Jean Epstein

Sog.: J. Epstein. F.: A.S. Milton. Mu.: Yves Baudrier. Su: Léon Vareille, Frankiel. Cast: pescatori e guardiani di faro di Belle-Ile-en-mer. Prod.: Filmagazine; 35mm. L.: 616 m. D.: 23’ a 24 f/s. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Le Tempestaire is an audacious work in the sense that it does not try to please at all costs, and because it dares to make experiments which have been awaited for twenty years but have never been made, despite the fact that there are men capable of making them. This is quite curious: the more the generations follow after one another, the less command they have of cinema. […] It is only among the elderly that we find men capable of controlling and directing the camera. Epstein was among them. We all know the anecdote: while he was shooting Le Tempestaire, in the midst of the spray and storm, clasping the camera firmly so it wouldn’t blow away, the cameraman yelled: «We aren’t going to get anything on this film!». «Don’t worry – Epstein replied – put this lens on, open the diaphragm a bit, and do such and such.» Once back in Paris, the cameraman discovered in astonishment that, not only had the film been recorded upon, but the images were amazingly beautiful. […] Perhaps it’s time we realize that it’s not necessary to sacrifice merit to technique. It’s probably time, before it’s too late, that we leave freedom of action to all those who, thanks to their great experience, can enrich cinema with new techniques. If we are able, this will be Epstein’s last gift to the cinema, because Le Tempestaire, which presents a slow-motion sound never before used, leads us to such reflections.
This is a masterpiece which foretells the future, a man in full possession of his means, much younger than many youth, and who shows it through an extraordinary film. This man stopped working for seven years, without even having the excuse of being someone who spends too much.

Henri Langlois

Copy From

Preserved in 2000 from a master positive of the Cinémathèque Française