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Blood of a Poet - Jean Cocteau (1930) - B&W - 53 min

LikeTelevision™ proudly presents - Jean Cocteau's first film, Blood of a Poet, a bizarre avant garde classic featuring disturbing images of the artistic process. When the film initially debuted, a poster in the lobby offered a $25 reward to anyone if they could figure out the meaning of the film. As yet, this prize remains unclaimed. The question I have - is what happened to the money ($25)... or as the old saying goes, to find out what's really happening - follow the money.

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Blood of a Poet - Jean Cocteau
Directed by - Jean Cocteau

(1930) - B&W - 53 min
Le Sang d'un Poete, or in English - Blood of a Poet features a series of oddball shorts that are somehow connected to the artistic process of creatng art. As you might suspect - the artist is a tortured brooding fellow - who at times also seems to experience psychotic episodes of creativity and depression, often at the same time. The film calls to mind the classic Salvador Dali, Louis Bunuel film, Un Chien Andelou - the one with the sliced eyeball and the ants crawling out of the hand - which was made a year before Blood of a Poet. If the early surreal days of film is your bag - you'll love this movie. For most of us however - it is difficult to watch and often seems tedious and pretentious.

Part one
Intro, B&W, credits, etc The story is broken into 4 shorter pieces that often seem to blend into each other, even though each section is clearly delineated. The first story is about a poet who tries to create a drawing of a women... but then when he tries to erase the mouth with his hand, the mouth gets stuck to his hand. And then gets ported to a statue, which comes to life.

the Poet muses with a statue

the poet tries peeping through a keyhole

Part two
The other stories are equally bizarre - there's one with a child flying on the ceiling. She's ordered to fly by a mean nanny or something, and then follows instructions and flys about the room. Another part features a weird scene where the poet falls into a mirror and then becomes part of an alternate reality.

the statue comes to life and observes a static bust of a composer or poet from long ago

Part three
Other weird parts include a massive snowball fight - which seems to invoke thoughts of losing one's innocence. Later one of the kids gets killed and is visited by an angel, while the rich folks watch all the action from their opera seats. Meanwhile, a young couple is playing a deadly game of cards.

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Blood of a Poet - Jean Cocteau
Directed by - Jean Cocteau

Starring - Enrique Rivero as the Poet, Elizabeth Lee Miller as the statue, Feral Benga as the black angel, Pauline Carton, Jean Desbordes as Louis XV's friend, Lucien Jager, Odette Talazac, Barbette, Fernand Dichamps,

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One of the best scenes features this revolving hypnotic disc with a lady on a couch

the rich old lady watches the action from her private opera balcony

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