The Testament of Orpheus

Director: Jean Cocteau
Year Released: 1959
Rating: 3.5

Cocteau "enters" Orpheus to confront his own characters in this Pirandelloesque picture - problem is, not all of his creations are entirely pleased with him. It is an incredibly unique film - Cocteau himself makes a fine "guide" through mythology - and quite possibly his most important (that I've seen), as it tackles what it means to be an artist and live within (and answer for) your art. Describing Testament kills the effect; despite a slightly tedious "trial" scene (from Orpheus, which was tedious in that as well), it moves right along, utilizing the typical Cocteau technique of actions being played backwards to suggest "reconstruction" from "destruction" (torn flowers are pieced back together, the dead rise, etc.), and amazing enough, all of it feels necessary.