Cover image for Le sang d'un poète The blood of a poet
Le sang d'un poète The blood of a poet
Cocteau, Jean, 1889-1963.
[DVD version].
Publication Information:
[Irvington, N.Y.] : Criterion Collection, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 videodisc (116 min.) : sound, black and white and color ; 4 3/4 in.
An artist is driven mad by the sight of his own blood and a drawing of a mouth that seems to come to life. The combination sends him off on a series of bizarre adventures that strive to explain how artists become obsessed with their own works.
General Note:
"Janus Films, Canal+ Image International."

Originally released as a motion picture in 1930.

1.33:1 aspect ratio.

Part 1 of Jean Cocteau's Orphic trilogy.

Includes: Jean Cocteau : autoportrait d'un inconnu = Jean Cocteau = autobiography of an unknown artist / scénario, Edgardo Cozarinsky sur une idée de Carole Weisweiller ; réalisation, Edgardo Cozarinsky. 1984 (66 min.).

Special features: collection of rare and behind-the-scenes photos; a transcript of Cocteau's lecture given at a 1932 screening of The blood of a poet and a 1946 essay on the film by Cocteau; and a Cocteau bibliography/filmography.

For specific features see interactive menu.
Personal Subject:
Added Uniform Title:
Jean Cocteau, autoportrait d'un inconnu.

Jean Cocteau, autobiography of an unknown artist.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DVD 7382 Adult DVD Foreign Language
DVD 7382 Adult DVD Media Room-Foreign Language Video

On Order



In the first of this film's four episodes, a tall smokestack starts to collapse. Then the scene shifts to a young poet who is sketching faces. He sees that a sketch's mouth is moving and wipes it off with his hand; the mouth attaches itself to his palm. Eventually he transfers the mouth to a statue in his room. In the second episode, the statue tells the poet to enter a mirror. He falls into the darkness of the mirror's interior and finds himself at the Hotel de Folies-Dramatiques. The poet crawls along the hallway and peers into the keyholes, where he sees various bizarre situations. He reaches the end of the hallway, someone hands him a gun, and he shoots himself. The poet returns to his room and smashes the statue; then he becomes a statue himself in a courtyard. In the third episode, a group of boys engage in a snowfight in the courtyard. The statue is destroyed and one boy is left bloody and possibly dead after being hit with a snowball. In the final episode, the courtyard is revealed to be a stage on which a young woman and the poet play cards next to the boy's body, which is still lying on the ground. The woman tells the poet that he is lost without the Ace; he takes the card from the boy's jacket. The boy's guardian angel appears and covers him. He takes the Ace from the poet and leaves; the poet shoots himself in the head and the audience applauds. The woman walks away and it is revealed that she is the statue; then the film ends with the final collapse of the tall smokestack. ~ Todd Kristel, Rovi