Jean Epstein - La Chute de la Maison Usher AKA The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)

Roderick Usher is obsessed with painting a portrait of his dying wife Madeline, aware that as his work progresses, so his wife's condition deteriorates. She eventually dies, but returns from the grave to save Roderick from the blaze that destroys the house of Usher after it's been struck by lightning.

Although it's far from being a faithful adaptation of Poe, this remains a quite remarkable and creepy film, full of marvellous visual invention though missing the opportunity to explore the complex character relations that were evident in the novel - Roderick and Madeline are now man and wife, for example, and not brother and sister. But as an exercise in pure cinematic style it's still hard to beat.

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