Orpheus / Orphée


French Classic
Date & Time: Sunday 3rd at 11:00am
Details: Jean Cocteau / France / 1950 / 93 mins | French with English subtitles
Starring: Jean Marais, François Périer, Maria Casares, Marie Déa


This magical retelling of the Orpheus myth turns the lyre-playing singer of Greek legend into a famous left-bank poet in post-war Paris. Fallen out of favour and lost for poetic inspiration, Orphée becomes obsessed with a mysterious black-clad princess who first claims the life of a rival poet, and then Eurydice, his wife.
With its unforgettable imagery – the dissolving mirror through which characters pass into the next world, the leather-clad, death-dealing motorcyclists, and Cocteau’s magical special effects – Orphée is a work of haunting beauty that follows the poetic logic of a dream.

“It is much less a film than it is myself, a kind of projection of the things that are important to me.” Cocteau in a letter to a friend

“A hauntingly beautiful piece of cinema” The Times

“Jean Cocteau’s 1950 variation on the Orpheus myth has the compressed and expressive brilliance of poetry” The Guardian