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11 MARCH 2014

A portal to the underworld in Jean Cocteau's Orphée (1950)

"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."

(The Criterion Collection)





1950after deathafterlifeallegoryblack and whiteboundary-crossing • Classical mythology • contemplating mortality • Criterion Collection • deathdreamdreamlike storytellingEurydicefantasy about deathglass portalgloveheterotopiain-limboJean CocteauJean Marais • land of the dead • Left Bank youth • legendlove • love and death • love story • Maria Casares • Marie Dea • mirror • mirrored portal • mortalitymythOrphee (1950)Orpheus • Orpheus (1950) • Orpheus myth • otherworldlinessplaceless placeplacelessnesspoetportalprincessSFXspecial effectssurrealist cinemathreshold spaceunderworld • visual poetry • visual spectaclewaterwife • world of the living


Simon Perkins

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