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THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF THE USHER

France, 1928 (MIFF 2012, Jean Epstein: Bonjour Cinema)

Director: Jean Epstein

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF THE USHER

“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.

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See the film and read the book; browse online at Readings.

See also...

JEAN EPSTEIN: YOUNG OCEANS OF CINEMA

France, 2011
“Jean Epstein disappeared over half a century ago… but the aura of Epstein, defender of great ecstasies, has only continued to grow.” - Cinema historian Nicole Brenez ... Jean Epstein: You… More »

THE FAITHFUL HEART

France, 1923
“Cœur Fidèle must be seen if you want to understand the resources of the cinema today.” - Filmmaker René Clair ... Jean Epstein's best-known feature film, The Faithful Heart is in essence… More »

THE BEAUTY FROM NIVERNAIS

France, 1923
Love blossoms on the canals of Burgundy. ... A bargeman takes an abandoned boy into his family and raises him as his own. Ten years later, as a romance between the boy and the bargeman's daughter dev… More »

THE LION OF THE MOGULS

France, 1924
“Cinema is an experimental device that builds - that is, that conceives - an image of the universe.” - Jean Epstein ... One of France's first masters of the cinematic avant-garde, Jean Epstein cr… More »

The Three-Sided Mirror

France, 1927
Jean 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, Three-Sided Mirror broke cinematic… More »

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