Diary of a Film

Jean Cocteau

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Diary of a Film by Jean Cocteau, new English translation by Nicholas Elliott / ISBN 9798986446301 / a 164-page hardback from Film Desk Books

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“I’m woken by unbearable pain and since I can’t sleep or pace back and forth, I relieve myself by taking this notebook and attempting to cry out my pain to the unknown friends who will read these lines. They exist. I know them without knowing them. I can just see them in the shadows.” —Jean Cocteau

Beginning on August 26, 1945, the day before shooting began, until June 1, 1946, the day after the film was first screened, Jean Cocteau kept a diary of the making of his masterpiece Beauty and the Beast. Throughout he details every stage of production, as he faces and surmounts numerous obstacles including severe problems with his health, and ultimately the great pleasures of camaraderie with his remarkable collaborators: Jean Marais, Henri Alekan, and Christian Bérard, amongst others.

“I wonder if these hard days might be the sweetest of my life. Full of friendship, affectionate arguments, laughter, and control over fleeting time.” —Jean Cocteau

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