DVD - 2011 | French
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A 1950 update of the Orphic myth by Jean Cocteau that 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 from the world of the living to the land of the dead through Cocteau's famous mirrored portal. Orpheus represents the legendary Cocteau at the height of his abilities for peerless visual poetry and dreamlike storytelling.
Publisher: [New York, NY] : Criterion Collection, c2011.
Edition: Two-DVD special ed.
ISBN: 9781604654646
Branch Call Number: DVD Orpheus
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (95 min.) :,sd., b&w ;,4 3/4 in. +,1 booklet (27 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.).
Alternative Title: Orphée
Villa Santa-Sospir.


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Jul 07, 2018

Do you wanna hear something so utterly demented that it's downright laughable?

In this updated tale about the myth of Orpheus there exists a truly idiotic subplot.

And, it goes like this - There's a large group of snobbish, young adult poets (and poet wannabes) who are so irrationally emotional about poetry that (when they collectively decide to hate another's poems) they will actually gather in packs and (get this!) resort to hostility and violence against the poet-outcast.

Ha! Isn't that a laughable scream?..... And, on top of this truly goofy subplot - This 1950, French production was all pretty dreary stuff to me.

Not only was Orpheus' story told in the driest and flattest fashion imaginable - But its total lack of visual imagination (where I couldn't tell the diff between the "Land of the Living" and the "Land of the Dead") left me completely unmoved.

Yep. Orpheus was yet another French production that was full of promise, but it couldn't deliver.

May 25, 2015

Has lots of mythological and literary allusions, and tactful uses of filming techniques.

Dec 17, 2014

Jean Cocteau's avant-garde interpretation of the Greek myth follows Orpheus, a frustrated Parisian poet who finds his own personal muse in the form of a sexy vampish Grim Reaper much to the consternation of his long-suffering and secretly pregnant wife, Eurydice. When Ms. Reaper (aka "The Princess") winds up claiming Eurydice, Orpheus enlists the aid of one of her netherworld henchmen in order to journey to Hades and bring her back; but he finds himself torn between his dutiful love for Eurydice and his passionate obsession for the Princess. Tears, self-sacrifice, and one terrible caveat ensue. Cocteau's use of contemporary post WWII French culture (The Princess' demonic goons are leather-clad bikers; Orpheus receives poetic inspiration via short wave radio broadcasts a la Radio Free Europe) coupled with some highly experimental camerawork makes this a solid arthouse mainstay. Considered by many to be a semi-autobiographical work, "Orpheus" examines both the inner workings of an artistic mind as well as the societal pressures exerted upon it. It's all very rich in detail, and symbolism practically oozes from every frame but, despite it's many critical accolades, I still found it rather dry and meandering. À chacun son goût.

Glencoe_Mike Oct 19, 2011

Not anywhere near as enjoyable as his Beauty and the Beast but still some mind-blowing fun.


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