Orpheus

1950

Drama / Fantasy / Romance

160
IMDb Rating 8 10 9,563

Synopsis


Downloaded times
May 11, 2020

Director

Cast

Jean-Pierre Melville as Le directeur de l'hôtel
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
880.98 MB
1280*720
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.6 GB
1920×1080
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rdoyle29 10 / 10 / 10

A timeless fantasy classic

"Orpheus" is still one of the most magical fantasy films, despite the technical advances made in special effects. The journeys through mirrors (achieved by using doubles, vats of mercury, troughs of water, and unsilvered glass) have a dreamlike quality and the zone beyond them has the haunted nightmare feeling of a 1940s neoromantic painting. A versatile poet, playwright, essayist, artist, and filmmaker, Jean Cocteau made this film when he was 60. He identified with the egotistical, death-loving Orpheus, and the hostility that characters in the movie have towards Orpheus reflect the homosexual, dilettante, politically uncommitted Cocteau's own resentment of the attacks levelled against him by the Surrealists and communists in the 1920s, and after the war by younger critics. The tribunal in the underworld is a combination of wartime resistance meetings and postwar courts set up to judge collaborators. The cryptic snatches of poems on the car radio were inspired by the coded messages sent by the BBC to the French Resistance. The casting of Jean Marais as the fading poet and Edouard Dermithe as the rising one reflects the position the two actors had in Cocteau's life. The film is at one timeless and a reflection of Paris in the postwar years. "Orpheus" has its weaknesses, but it has worn well. While it may seem less obscure today, it has lost little of its poetic charm. Some of its particular grace comes from the performances by the handsome Marais, the striking Maria Casares, and Francois Perier.

Reviewed by Dave Godin 10 / 10 / 10

One of the truly great masterpieces of cinema

If ever a film could me called `magical', `hypnotic' and `compelling', then surely that film is ORPHEUS; magical because it is such an incredible feat of the imagination; hypnotic because it is a relentless assault upon all the senses, the intellect and the emotions, and compelling because it is a profound attempt to at least illustrate, (it is not so arrogant as to presume to solve!), the mystery of life, our awareness of death and human consciousness endlessly seeking some sort of certainty to comfort ourselves with. Layered with various ambiguous possibilities, and full of symbols which will resonate in a variety of ways according to each individual viewer, each viewing of the film draws you deeper into its mystery again and again, and each time teaches you more and more. Perhaps it could only have been made when it was, (in the aftermath of WW2), and where it was, (in a country that had decided to do a deal with Death and then lived to regret it). Perhaps because Jean Cocteau was so talented in so many fields, people seldom seem to note what an utterly brilliant film director he was, and his work in this respect with ORPHEUS, stands comparison with anybody's. The film is also so complete, and unravels so perfectly and in such a masterly way; not one superfluous scene; superb acting all round, atmospheric photography, and a superbly utilised and sublime score by Georges Auric. I simply cannot imagine a film like this being made now, (perhaps LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD was the last gasp of this type of didactic artistic consciousness), and this depresses me greatly, because it shows that `progress' is not an automatic, upwardly rising arc, but a curve that can go backwards as well as forwards. Anyone who has even the slightest affection for cinema should watch this film, and marvel, surrender, and learn from it. Without doubt in my book, one of the ten greatest movies ever made. So much so that I almost feel privileged to have been born into the time frame that could access it.

Reviewed by peterehoward 10 / 10 / 10

The closest cinema has come to poetry

Self-obsessed and self-regarding Orphee, a poet, lives in splendid isolation with his beautiful wife Eurydice in post-war, bomb-damaged France. It is the early 50's and times are changing; Orphee is facing competition from a new wave of Poets and is scorned by the new generation. He goes into town with the intention of facing them down but to his rage, he is studiously ignored. Their leader, the young Jacques Cegeste, is caught up in a bar-room brawl which spills out into the street and he is killed by a motorcyclist. Orphee, an innocent bystander, is taken away in a black limousine with the lifeless body of Cegeste by a beautiful and mysterious Princess to a deserted house. Here, time runs backwards and the way into the underworld lies through mirrors ("I give you the secret of secrets! Mirrors are the doorway through which death comes"). Orpheus falls in love with the Princess and so falls in love with his own death. Meanwhile, Orphee's absence is noted by the Police, who are advised by Cegeste's followers that he is responsible for the young poet's death. Ultimately Orphee has to choose between between Death - the Princess - and Eurydice, after she is returned to the Underworld. He is wracked with indecision: the Princess eventually makes the decision for him. This strange and beautiful film may seem familiar even if you are watching it for the first time as it has been referenced in many other films, as well as in pop videos: and yes, it was the image of Orphee (Jean Marais, Cocteau's lifelong lover) on the cover of The Smiths' This Charming Man. There are many unforgettable images; Orphee, receiving fragments of poetry via his car radio ("The Bird counts with his fingers! Three times!"); the magical gloves; the glass seller in the Underworld; and ultimately, the final "Adieu!" between the Princess and her driver, the magnificent Herteubise. Cocteau described his film as being of the myth of immortality: in the end, Death dies. It is certainly the closest the cinema has come to poetry, and is an essential addition to any collection.

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