Films byTexts by Jean Epstein

Jean Epstein (1897–1953) was a French filmmaker, literary critic, novelist and film theorist. As a filmmaker he was associated with the filmmakers movement of the silent era called the “French Impressionist Cinema’”, also variously referred to as the “first cinematic avant-garde” or the “pre-war French school”, including other figures like Louis Delluc, Germaine Dulac, Marcel L’Herbier and Abel Gance. His writing on cinema is strongly connected to the term “photogénie”, a complex concept that seeks to accentuate a form of cinematic specificity that transcends the material specificity of the medium. In 1921, Epstein published his first piece of theoretical writing titled Bonjour Cinéma, a collection of essays, which includes a lyrical exposé of the close-up using the term photogénie. Epstein also wrote several books on film, including Le cinéma vu de l’Etna (1936) and Le cinéma du diable (1957). Among his many films La chute de la maison Usher (1928), Mauprat (1926), Le lion des Mogols (1924) and Cœur fidèle (1923) are best known.

Jean Epstein, 1927, 39’

Three women love the same man. He loves none of them, but only his Bugatti. He takes his car out of the garage and drives it towards his destiny. 


Un jeune homme est aimé de trois femmes. Mais lui en aime-t-il uneᅠ?

Carton titre du film


Jean Epstein, 1928, 63’

Roderick Usher summons his friend to his crumbling old mansion in the remote countryside. Usher has been obsessed with painting a portrait of his dying wife Madeline.

Jean Epstein, 1929, 80’

« Sur cet îlot d’où les tempêtes d’hiver balaient toute vie, quatre hommes, deux équipes, viennent passer l’été, séparés du monde, pour pêcher le goémon. »1