Castro Theatre Sat, Dec 1, 2018 4:30 PM
$17 general / $15 member
No Service Fees!


Director Jean Epstein was one of the central figures in French cinema of the 1920s and his writings and cinematic innovations have inspired filmmakers from Buñuel to Cassavetes. The romantic triangle at the center of Couer Fidèle is played out on the streets and docks of working class Marseilles as Marie (the breathtaking Gina Manès) dreams of escaping a bad relationship with drunken layabout Petit Paul (Edmond van Daële) for dockworker Jean (Léon Mathot). Epstein aimed to create, in his own words, “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.” In Coeur Fidèle he achieves that nobility—his blend of experimentation and naturalism is visually and emotionally riveting. In Cahiers du Cinema, Henri Langlois wrote, “Coeur Fidèle is the triumph of impressionism of movement, but it is also something else – the triumph of the modern spirit. Its images were seemingly in 3D; they literally burst from the screen…”

France, 1923. Directed by Jean Epstein. With Léon Mathot, Gina Manès, and Edmond van Daële. 75 minutes

Live musical accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra

Restoration by Cinémathèque Française. Print (DCP) courtesy of The Festival Agency

Copresentation by Alliance Française, BAMPFA, and SF Cinematheque