Mouffe at the Movies: The Blood of a Poet

Reel 1: Jean Cocteau. The Blood of a Poet (trailer).

Lee Miller played the Statue in Jean Cocteau’s Surrealist classic, The Blood of a Poet (Le Sang d’un Poéte). It’s a trippy, enigmatic film laden with “deep” imagery. The original 1930 film moves like molasses compared to the quick cuts in the trailer, which was made by current production standards to market a historical artifact. From today’s perspective, it feels like it’s trying a little too hard to be surreal. The Blood of a Poet is tedious much of the time — just like a dream — but suddenly it can make you laugh out loud with surprise. The moment when Lee Miller’s Statue comes to life is magical.

Before you undertake the complete movie (about 50 minutes long), you may want to fortify yourself with commentaries by Julia Levin and Matthew Dessem to get some clues about what’s going on inside Cocteau’s head.

Reel 2: Jean Cocteau. The Blood of the Poet (complete).

Café Mouffe opens every Friday at 3:00 p.m. Please drop by for a listen and a chat. Sometimes the embedded videos don’t work here due to bandwidth constraints, but you’ll always find links to video sources in the set notes. Try them. If you’re curious about the Mouffe, here’s the original idea behind it’s creation.

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