Orphee (Classic Tuesdays)

Jean Cocteau (1950)

Jean Marais, Maria Casares, Francois Perier Rated PG Run time 112 mins

One of the greatest imaginative flights in cinema, and an a acknowledged influence on Godard’s Alphaville (which we are showing later in our program). Paris, poetry, motorcycles, mirrors, radios, rubber gloves, Death and Destiny – Cocteau’s inspired recasting of Greek myths on the still-shattered streets of the postwar French capital is unique and unmissable. If you’re fortunate enough to be seeing it for the first time – prepare to be amazed…

97% – Rotten Tomatoes

7.9 / 10 – IMDB

“Orpheus” shows Cocteau’s taste for magic and enchantment; he uses simple but dramatic special effects and trick shots to show his characters passing into the world of death by stepping through mirrors, and when he wants a character to spring back to life, he simply runs the film backward. “

“Seeing “Orpheus” today is like glimpsing a cinematic realm that has passed completely from the scene. Films are rarely made for purely artistic reasons, experiments are discouraged, and stars as big as Marais are not cast in eccentric remakes of Greek myths.”

Film Review: Orpheus – Roger Ebert