For a Pole (he was born in Warsaw) Jean Epstein made some quite tasty French films, many Silent - he began in 1922 - not least The Fall Of The House of Usher. He also made a trilogy about Brittany, that Department of France in the North Eastern sector. With the sea on two sides life can be harsh and Epstein shows us just how harsh in what amounts to a semi-documentary ostensibly about four men - two two-man teams) who spend their days collecting sea week (it takes all kinds). One of them cuts his thumb and leaves it untreated. Bad move. It starts to fester and this is when the film broadens out to portray the community and the community spirit. It moves at a pace that a sloth could only aspire to yet Epstein fills his frame with vivid images, often stark. It's not going to trouble the Matrix generation but I'm glad I saw it.
Finis Terræ is a 1929 French silent drama film written and directed by Jean Epstein. The story centres on a small group of men harvesting seaweed off the coast of Brittany, and the problems...
August 12, 2020