Podcast – Orphée

CinePunked continue their exploration of Jean Cocteau’s sublime Orphic Trilogy of films with a study of Orphée, in a conversation steering through love, legacy, sleep and death.

Sleeve notes are below.

With Robert JE Simpson and Neil Sedgewick.

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Episode URL: https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=961552

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Its the second of our trilogy of Jean Cocteau episodes, and I’m rather enthused after Neil’s positive response to The Blood of a Poet.

Neil has no background in formal film education, so its a real pleasure knowing that he’s coming to these films for the first time, without preconceived notions of how we’re supposed to read them. Its taking me right back to my own undergrad days and the moments at which I found the films that connected with me and put me on the path I’m still on today.

Made 20 years after the first part in the Orphic trilogy, Orphée (aka. Orpheus) is considerably more accessible to the lay viewer, with its vaguely supernatural thriller shades, and yet still offers a rich text worth dissecting and an experience that in turn prompts much thought.

I’m keeping the sleeve notes brief this week, but listeners might be surprised at just how self-reflexive we ended up being during this. Cocteau’s ideas on the mirror and mortality prompt a lengthy, and I hope identifiable, discussion on our own feelings around death, that reminds me of the beauty of good art – to inspire and stimulate. Indeed, in the days since we recorded, its this that I keep coming back to in my own thinking – about the dangers of the mirror and one’s own vanity.

Our next episode will conclude our journey, in Cocteau’s Testament d’Orphée – hopefully if you’re watching along with us, you’ll find this one a worthwhile jaunt.

Orphée is available to buy on Blu-ray and DVD from BFI in the UK and the Criterion Collection in the US, and is available to buy/rent across multiple streaming services.

The CinePunked theme music is ‘Riding the Synth‘ – © 2020, Ben Blademan Simpson. Used with permission.

Episode recorded via Zoom in Dundonald and Newtownards, Northern Ireland on 19 February 2022.

Engineered and edited by Robert JE Simpson. Audio podcast first published on 23 February 2022.


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