art and dreams. One of cinema’s great experiments, this first installment of the Orphic Trilogy stretches the medium to its limits in an effort to capture the poet’s obsession with the struggle between the forces of life and death.

In French, with English subtitles.

Orpheus (1950), NR
Directed by Jean Cocteau
Friday, February 21, 6:00–7:35 p.m.
Jean Cocteau’s update of the Orpheus myth depicts a famous poet (Jean Marais), scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife, Eurydice (Marie Déa), and a mysterious princess (María Casares). Seeking inspiration, the poet follows the princess from the world of the living to the land of the dead, through Cocteau’s famous mirrored portal. Orpheus’s peerless visual poetry and dreamlike storytelling represent the legendary Cocteau at the height of his powers.

In French, with English subtitles.

Testament of Orpheus (1959), NR
Directed by Jean Cocteau
Friday, February 28, 6:00–7:20 p.m.
In his last film, Jean Cocteau portrays an 18th-century poet who travels through time on a quest for divine wisdom. In a mysterious wasteland, he meets several symbolic phantoms that bring about his death and resurrection. With an eclectic cast that includes Pablo Picasso, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jean Marais and Yul Brynner, Testament of Orpheus brings to full circle the journey that Cocteau began in The Blood of a Poet, an exploration of the torturous relationship between the artist and his creations.

In French, with English subtitles.

ADMISSION: All screenings are included with Museum admission. Admission is $15.00 for adults; $12.00 for seniors; and free for Museum members, students with I.D., and everyone age 18 and under. For more information, call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org.

WHERE: Norton Simon Museum | 411 West Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena; located on the corner of Colorado and Orange Grove Boulevards at the intersection of the 210 and 134 freeways | Parking at the Norton Simon Museum is free but limited. Public transportation or ridesharing is encouraged.

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Press Contacts

Leslie Denk
(626) 844-6900
media@nortonsimon.org

Emma Jacobson-Sive
(323) 842-2064
emma@ejs-media.com


Press Kit


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High-resolution images from the film series may be obtained by selecting from the press images below or by emailing media@nortonsimon.org


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Images for the Press

The Blood of a Poet

The Blood of a Poet (1930), NR
Directed by Jean Cocteau
© Rialto Pictures

Orpheus (1950), NR
Directed by Jean Cocteau
© Janus

Testament of Orpheus (1959), NR
Directed by Jean Cocteau
© Janus

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About the Norton Simon Museum

The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens. Two temporary exhibition spaces feature rotating installations of artworks not on permanent display.

Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit www.nortonsimon.org. Hours: The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday. Admission: General admission is $15 for adults and $12 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for everyone on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. All public programs, unless stated otherwise, are free with admission. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking: Parking is free, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: Pasadena Transit stops directly in front of the Museum. Please visit www.pasadenatransit.net for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit www.metro.net for schedules.