L'or des mers
(Gold from the Sea)
Keller, assistant professor of art and cinema studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, is coeditor of the collection Jean Epstein: Critical Essays and New Translations.
PRECEDED BY: LES BERCEAUX (THE CRADLES) (Jean Epstein, France, 1932). A filmed song. (6 mins, In French, B&W, 35mm, From La Cinémathèque française)
Conceived of first as a written text (one of two novels Epstein wrote . . . which deal with experiences on the islands off Brittany), and filmed with astonishingly disorienting continuity effects, [L’or des mers] also features equally disorienting uses of sound . . . Together, all of these aspects . . . generate a highly moving yet somehow disturbing portrait of the inhabitants of a remote, windswept island. It addresses the character of the wind as readily as it does its apparent protagonist, an unlikeable fellow who in his impoverished state imposes himself upon his neighbors until one day he finds a treasure from a shipwreck washed up on shore.