Ultra-Modern: Jean Epstein, or Cinema “Serving the Forces of Transgression and Revolt”

On the occasion of Anthology Film Archive's retrospective on Jean Epstein and the publishing of a new anthology on the filmmaker edited by Sarah Keller and Jason N. Paul, Jean Epstein: Critical Essays and New Translations, we are here reprinting the essay by Nicole Brenez, "Ultra-Modern: Jean Epstein, or Cinema 'Serving the Forces of Transgression and Revolt.'" The anthology is published by Amsterdam University Press and available in the Us and Canada from the University of Chicago Press. Many thanks to Amsterdam University Press, University of Chicago Press, Magdalena Hernas, Sarah Keller and Nicole Brenez.

Jean Epstein disappeared over half a century ago, in 1953. Yet, few filmmakers are still as alive today. At the time, a radio broadcast announced the following obituary: “Jean Epstein has just died. This name may not mean much to many of those who turn to the screens to provide them with the weekly dose of emotion they need.
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