If ever a film could me called `magical', `hypnotic' and `compelling', then surely that film is ORPHEUS; magical because it is such an incredible feat of the imagination; hypnotic because it is a relentless assault upon all the senses, the intellect and the emotions, and compelling because it is a profound attempt to at least illustrate, (it is not so arrogant as to presume to solve!), the mystery of life, our awareness of death and human consciousness endlessly seeking some sort of certainty to comfort ourselves with. Layered with various ambiguous possibilities, and full of symbols which will resonate in a variety of ways according to each individual viewer, each viewing of the film draws you deeper into its mystery again and again, and each time teaches you more and more. Perhaps it could only have been made when it was, (in the aftermath of WW2), and where it was, (in a country that had decided to do a deal with Death and then lived to regret it). Perhaps because Jean Cocteau was so talented in so many fields, people seldom seem to note what an utterly brilliant film director he was, and his work in this respect with ORPHEUS, stands comparison with anybody's. The film is also so complete, and unravels so perfectly and in such a masterly way; not one superfluous scene; superb acting all round, atmospheric photography, and a superbly utilised and sublime score by Georges Auric. I simply cannot imagine a film like this being made now, (perhaps LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD was the last gasp of this type of didactic artistic consciousness), and this depresses me greatly, because it shows that `progress' is not an automatic, upwardly rising arc, but a curve that can go backwards as well as forwards. Anyone who has even the slightest affection for cinema should watch this film, and marvel, surrender, and learn from it. Without doubt in my book, one of the ten greatest movies ever made.I feel privileged to have seen this film.