This magical retelling of the Orpheus myth turns the lyre-playing singer of Greek legend into a famous left-bank poet in post-war 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.
This new photochemical and 2K restoration of the film from the original nitrate negative was carried out by SNC (Groupe M6) with the support of the Archives françaises du film.
Audio commentary by Roland-François Lack
Souvenirs de tournage de Jean Pierre Mocky (16 mins): actor Jean Mocky looks back on Orphée
Jean Cocteau raconté par Pierre Bergé et Dominique Marny (36 mins)
Jean Cocteau and His Tricks (2008, 14 mins): assistant director Claude Pinoteau discusses the special effects Jean Cocteau used in his films
La villa Santo-Sospir (1951, 38 mins): a short film directed by Jean Cocteau about the villa Santo-Sospir, on Côte d'Azur, which he decorated, and his home in Villefranche-sur-mer
The Queer Family Tree - Reflections on Jean Cocteau (2018, 15 mins): A newly recorded interview with director John Maybury (Love is the Devil, The Edge of Love)
2018 re-release trailer
Reversible sleeve with new artwork by Edward Kinsella
Fully illustrated booklet with an essay by Ginette Vincendeau, an interview with Jean Cocteau from 1950, and full film credits
Venedig (1950, Beste Regie - Jean Cocteau)
»Orphée knüpft ein kunstvolles Netz aus poetischen Verweisen und mythologischen Anspielungen, das die Zuschauer in seinen Bann zieht« (Der Spiegel)