Le Sang d'un Poète
1930 / 55m - France
Fantasy, Experimental
The Blood of a Poet poster


March 26, 2021


Jean Cocteau didn't direct many films, but he made them count. The Blood of a Poet is his first (surviving) film and sees Cocteau playing around with the medium. It's a laudable project, but 90 years later many of the experiments don't translate that well anymore, which makes this a rather tough watch.

It's not just the film's age though, as I've seen films from the '20s (and even older - thinking of various Méliès films) that managed to deliver more refined special effects. Cocteau has a lot of interesting ideas, but many of the tricks he uses are a little too obvious, which detracts from the surreal atmosphere he tries to create.

Performances are somewhat mediocre too, the poetry doesn't really work and even though it's a pretty weird film, it never feels all that special or surprising. Still, at a time when many were pulling cinema into a more narrative direction, it's a welcome attempt to create something magical. It's just aged pretty badly.