Jean Cocteau’s update of the Orpheus myth depicts a famous poet (Jean Marais), scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife, Eurydice (Marie Déa), and a mysterious princess (Maria Casarès). 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’s peerless visual poetry and dreamlike storytelling represent the legendary Cocteau at the height of his powers.
“When I make a film, it is a sleep in which I am dreaming,” Jean Cocteau once wrote. That evocation of his cinema as an ethereal, unconscious alternate reality was no mere philosophical statement; the approach can be felt in the mood, texture, and structure of his movies. A true artist of the cinematic form, Cocteau, in just a handful of films—some of which he directed, some of which he wrote, but to all of which he contributed his unique vision and craft—created an unparalleled dream world. He was also a poet, novelist, playwright, and painter, and all of those disciplines are reflected in Orpheus.
France / 1950 / 95 min / subtitles
Nov 11, 12 and 13 Stay tuned for times and locations
A free, staged and orchestrated one-act opera of Cocteau’s play La voix humaine will be performed on Sunday, November 5th in Recital Hall at 1:00 p.m. La voix humaine is an opera that follows a young woman who has recently separated from her lover. Tensions run high as she waits for his call, desperate for any kind of contact. Conductor Álvaro Corral Matute and Soprano Alejandra Martínez will be joined by guest performers Baritone Nicholas Farmer and members of the IU Orchestra.