Told in four episodes, an unnamed artist is transported through a mirror into another dimension, where he travels through various bizarre scenarios.
Enrique Rivero ... Poet
Elizabeth Lee Miller ... Statue
Jean Desbordes ... Louis XV Friend
Féral Benga ... Black Angel
Director: Jean Cocteau
Codecs: XVid / AC3
Audio: French (no subs) This is not aproblem as there is very little dialogue in this Surrealist film.
This film could very well have been made in collaboration with Luis Bunuel (Un Chien Andalou '29, L'Age D'Or '30), but it is less experimental and I don't think Cocteau takes full advantage of the screen time: the pace is low and there are no really shocking elements. I have to admit it could be a little shorter (despite it's only 60 minutes). That's not because Cocteau really needs much time, but because it's just slow. But then again, aren't most of his films and does it matter? The cinematography in by Georges Perinal (Le Million, The Fallen Idol) and the music sufficiently contribute to the fabulous imagery. See this film.
There is a similar snowball-throwing scene in this film which was used also in 'Les Enfants Terrible' (Melville, 1950) which was also written by Cocteau as you can see from the title sequence, and was created by Jean-Pierre Melville (Le Samourai, Un Flic) with the famous Cocteau-atmosphere.
Excellent example of early surrealism on film. It is like going through a dream in which images come and go unbidden and with little apparent sense. This film is to be viewed in exactly that spirit. Switch off the need within you to make sense of it, to make it fit a linear state of mind and you will get the most out of it, and be a lot closer to what the director intended. Let the images wash over you, respond to them as images, not as tidy stories with beginnings, middles and endings that we are used to seeing in films. Like a dream it has it's haunting, almost familiar parts that we can know and recognize as well as the parts of our unconscious that we do not see as clearly but still we dream of them. Too bad surrealism in film never took off more than it did. Here we see a hint of the possibilities that still lie before us. Recommended highly.
The Blood Of A Poet is the first movie I've seen where 'like' or 'dislike' are out of question. It resists any attempt at entertaining and satisfying the viewer, it's a movie made for itself. Although there are actors, there are no characters, there's not a plot or a storyline, and the dialogue is just another element of confusion.
Cocteau made it deliberately so; capturing the full visual power of cinema, the filmmaker dazzles the viewer with wave upon wave of cryptic, beautiful, symbolism-heavy images that barely have cohesion between themselves. As it is, one is not supposed to 'enjoy' this movie, just to take in what is shown.
I am still a defender of cinema as a storytelling medium, the natural modern inheritor of theatre as a way to dramatise life, usually for our entertainment first, and, perhaps, only self-awareness later. However, I can't help respecting the importance experimental filmmaking has. For their audacity to produce uncompromising movies like The Blood Of A Poet, An Andaluzian Dog, The Golden Age and others, filmmakers like Luís Buñuel and Jean Cocteau have created a source of ideas, techniques, possibilities and themes from which more traditional filmmakers have taken ideas for the past 70 years, which have shaped cinema as we know it today.
A movie that has its own surrealist roots in earlier surrealist literature - Alice Through The Looking-Glass - Cocteau's debut movie has insinuated itself in the work of filmmakers as daring as him... ... the bourgeois playing cards under stree balconies that look like theatre balconies, with audience to boot watching the game, reminds me of the bourgeois eating at a table when a curtain raises and they realise they're on a stage before an audience, in Buñuel's The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie.
An artist who falls through a glass into a strange world of nonsense is very much like a scene in Lynch's Fire Walk With Me, where Laura Palmer goes through a painting; and in the last Twin Peaks's episode, after Coop is stabbed inside the Black Lodge, time walks backwards, just as it does in the room where a group of people are shoot before a firing squad, in Cocteau's movie.
The Blood Of A Poet is a movie that in the end resists full understanding, but welcomes endless interpretations, many of which are fascinating in themselves. A movie I'd never recommend to anyone wanting to have a 'good time,' but one of the most amazing movies I've ever seen in my life!
This is an art film, plain and simple. Its one of those surrealist films that has no actual narrative, just a series of seemingly unconnected bizarre sequences. How much you enjoy "Blood of a Poet" depends on how much you appreciate (or have knowledge of) surrealism. Personally, I'm a big fan of the original movement and "Blood of a Poet" is nearly as compelling as either "Un chien andalou" or "Dreams That May Come True". Its beautiful, lyrical, and highly emotional and personal (if completely abstract). Its as close as cinema can get to actual poetry. Jean Cocteau has created a truly magnificent piece of work.
This is similar to many other surrealist films in that fact you're not supposed to get it. You're supposed to understand the emotion the artist puts into his work and the meaning (if there is any) is entirely open to interpretation. Similar to "El Topo" and "Eraserhead", the meaning isn't clear but the feeling completely comes through. Unlike those two previously mentioned films, "Blood of a Poet" is a decidedly more lighthearted work despite some (rather shocking for the time) violence. If you're into surrealism, by all means check out "Blood of a Poet". I certainly enjoyed it, but I couldn't wholeheartedly recommend it to most moviegoers.
* Because of the October 1930 scandal around Luis Buñuel's Âge d'or, L' (1930) - another film financed by Le Vicomte de Noailles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, the Paris premiere of this film was delayed until January 1932.