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240 Ratings

The Tempest: Poem on the Sea

Le tempestaire

Directed by Jean Epstein
France, 1947
Avant-Garde, Short


Despite her protestations and concerns over ominous signs, a young woman’s lover leaves for the sea to fish for sardines, but while he is out a terrible storm strikes. However, she finds out about Le Tempestaire, or Tempest Master, who has the power to speak to the wind and subdue it.

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The Tempest: Poem on the Sea Directed by Jean Epstein

Critics reviews

Epstein’s writings also addressed innovations in sound that he pursued in his filmmaking. In “The Storm Tamer” (“Le Tempestaire,” 1947), a spare melodic line is combined with the noise of wind and waves rerecorded at different speeds. In a beautifully edited scene, a sorcerer blows on a glass globe to calm the ocean and save a young woman’s beloved as she watches, transfixed.
February 01, 2016
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Le Tempestaire (The Storm Tamer) is narrowly focused on a single incident, and it’s a peerless masterpiece of mood. [It and Mor’van] start the same way, with montages of static shots… but in Le Tempestaire there is immediately an ominous sensation of waiting. It’s created not only by the unearthly music (by Yves Baudrier), but by the timing of the close-ups and the way Epstein plays with the speed of the film. People are frozen at first, as if under a spell, while the sea laps outside.
January 06, 2014
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