Orpheus

Orpheus

Directed by Jean Cocteau • 1950 • France

Jean Cocteau's 1940s update of the Orphic myth depicts Orpheus (Jean Marais), a famous poet scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife Eurydice (Marie Déa) and the mysterious Princess (Maria Casarès). Seeking inspiration, the poet follows the Princess from the world of the living to the land of the deceased through Cocteau's trademark "mirrored portal." As the myth unfolds, the director’s visually poetic style pulls the audience into realms both real and imagined in this, the centerpiece to his Orphic Trilogy.

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Orpheus
  • Orpheus

    Directed by Jean Cocteau • 1950 • France

    Jean Cocteau's 1940s update of the Orphic myth depicts Orpheus (Jean Marais), a famous poet scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife Eurydice (Marie Déa) and the mysterious Princess (Maria Casarès). Seeking inspiration, the poet foll...

Extras

  • Adam Gopnik on ORPHEUS

  • ORPHEUS Commentary

    This audio commentary, recorded in London in May 2011, features writer and professor James S. Williams.

  • Jean Cocteau: Autobiography of an Unknown

    This acclaimed documentary from 1984, about the life of author and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, was directed by Edgardo Cozarinsky.

  • In Search of Jazz

    In this interview with Jean Cocteau, taken from an episode of the French television series “In Search of Jazz,” the director talks about the music in his films. The program first aired on April 24, 1956.

  • Jean Cocteau and His Tricks

    This interview with ORPHEUS assistant director Claude Pinoteau, about the special effects in Jean Cocteau’s films, was conducted and directed by filmmaker Marc Caro (Delicatessen, City of Lost Children) in 2008.

  • 40 Minutes with Jean Cocteau

    In this August 1957 interview with Jean Cocteau, conducted by François Chalais and shot by ORPHEUS cinematographer Nicholas Hayer, the artist discusses his film work as well as his paintings in the church at Villefranche-sur-Mer and in the villa Santo-Sospir. The interview was presented as part o...

  • Saint-Cyr Military Academy Ruins

    The French military academy at Saint-Cyr, founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803 and destroyed by bombs in 1944, appears as “the Zone” in ORPHEUS. This brief, silent, raw newsreel footage shows the ruins of the academy in 1950.

  • Jean Cocteau & Jean Marais

    The multifaceted artist, playwright, poet and filmmaker conjured up lyrical, surreal dream worlds with his dashing partner and muse.