Film 17 (a): The Fall of the House of Usher


The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) dir. J. S. Watson, Jr. & Melville Webber. USA.An avant-garde experimental film, the visual element predominates, including shots through prisms to create optical distortion.[1] There is no dialogue, though one part features letters moving across the screen.

— Wikipedia (who else would write about this minor horror short…)

Forrest: How many 1928 movie adaptations of “The Fall of the House of Usher” could there possibly be?  Well, as it turns out, more than one.  And we watched the wrong one.

Abigail:  This is  listed as “important” by the United States Library of Congress, but that feels like a stretch.  It watches like a freshman film student’s short where they were told to “make and interpretation of German Expressionism”.  The story is incomprehensible, and the images, interesting at times, but without a through line.  Parts of it even feel like a parody.  This was 13 minutes I am not mad to have lost, but disappointed I spent in error.

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