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Nate’s Silent Movies: “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1928)
November 9, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Nate’s Silent Movies at Full Circle presents Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”! (1928)
With live piano music by host Nate Butler!
Thursday Nov. 9 at Full Circle Brewing Co.
Cartoons at 7:00 p.m., film at 8:00 p.m.
(The film is only 1 hour 15 minutes long, so the evening will end by 9:30 p.m.)
All ages admitted, but the film is kinda spooky, so parental discretion is advised.
“The Fall of the House of Usher” (French: “La Chute de la maison Usher”) is a 1928 French horror film directed by Jean Epstein, one of multiple films based on the Gothic short story ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ by Edgar Allan Poe. Future director Luis Buñuel (“Une Chien Andalou”) co-wrote the screenplay with Epstein. American critic Roger Ebert included the film on his list of “Great Movies.”
In the film, ‘Allan’ visits the sinister Usher family mansion, where his friend Roderick is painting a portrait of his sickly wife Madeline. The portrait seems to be draining the life out of Madeline, slowly leading to her death.
Director Jean Epstein studiously avoids cheap shocks in this tale of hereditary madness, choosing instead a tightly controlled, spookily subtle technique. The hero, having indirectly caused the death of his beloved, stubbornly tries to resurrect her spirit by devoting himself to painting and sculpture. Epstein conveys the twilight zone between life and death with lingering dissolves and brilliant utilization of slow motion. The production design of “La Chute de la Maison Usher”, together with the earlier “Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, obviously inspired the ‘look’ of Robert Florey’s 1932 Poe derivation “Murders in the Rue Morgue”.