Following a 19th-century play penned by Benjamin Antier, the figure of Robert Macaire, bandit and rogue, enjoyed popularity in several contexts. One of the most detailed treatments may be found in Epstein’s LES AVENTURES DE ROBERT MACAIRE, which he executed in five interrelated episodes. —Anthology Film Archives
Jean Epstein (March 25, 1897, Warsaw – April 2, 1953, Paris) was a film director and early film theoretician.
He started directing his own films in 1922 with Pasteur, followed by L’Auberge rouge and Coeur fidèle (both 1923). Famous film director Luis Buñuel worked as an assistant director to Epstein on Mauprat (1926) and La Chute de la maison Usher (1928). Epstein’s criticism appeared in the early modernist journal L’Esprit Nouveau.
During the making of Coeur fidèle Epstein now chose to film a simple story of love and violence “to win the confidence of those, still so numerous, who believe that only the lowest melodrama can interest the public”, and also in the hope of creating “a melodrama so stripped of all the conventions ordinarily attached to the genre, so sober, so simple, that it might approach the nobility and excellence of tragedy”. He wrote the scenario in a single night.
Epstein had been much impressed… read more
A look at the 1920s and 30s French posters of Jean Adrien Mercier, “the prince of affichistes.”