Orphée

Film
5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)

Marais (Cocteau's companion) plays the '40s poet (alias Cocteau) who's won fame, fortune and the hatred of Left Bank youth. Desperate for inspiration, he follows an imperious Princess flanked by Fascist (or 'Cruising') type police. Her rubber-gloved hand leads through the looking-glass to a slow-motion night kingdom. This Sur-Noir fantasy has more meanings than the Book of Revelations. It's an allegory for Poetry. It's the Confessions of a Gay Opium-Eater. Its mirrors and misogyny, optical tricks and enigmatic phrases, mark it as prime meat for Lacanians and feminists. With its Resis-tance Band radios and brutal militiamen it catches the terrors of Occupation life. Its tight cross-lacing of paranoid dreaming and poetic realism grips like a bondage corset. When Alain Resnais in Japan couldn't get the crew of Hiroshima, Mon Amour to understand, he'd refer to Orphée, whose weird myth fascinated them all.

Release details

Duration:
112 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Jean Cocteau
Screenwriter:
Jean Cocteau
Cast:
Jean Marais
Maria Casarès
François Périer
Marie Déa
Edouard Dermithe
Juliette Gréco
Henri Crémieux
Roger Blin