Presented by the Institute for Advanced Study and Moving Image Studies

The Blood of a Poet

Part of the Space, Body, Sound film series
Past event
Apr 08, 2014
The Blood of a Poet

The Blood of a Poet (1930) is Jean Cocteau's first film, and the first French avant-garde sound film. It is a dream-like series of biographical vignettes about the role of sexuality in poetic apprenticeship. It focuses on bodily transformations, such as a woman-statue (the photographer Lee Miller), a cross-dresser (Barbette), a hermaphrodite (Cocteau himself) and a half-angel and half-helicopter Senegalese dancer. Its trick spaces--such as a water-mirror and sets with 90-degree gravity--deploy special effects with an originality that links Georges Méliès and George Lucas. The Blood of a Poet remains a remarkably fresh, innovative and poetic film, and confounds some of our ideas about the evolution of the use of sound, body and space in cinema.

This film is part of the Moving Image Studies film series Space, Body, Sound. This series was programmed by film studies faculty for the Northrop Grand Opening with reference to Northrop's focus on the performing arts.