Screening: Orpheus, Jean Cocteau, France, 1950, 110 min
Considered one of Cocteau’s masterpieces, Orpheus updates the myth of Orpheus and depicts a famous poet, scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife, Eurydice, and a mysterious princess. Seeking inspiration, the poet follows the princess to the land of the dead, through Cocteau’s famous mirrored portal. Translating this Greek myth by adapting the story about love, death, and the underworld into a modern scenario allows Cocteau to resonate political questions concerning some younger historical events like war, oppression, and Nazism. This film is the central part of Cocteau’s Orphic Trilogy, the other two being The Blood of a Poet (1930) and Testament of Orpheus (1960).
This Screening is part of the public programme of Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History.