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Blood of a Poet


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Blood of a Poet + Testament of Orpheus + Orpheus (Criterion Collection)
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Import
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Imports
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017HEYDY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,488 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

NTSC/Region 0. A young poet in a room sketching a series of faces is shocked when the mouth of one of the faces comes alive. The poet rubs off the mouth on to his hand. After an erotic interlude with the transplanted mouth, the young poet wipes the mouth on to a statue, which then comes to life and forces the poet to walk within a mirror in the room, which leads to the corridor of a mysterious hotel. After witnessing a number of shocking scenes in the hotel, the poet is forced to commit ritual suicide. Crowned in laurel leaves, the now resurrected poet flees the mirror, destroys the statue, and becomes a statue himself. In a courtyard, a group of schoolboys stage a snowball fight. One of the boys is killed with a snowball which has a rock hidden in its center. The poet, now a society cardsharp, plays a game of cards in which he cheats and loses. In disgrace, he again shoots himself in the head. A glittering group of celebrities watch these events, and applaud the suicide. The woman with whom he had been playing tears up the cards, leaves the courtyard, and is finally seen in an improvised coffin, residing in the state of the "mortal tedium of immortality."

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A truly great, surrealistic film by Jean Cocteau: poet; artist; novelist; critic; film director; Honorary President of Cannes Film Festival; etc.

Early in his multifaceted career, Cocteau asked the great novelist and essayist, Andre Gide, to judge the quality of his work. When Gide replied that he was not impressed, Cocteau asked for pointers on what he needed to do to improve. Gide replied, "Astonish me!", and Cocteau followed this advice by astonishing everyone in all of his subsequent works.

Cocteau's first film, "Le Sang d'un Poete" is certainly astonishing. The action is supposed to take place in an instant, represented by the time it takes for a large smokestack to crumble to the ground. The first part of the film relates to the struggle of the poet for enlightened inspiration. The second part deals with the acquisition of a muse (his anima) and his spiritual journey through a form-shifting world to which he alone can impart meaning. In the third section, the poet enters the purgatory of literary icons through his suicide. In the fourth section, his work is corrupted and debased by persons adding their own, lesser interpretations, for their own purposes. And finally, after a second death by misinterpretation, the poet achieves Immortality of the Ages, as Time resurrects the underlying, enduring value of his artistic contributions.

Of note, Lee Miller, famous photographer and girlfriend of Man Ray, is the lovely statue/muse of the film.

If you are a fan of surrealistic art, you will find this 1930 film to be a cinematic treasure.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The particular edition I have seen (Timeless Video) is unwatchable. Apparently they recorded it from a television broadcast. After the first 23 minutes of this 55 minute feature, the top half of the screen is occupied by VCR data.
The movie itself is Cocteau's first effort, and the half I was able to see in this edition is a bit primitive, though one already sees visual themes used to great effect in Orpheus.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J from NY VINE VOICE on November 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
i may dislike cocteau's literature, but i'm a fanatic when it comes to his work in film. "blood of a poet" is such a gem that it almost makes up for the instinctual dislike and boredom i feel when reading his poetry and essays. from start to finish this masterpiece will fascinate and hypnotize the lover of surrealist art, and also lovers of film as a whole. the image i most love from this movie is the armless greek statue with a superimposed mouth on it's face. it is, of course, useless to try to interpret intellectually and it doesn't have a 'meaning' rationally, (at least to the viewer), but don't dismiss it as nonsense for this reason. revilers of surrealism don't seem to understand that art is the beauty of the irrational, NOT, as the classicists believe, an expression of excellence or perfection through order. the appeal of this movie lies in it's appeal to the dionysian, primal side of our aesthetic organ. sheer genius on the part of cocteau the like of which we may never be fortunate enough to see again in this age of multi million dollar special effects-corporate (...) festivals.
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