FINIS TERRÆ (Jean Epstein, 1929)

Polish-born Jean Epstein’s Finis Terræ is momentous. While every film exists on a sliding scale of expression whose opposite poles are documentary and fiction, this film in particular does more than merely combine the two modes; it anticipates generic (as distinct from stylistic) attempts—poetic docudrama; Italian Neorealism—to fuse them.* Owing a good deal to Robert […]