Concluding their Orphic journey, Robert and Neil follow Jean Cocteau into the underworld for his cinematic farewell Testament d’Orphée – a complex, meta-layered film mixing poetry, time-travel, fact and fiction and the complexities of legacy. Will Neil make it through? Does any of it make sense? And how will the experience change the CinePunked team?
Sleeve notes are below.
With Robert JE Simpson and Neil Sedgewick.
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In what has proven to be an incredibly challenging and self-reflexive series of podcasts, we’re completing our Jean Cocteau trilogy with Testament d’Orphée.
For this series of recordings, I’ve deliberately let the conversations play out as live, because I was interested in the way our thoughts are evolving in the moment as we try and interpret our own responses to Jean Cocteau’s cinema.
In the last couple of episodes we’ve talked about Cocteau’s own ideas of poetry and the poetic, and (without meaning to sound egotistical) the largely free-form nature of the CinePunked conversations I think rather lends itself to a sense of finding poetry within our criticism. We don’t tend to run these things with a list of absolute questions, we’re always open to the spark of a fresh idea and run with that.
Within these three podcasts, we’ve quoted Cocteau’s own criticism liberally, and rather than bog ourselves down in critique and interpretation, we’ve delved into the personal experience of the films – how they’ve provoked thought and emotional responses. Its something we sometimes forget, that cinema is an experience, and its that that resonates and makes us care about particular films and want to explore more.
We explore the metaverse of Cocteau, the way cinema influences us, dreams and deaths and mirrors and experience, and Cocteau’s rebellious art.
Testament d’Orphée is available to buy on Blu-ray and DVD from StudioCanal in the UK and the Criterion Collection in the US, and is available to buy/rent across multiple streaming services.
The CinePunked theme music is ‘Riding the Synth‘ – © 2020, Ben Blademan Simpson. Used with permission.
Episode recorded via Zoom in Dundonald and Newtownards, Northern Ireland on 27 February 2022.
Engineered and edited by Robert JE Simpson. Audio podcast first published on 2 March 2022.