The Blood Of A Poet

This superb,surreal, highly personal must-see classic is among the key titles in this, history of avant-garde cinema. What there is of a scenario, which unravels in four episodes and is united by Cocteau’s narration, supposedly takes place in the fraction of a second, between the time in which a chimney falls and crashes on the ground. This is the famed poet/playwright/essayist/artist/actor/director’s initial celluloid venture, and it may be best described as a cinematic poem. (“I am trying to picture the poet’s inner self,” is how Cocteau explained his rationale for making it.) As the images come forth, Cocteau’s feelings about a poet’s observations, anxieties and views of life and death come through profoundly and cohesively. Pauline Kael has written of the film, “…though it may seem to have no depth, you’re not likely to forget it – it has a suggestiveness unlike any other film.” Adds the British critic Tony Rayns, “The honesty and robustness of the images prevents the movie from lapsing into pretension nor preciousness; it remains extremely interesting as a source of Cocteau’s later work.” The titles and dialogue are in French, but few of each are necessary as Cocteau ever-so creatively employs visuals to tell the story.