Orphée (1950) – Aut. Jean Cocteau

from BFI

This magical retelling of the Orpheus myth turns the lyre-playing singer of Greek legend into a famous left-bank poet in postwar Paris. Fallen out of favour and lost for poetic inspiration, Orphée becomes obsessed with a mysterious black-clad princess who first claims the life of a rival poet, and then Eurydice, his wife. With its unforgettable imagery — the dissolving mirror through which characters pass into the next world, the leather-clad, death-dealing motorcyclists, and Cocteau’s magical special effects, Orphée is a work of haunting beauty that follows the poetic logic of a dream.