Poet, playwright, artist and filmmaker, Jean Cocteau was one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century and Orphée his finest work of cinema. Following the film’s theatrical release by the BFI in October, on 21 January 2019, it will be released on both Blu-ray and on iTunes. In a new initiative for 2019, to give BFI releases the widest possible reach and make them accessible to all, there will be a simultaneous physical and digital release for all new titles where possible.
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.
Presented in High Definition
Feature-length commentary by Roland-François Lack
Jean Cocteau by Pierre Bergé and Dominque Marny (2008, 35 mins): the former and current presidents of the Jean Cocteau Committee provide a portrait of the filmmaker, discussing his family background, influences and the key relationships of his life
Memories of Filming by Jean-Pierre Mocky and Eric Le Roy (2008, 16 mins): actor and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Mocky reminisces with film historian Eric Le Roy about working on Orphée and the impact Jean Cocteau had on his own career
Jean Cocteau and His Tricks (2008, 14 mins): assistant director Claude Pinoteau shares his experiences of shooting Orphée and reveals some of the tricks employed by Cocteau and his crew
The Queer Family Tree – Reflections on Jean Cocteau (2018, 15 mins): director John Maybury reflects upon his introduction to the films of Jean Cocteau and discusses their ongoing influence on his own work and queer cinema in general
La villa Santo Sospir (1952, 38 mins): A short colour film by Jean Cocteau in which he gives us a guided tour of the villa
2018 Re-release trailer
· Illustrated booklet featuring essays by Ginette Vincendeau, Deborah Allison and William Fowler
France / 1950 / black and white / 96 mins / French language with English subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.33:1 // BD50: 1080p, 24fps, DTS-HD Master audio 1.0 (48kHz/24-bit), Dolby Digital 2.0 commentary audio (192Kbps)
Jean Cocteau‘s Orphée will be released on Blu-ray and simultaneous iTunes release on 21 January 2019.