Paris: La Parade, cop. 1950. , 116 pp., 8 ills. 18x11,5 cm. In contemporary cloth binding with title in Russian mounted on the spine. Spine faded, otherwise near fine.
A screenplay of the French experimental film Orpheus (1950). The edition is supplemented with photographs by Roger Corbeau (1908-1995) printed on both sides of eight inserts.
The copy was signed by Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) on the half-title (Cannes, 1954). Cocteau stayed in Cannes from March 18, 1954, to April 9, 1954, presiding over the jury of the Film Festival. The autograph contains a drawing of Orpheus’ head turning to Jean’s name and the inscription Au très cher ami Joudkevitch, de tout cœur [i.e. To my dear friend Yutkevich, with all my heart].
Sergei Yutkevich (1904-1985) was the only Soviet film director who was awarded the Cannes Film Festival prize for best director three times. In 1946, Yutkevich visited the first festival as a member of the Soviet delegation and came back as a winner in 1954. That year, he communicated with Jean Cocteau, Jean-Paul Sartre, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. Becoming close friends, the artists painted a few of his portraits.
Yutkevich started his career during the Russian Civil War when he worked as an actor and assistant director in the theaters of Kyiv and Sevastopol. In 1921, together with Eisenstein, Yutkevich began to study in Higher Director’s Courses, the same year he joined the Factory of Eccentric Actor (FEKS). He debuted in 1928 with the movie Kruzheva [i.e. The Lace]. Triggering a widespread controversy, Yutkevich was accused of formalism and expelled from the Moscow studio Sovkino [i.e. Soviet Cinema]. He was forced to move to a safer place - the Leningrad film studio where such attacks were less common. Yutkevich tried to keep formalist principles for decades, hardly fitting in social realism. A frequent guest of Cannes, he was a member of the jury of the festival several times. Elegant in life, he was emphatically elegant in his directorial work, whether it was Shakhtyory [i.e. The Miners], Vstrechnyy [i.e. Counterplan], Chelovek s ruzh’yom [i.e. The Man with the Gun], or Lenin v Polshe [i.e. Lenin in Poland].
The copy is bound in chintz. Being the most popular dress textile produced in the USSR, chintz was also used for inconspicuous bindings with no title indicated on them. In the Soviet Union, neither the film script nor the 1928 play was ever published.