The Blood of a Poet (1930)

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Movie Info

In the first of this film's four episodes, a tall smokestack starts to collapse. Then the scene shifts to a young poet who is sketching faces. He sees that a sketch's mouth is moving and wipes it off with his hand; the mouth attaches itself to his palm. Eventually he transfers the mouth to a statue in his room. In the second episode, the statue tells the poet to enter a mirror. He falls into the darkness of the mirror's interior and finds himself at the Hotel de Folies-Dramatiques. The poet crawls along the hallway and peers into the keyholes, where he sees various bizarre situations. He reaches the end of the hallway, someone hands him a gun, and he shoots himself. The poet returns to his room and smashes the statue; then he becomes a statue himself in a courtyard. In the third episode, a group of boys engage in a snowfight in the courtyard. The statue is destroyed and one boy is left bloody and possibly dead after being hit with a snowball. In the final episode, the courtyard is revealed to be a stage on which a young woman and the poet play cards next to the boy's body, which is still lying on the ground. The woman tells the poet that he is lost without the Ace; he takes the card from the boy's jacket. The boy's guardian angel appears and covers him. He takes the Ace from the poet and leaves; the poet shoots himself in the head and the audience applauds. The woman walks away and it is revealed that she is the statue; then the film ends with the final collapse of the tall smokestack. ~ Todd Kristel, Rovi
Rating: NR
Genre: Art House & International , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Special Interest
Directed By: Jean Cocteau
Written By: Jean Cocteau
In Theaters: wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Home Vision Entertainment

Cast

Pauline Carton
as Child's Tutor
Jean Desbordes
as Louis XV masked
Lee Miller
as The Statue
Féral Benga
as Black Angel
Barbette
as Woman in Box/at Balcony
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News & Interviews for The Blood of a Poet

Critic Reviews for The Blood of a Poet

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (3)

Despite its flaws, the film remains a fascinating souvenir of a vanished avant-garde.

Full Review… | November 22, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

On the face of it, this film represents six reels of scraped together footage from off the cutting room floor. A more vague or hopeless mess could not have resulted.

Full Review… | May 8, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

The honesty and robustness of the images prevents the movie from lapsing into pretension or preciousness; it remains extremely interesting as a source of Cocteau's later work.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Even if this is only a reverie on the illogicality of the subconscious, it's still a triumph of the imagination and provides invaluable insights into Cocteau's artistic vision.

Full Review… | November 22, 2013
Empire Magazine

Cocteau approaches cinema as a parlor riddle, a hermaphroditic catalogue, the ultimate medium for the aesthete's search for the ineffable and the sublime

Full Review… | August 12, 2012
CinePassion

A haunting poem, as exciting today as it was in 1930.

Full Review… | May 8, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for The Blood of a Poet

Jean Cocteau's 1930 film "The Blood of a Poet" is a surrealist film split up into four parts, but what do these parts mean? It is an incredibly well-made film and has an almost dream like structure. People come and go as do objects and images.

Joseph Boomhower
Joseph Boomhower

This dialog-free film, originally presented as 33 short films, is an experimental, bizarre set of meditations and flashbacks of the grotesque

Wahida K
Wahida K

Words can't describe this masterpiece

Arash Xak
Arash Xak

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