Jean Cocteau

The Blood of a Poet

The Blood of a Poet

“Poets . . . shed not only the red blood of their hearts but the white blood of their souls,” proclaimed Jean Cocteau of his groundbreaking first film—an exploration of the plight of the artist, the power of metaphor and the relationship between art and dreams. One of cinema’s great experiments, this first installment of the Orphic Trilogy stretches the medium to its limits in an effort to capture the poet’s obsession with the struggle between the forces of life and death. Criterion is proud to present The Blood of a Poet (Le sang d’un poète).

Film Info

  • Jean Cocteau
  • France
  • 1930
  • 50 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  • Spine #67

Special Features

  • New digital transfer, with restored sound
  • New English subtitle translation
  • A collection of rare behind-the-scenes photos
  • Edgardo Cozarinsky’s renowned 66-minute 1984 documentary Cocteau: Autoportrait d’un Inconnu (Autobiography of an Unknown)
  • A transcript of Cocteau’s lecture given at a 1932 screening of Blood of a Poet, and a 1946 essay by Cocteau
  • A Cocteau bibliofilmography

Available In

Collector's Set

The Orphic Trilogy

The Orphic Trilogy

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

Ships Jun 15, 2018

$58.96

Out Of Print

Special Features

  • New digital transfer, with restored sound
  • New English subtitle translation
  • A collection of rare behind-the-scenes photos
  • Edgardo Cozarinsky’s renowned 66-minute 1984 documentary Cocteau: Autoportrait d’un Inconnu (Autobiography of an Unknown)
  • A transcript of Cocteau’s lecture given at a 1932 screening of Blood of a Poet, and a 1946 essay by Cocteau
  • A Cocteau bibliofilmography

The Blood of a Poet
Cast
Lee Miller
Statue
Enrique Rivero
Poet
Jean Desbordes
Louis XV Friend
Féral Benga
Black Angel
Credits
Director
Jean Cocteau
Settings, montage, and commentary by
Jean Cocteau
Music
Georges Auric
Technical director
Michael J. Arnaud
Cinematography
Georges Périnal
Sound
Henri Labrély
Sound effects
R.C.A. Photophone
Set decoration
Jean d'Eaubonne
Orchestra conducted by
Edouard Flament
Accessories by
Maison Berthelin
Plaster casts by
Plastikos

From The Current

The Blood of a Poet
The Blood of a Poet

“Most of Aesop’s fables have many different levels and meanings. There are those who make myths of them by choosing some feature that fits in well with the fable. But for most of the fables this is only the first and most superficial aspect. Ther…

By Jean Cocteau

On Film / Essays — Apr 25, 2000

Explore

Jean Cocteau

Director

“When I make a film, it is a sleep in which I am dreaming,” Jean Cocteau once wrote. That evocation of his cinema as an ethereal, unconscious alternate reality was no mere philosophical statement; the approach can be felt in the mood, texture, and structure of his movies. A true artist of the cinematic form, Cocteau, in just a handful of films—some of which he directed, some of which he wrote, but to all of which he contributed his unique vision and craft—created an unparalleled dream world. He was also a poet, novelist, playwright, and painter, and all of those disciplines are reflected in his films—from the prewar, avant-garde, surrealist The Blood of a Poet to the fairy-tale masterpiece Beauty and the Beast to the Jean-Pierre Melville collaboration Les enfants terribles and the contemporary takes on classical mythology Orpheus and Testament of Orpheus. Each of these works is a visually innovative exploration of art, sex, love, and death—mementos of one of cinema’s most richly creative minds.