The Orphic Trilogy

The Orphic Trilogy

3 Episodes

Decadent, subversive, and bristling with artistic invention, the myth-born cinema of Jean Cocteau disturbs as much as it charms. Cocteau was the most versatile of artists in prewar Paris. Poet, novelist, playwright, painter, celebrity, and maker of cinema—his many talents converged in bold, dreamlike films that continue to enthrall audiences around the world. In THE BLOOD OF A POET, ORPHEUS, and TESTAMENT OF ORPHEUS, Cocteau utilizes the Orphic myth to explore the complex relationships between the artist and his creations, reality and the imagination.

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The Orphic Trilogy
  • The Blood of a Poet

    Episode 1

    Directed by Jean Cocteau • 1930 • France
    Starring Enrique Rivero, Lee Miller, Jean Desbordes

    “Poets . . . shed not only the red blood of their hearts but the white blood of their souls,” proclaimed Jean Cocteau of his groundbreaking first film—an exploration of the plight of the artist, the powe...

  • Orpheus

    Episode 2

    Directed by Jean Cocteau • 1950 • France
    Starring Jean Marais, Marie Déa, Maria Casarès

    Jean Cocteau’s update of the Orpheus myth depicts a famous poet (Jean Marais), scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife, Eurydice (Marie Déa), and a mysterious princess (Maria Casarès). ...

  • Testament of Orpheus

    Episode 3

    Directed by Jean Cocteau • 1959 • France
    Starring Jean Cocteau, Edouard Dermithe, Henri Crémieux

    In his last film, legendary writer/artist/filmmaker Jean Cocteau portrays an eighteenth-century poet who travels through time on a quest for divine wisdom. In a mysterious wasteland, he meets several...