Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
Born 100 years ago in Poland, Swiss-educated Jean Epstein ended up a Paris-based filmmaker, but only after studying biophysics and medicine at the University of Lyons. If this suggests that Epstein was more of an academician than a seat-of-the-pants moviemaker, so does his next step: He wrote a film-theory book, Bonjour Cinema, in 1921, before there was much film to theorize about. He turned to directing with Pasteur, a biopic, and found his style with his next film, 1923’s Coeur fidele (pictured). An assured visual demonstration of his theories, the film linked him to such cinematic impressionists as Louis Delluc and Abel Gance. This introduction to Epstein’s work includes Coeur fidele and another film from the ’20s, La Glace a trois faces, as well as 1947’s Le Tempestaire, made just a few years after the half-Jewish Epstein and his sister Marie (also a director and screenwriter) barely escaped deportation by the Gestapo. At 2:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)