The Fall of the House of Usher (La Chute de la Maison Usher)

[silent film, Jean Epstein, France 1928]

live-music: Port de bras [2004] by IzP


duration: 70'


(first performed: june 02nd 2004, Essen / Germany)

Edgar Allan Poe’s story from “The Fall of the House of Usher” is the source of inspiration for Jean Epstein’s film. In truth, it needs no filming at all, as the work’s composition deals far more with things like the creation of its spine-chilling atmosphere, or its unveiling of peculiar interpersonal relationships. It also conveys the feeling of a sinister force that floats over the scenery, invisible yet omnipresent. Filmed at the end of the 1920s — a time during which the expressive possibilities for horror films had not yet gotten bogged down — Epstein’s cinematography animates his House of Usher so thoroughly that each viewer gets shivers delivered directly from the screen right down to the end of his spine.


[text: Peter Ellenbruch / Scopium]


First working sketches toward the construction of music for “The Fall of the House of Usher” 

Castle … fleeting … Goth-poetry trepidation … falling leaves … the cold of the grave … neon piercing machine … time magnifying glass … autumn … pallid Vanitas throbbing … exasperated persistence … distorted … emptiness … merciless stamping … vastness … softly … necrophile … Poe … electronics … dark … purity … death and beauty …


[translatd by Eric Flesher / USA]