Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Juliette Gréco

Just revisited Jean Cocteau's 1950 fantasy Orphée, a truly astonishing film which transposes the classic Greek myth of Orpheus to a contemporary Paris of petulant Left Bank intellectuals and an Underworld that resembles a WWII ravaged city. This is a magician's film in every sense, and Cocteau dazzles the eye with some remarkable devices - trick shots, reversed film, back projection and in one moment, an impromptu costume change between shots. Cocteau's film also features three beautiful actresses - María Casares as Death, Marie Déa as Eurydice and Juliette Greco as Aglaonice. Juliette Gréco's appearance in the film is all too brief, but she's an incredible beauty, and as I watched her tossing her luminous long black hair to one side I thought of an another enchanting actress - Mirella D'Angelo from Tenebrae. Both women do share a similarity I think. Or perhaps it's just Cocteau's mirrors working me over...
I was reading Juliette Gréco's potted biography on wiki and she has lived an extraordinary life, among other things she had a relationship with Miles Davis. Miles writes about first meeting her in 1949 in his autobiography...
I met Juliette at one of my rehearsals. She would come in and sit and listen to the music... I asked this guy who she was.
He said "What do you want with her?"
I said "What do you mean what do I want with her. I want to see her"
Then he says "Well you know she's one of those existentialists"
So I told him right there and then "Man fuck all that kind of shit. I don't care what she is. That girl is beautiful and I want to meet her"


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