Director: Jean Epstein
“Witness a portal into a complex, heretofore unknown dimension of cinematic representation.” - Slant
Jean Epstein's celebrated loose adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's famous gothic tale is a triumph of surrealistic cinema and an unparalleled swansong to the artistry of early silent cinema.
Creating unnerving atmosphere through avant-garde techniques and the most extravagantly evocative staging, Epstein depicts Roderick Usher's (Jean Debucourt) descent into madness as he desperately tries to immortalise his dying wife (Marguerite Gance) through her portrait. The resulting film is a visceral example of brooding and heightened imagination.
Screens with The Three-Sided Mirror (France, 40 mins), Epstein's playful, non-linear short about a wealthy businessman's relationship with three different women. Told via flashback as each woman recounts her story, it broke cinematic conventions before they were even established, merging past, present and future into a free-spirited tale of romantic rivalry and jealousy.
D/P/S Jean Epstein WS Cinémathèque française L French intertitles w/English subtitles TD 35mm/1928
This film has been restored by La Cinémathèque française.