Sunday, March 15, 2009

Le Sang D’un Poéte (Blood of a Poet) – Jean Cocteau (1930)

A surrealist movie from the French poet Jean Cocteau. It starts with a painter getting shocked to see one of his paintings start talking. When he erases the mouth in the painting with his hand, the mouth passes onto his hand and start talking from there. The movie continues with fifty more minutes of strange, meaningless (not in a bad sense) images from the subconscious. André Breton, in his “Manifesto of Surrealism” emphasizes the importance of subconscious in art and describes surrealism as: “I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality.” So applies Cocteau this notion in his film successfully. (Surrealism dwells in images rather than words.) Very much in the vein of An Andalusian Dog by Luis Buñuel (co-written by Dali) this movie is full of that excitement, enthusiasm and the spirit of experimentation that you can only gather from the early examples of cinema. Some people might find it incomprehensible, but there is really nothing to understand. Just watch it and get high.

From Sonic Splendour #4

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