4.5 / 5 Feb '11
Directed by: Jean Epstein
Written by: Edgar Allan Poe, Luis Buñuel
Actors include: Jean Debucourt, Marguerite Gance, Charles Lamy
Length: 63 minutes
This is insanely imaginative, and lovely to look at, it's very much art in the form of a film. Great care seems to have been taken to ensure that just about every shot looks amazing, even the experimental technics are fascinating. To add to this Jean Debucourt and Marguerite Gance were spectacularly creepy and both were brilliant in their portrayals. The plot is about a fellow named Allan who is a friend of a fellow named Usher who people seem to be terrified of. Usher lives with a Doctor, and his sickly wife Madeline. Usher is obsessed with painting Madeline's portrait, but with every portrait she gets sicker. The story as it goes on becomes a little less clear, but it was rather gripping regardless. It's hard to believe it's only 63 minutes long as a lot is packed into this film. Definitely worth watching for fans of early cinema, it was beautiful and haunting...it just could have used a bit of tightening towards the end.
Availability: On DVD