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Orphée

Dir: Jean Cocteau, France, 1950, 95min, English subtitles, Certificate: PG

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Tue 27 November // 20:00

Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession)

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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.

This new photochemical and 2K restoration of the film from the original nitrate negative were carried out by SNC (Groupe M6) with the support of the Archives françaises du film.

★★★★★
“A hauntingly beautiful piece of cinema”
Wendy Ide, The Times

★★★★★
“Jean Cocteau’s 1950 variation on the Orpheus myth has the compressed and expressive brilliance of poetry”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian