french films > Orpheus

Orpheus

Orpheus

cast: Jean Marais, Maria Casarès, François Perier, Edouard Dermithe, Juliette Gréco

year: 1950

colour: no

certificate: U

director: Jean Cocteau

runtime: 95

Drama/ Fantasy/ Romance The magic of cinema is fully realised in Jean Cocteau’s Orphée, one of the masterpieces of the French avant-garde. A contemporary account of the Greek myth, set in occupied Paris, Orphée tells of a famous poet’s love affair with Death, a mysterious princess, as he follows her through a mirror into the underworld in search of inspiration. Strikingly visual and darkly enigmatic, Orphée features memorable performances from Cocteau’s companion Jean Marais and the muse-like Maria Casarès. Orphée is famed for its optical effects and breathtaking cinematic illusions. It won the Prix International de la Critique at the Venice Film Festival in 1950, and in 1951 took first prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

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