Orpheus (with Adam Curtis in person)

Orpheus is a film made just after the WWII – at the moment when our rational, technocratic, managed world was just beginning. It is about the things that were banished from this world – the enchanted world of dreams, magic, and the courage to face death and our own mortality. That technocratic age may be coming to an end – and the dark beauty you see in Orpheus might come back in some strange way.” –Adam Curtis

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). Seeking inspiration, the poet follows the princess from the world of the living to the land of the dead, through Cocteau’s famous mirrored portal. Orpheus’s peerless visual poetry and dreamlike storytelling represent the legendary Cocteau at the height of his powers. (Criterion)

Dir. Jean Cocteau, 1950, 35mm, 95 min.