Jean Epstein and Stanley Kubrick: At Sea

Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 7:00 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

Includes the following films:

  • The Seafarers

    1953. USA. Directed and photographed by Stanley Kubrick. The Seafarers International Union (SIU) commissioned Kubrick, then twenty-five years old, to make a short color documentary extolling the virtues of union membership. The result is a somewhat factual, somewhat romanticized portrait of the seafaring industry, depicting merchant seamen at work and at rest, and the union that ensures their job security, welfare, and retirement. The 16mm reversal print held in the MoMA collection—the source of this new 35mm print—is thought to be the only surviving film material. Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with funds provided by The Film Foundation and The Franco American Cultural Fund. 29 min.

  • Mor Vran

    1930. France. Directed by Jean Epstein. No less an authority than Henri Langlois wrote that “[Mor vran] is one of the most beautiful documentaries in the history of French film, a true poem about Brittany and the sea. It was shot four years before Robert Flaherty’s Man of Aran, providing inspiration for the later film’s most beautiful sequences. In Mor vran we can feel in every moment…Epstein’s science, his poetic vision that transfigures things, and it explains how he could write statements like ‘the actor who gave me the most satisfaction was the island of Ouessant with all the people who live there and all the water” (Cahiers du cinéma, 1953). Preserved by the Cinémathèque française. In French; English subtitles. 26 min.