Jean Epstein

March 4–April 10, 2016

Revolutionary cinema from French director Jean Epstein (1897–1953), including his poetic adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher.

  • Six et demi, onze

  • Coeur fidèle

  • Finis Terrae

  • The Fall of the House of Usher

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Past Films

  • Short Films by Jean Epstein

    • Sunday, April 10 4:30 PM

    Epstein’s 1930s shorts contain all the lyricism and beauty of his earlier creations, married to an even more refined sense of skill. Presented are Les bâtisseurs, Chanson d’Ar-mor, and La chanson des peupliers.

  • Le double amour

    • Saturday, April 9 6 PM
    Jean Epstein
    France, 1925

    Archival Print!

    Judith Rosenberg on piano
    A woman whose lover and son are chronic gamblers must overcome the hypocrisy of wealth and the corruptions of money in Epstein’s melodrama, starring the great Russian actress Nathalia Lissenko.

  • The Fall of the House of Usher

    • Thursday, April 7 7 PM
    Jean Epstein
    France, 1928

    Epstein’s poetic variation on motifs from Edgar Allan Poe relates the story of a painter whose obsessive desire to give life to his images has sinister consequences. With short La glace à trois faces.

  • Le lion des Mogols

    • Friday, April 1 6:30 PM
    Jean Epstein
    France, 1924

    Archival Print!

    Judith Rosenberg on piano
    A young Indian prince (the great Ivan Mosjoukine) flees his kingdom for Paris due to a doomed love affair, only to fall in love again, in Epstein’s almost forgotten treasure.

  • L'auberge rouge

    • Sunday, March 27 4:30 PM
    Jean Epstein
    France, 1923

    Archival Print!

    Judith Rosenberg on piano
    Based on a Balzac novella, this extraordinary “double narrative” unfolds two stories in parallel—one during an elegant dinner in Paris, the other in an isolated Alsace inn.

  • L'homme a l'Hispano

    • Saturday, March 26 8 PM
    Jean Epstein
    France, 1933

    Archival Prints!

    An ode to transportation, as well as to every possible kind of cinematic movement, Epstein’s film combines a love triangle and the theme of world travel. With short La villanelle des rubans.

  • The Sea Speaks: Short Films by Jean Epstein

    • Saturday, March 19 6:30 PM

    Archival Prints!

    Introduced by Sarah Keller
    Epstein’s innovative films created in the windswept, ocean-lashed region of Brittany: Le tempestaire, Mor'Vran, and Les feux de la mer.

  • L'or des mers

    • Friday, March 18 6:30 PM
    Jean Epstein
    France, 1932

    Archival Prints!

    Introduced by Sarah Keller
    Epstein’s moving yet disturbing portrait of the inhabitants of a remote, windswept island, is an early use of "natural actors" in a "natural set." With short Les berceaux.

  • Coeur de gueux

    • Friday, March 18 8:30 PM
    Jean Epstein
    France, 1936

    Archival Print!

    Introduced by Sarah Keller
    The story of a young man from a wealthy family and a perfume girl with whom he falls in love. “A beautifully shot film, bathed in every kind of luminescence” (Anthology Film Archives).

  • Six et demi, onze

    • Thursday, March 17 7 PM
    Jean Epstein
    France, 1927

    Archival Prints!

    Lecture and booksigning by Sarah Keller. Judith Rosenberg on piano
    Two brothers inherit the family fortune; one falls in love with an opera singer who cannot be loved, while the other hopes to rescue him. With short Sa tête.

  • Coeur fidèle

    • Friday, March 11 6:30 PM
    Jean Epstein
    France, 1923

    Judith Rosenberg on piano
    A young woman suffers at the hands of her foster family and the town drunk until her true love offers a possible salvation in Epstein’s visually stunning tale of violence, love, and loss.

  • Finis terrae

    • Friday, March 4 7 PM
    Jean Epstein
    France, 1929

    BAMPFA Student Pick!

    Live Music: Judith Rosenberg on piano
    Epstein collaborated with local Breton fishermen to create this tale of their fear of the very thing that brings them life: the sea. “A masterpiece of silent cinema” (ARTE).

  • Jean Epstein, Young Oceans of Cinema

    • Friday, March 4 8:40 PM
    James Schneider
    France, 2011

    This poetic meditation on Epstein and his work focuses on the time he spent in Brittany.