430. ORPHEUS (1949-France). With JEAN MARAIS, FRANCOIS PERIER, MARIA CASARES, Directed and written by JEAN COCTEAU, This retelling Of the Creek legend Of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in modem Paris is arguably Cocteau’s master piece: an enchanting, haunting film that influenced a generation Of filmmakers. Cocteau’s scenario is derived from his T92S play “Orphe6.” It centers around the events which occur after Orpheus, a handsome, famous Bohemian poet, becomes the love object Of a woman who is the all-powerful Princess Of Death; meanwhile, her chauffeur, the angel Heurtebise, becomes attached to the poetsĂ• distraught wife Eurydice. In the original legend, Eurydice is taken in death and Orpheus is allowed to reclaim her from Hades on condition that he not look back upon her face. However, he does look, and is torn to pieces by the Bacchantes. Here, Orpheus is depicted as an artist obsessed, caught between his imagination and reality; the film, with its combination Of optical trickery (take special note Of the mirror/looking glass, which plays a key role in the scenario) and stark realism (which most effectively reflects the terror Of the recently-ended Occupation) is a textbook example Of poetic realism on celluloid, Pauline Kael has described the work as a “masterpiece Of magical filmmaking… (and) as inventive and as enigmatic as a dream…. The jazzy modern milieu… gives the violence and mystery Of the Orpheus story a contemporary that, in other hands, might seem merely chic; Cocteau’s special gift was to raise chic to art.” In French with English subtitles. 95 minutes. Drama