Jean Cocteau: Orpheus Viewing Questions 1. Cocteau’s Orpheus seems a more communal version of the myth. Instead of simply Orpheus and Eurydice, you will discover a larger cast of characters. Why does Cocteau expand our focus to include Death and her servant (the Angel Heurtebise), the younger poet Cegeste, and a number of other less significant characters? 2. Note the prevalence of the Café des Poetes in the film. Why does this place figure as Cocteau’s ‘land of the living’? 3. In the film, Cocteau introduces a competition between the younger poet (Cegeste) and the older one (Orpheus). Note this relationship and think about why the character might have been included. 4. Again, as in Visconti’s Death in Venice , we find a preoccupation with mirrors. Indeed, Cocteau forefronts the mirror as both a central image and a narrative device (mirrors serve as a passage to the Underworld). What might be some of the implications of this choice? 5.
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