Ways of Landscape: Jean Epstein’s Film Practice and Theory

Screening (April 23, 2024 at 20:00), International Workshop (April 24, 2024)

  • Different Venues / Free Admission until seats available
  • Beginn: 23.04.2024
  • Ende: 24.04.2024
  • Ort: Casa del Cinema, Largo Marcello Mastroianni, 1, Roma and Villino Stroganoff, via Gregoriana 22, Roma
  • Kontakt: rossi@biblhertz.it
Ways of Landscape: Jean Epstein’s Film Practice and Theory
What did the eruptive landscape of Mount Etna represent for Jean Epstein – one of the most important personalities of the French avant-garde – when the film company Pathé sent him to film the lava flow in 1923? This workshop aims to reflect on the abundant and continually stimulating questions that come from the intertwining of Epstein’s film practice and visual theory.

La montagne infidèle, shot on the northeastern slope of the Sicilian mountain, is the title of the reportage that Epstein made. For a century this material remained lost. Scholars, however, have long imagined it through a poetic text of unprecedented theoretical depth that Epstein wrote in 1926, and which suggestively bears the title Le Cinématographe vu de l’Etna. Which is the relationship between the medium and the landscape? What has the power to gaze? Who is looking at whom?

Rediscovered in 2020 in a 28mm Spanish version and restored by the Filmoteca de Catalunya, it is now finally visible. A film screening, accompanied by live music composed and performed by Økapi, will take place in Rome for the first time at 8 p.m. on April 23rd at the Casa del Cinema.

Thanks to this exceptional new archival finding, the workshop at the Bibliotheca Hertziana on April 24th will be devoted to examining the significance of the filmmaker’s production for film history, visual theory and media studies.









23 April 2024 | Casa del Cinema, Largo Marcello Mastroianni 1


La Montagne infidèle, Jean Epstein (1923)
Original music composed and performed by Økapi (2024)

Malvina Giordana (BHMPI)
Víctor Martín García (Universitat Politècnica de València)
Rosa Cardona (Filmoteca de Catalunya)



24 April 2024 | Bibliotheca Hertziana, Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22


10:30: WELCOME
Tanja Michalsky (BHMPI)
Malvina Giordana (BHMPI)


Rosa Cardona (Filmoteca de Catalunya)
A story of saved materials. Two distribution prints and a Pathéorama of La Montagne infidèle
Respondent: Rossella Catanese (Università degli Studi della Tuscia)


Laura Vichi (L’Usine aux Images)
Jean Epstein, the film de paysage and La Montagne infidèle
Respondent: Sila Berruti (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata)


Chiara Tognolotti (Università degli Studi di Pisa)
“The night had a thousand eyes”. Le cinématographe vu de l’Etna in Epstein’s Film Theory
Respondent: Tommaso Morawski (University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland)


Sarah Keller (UMass Boston)
Jean Epstein, Etna, and States Between
Respondent: Lorenzo Marmo (Università degli Studi Roma Tre)

Adrian Bremenkamp (BHMPI), Simona Busni (Università di Catania),
Mattia Cinquegrani (Università degli Studi Roma Tre),
Angela Maiello (Università della Calabria), Víctor Martín García (Universitat Politècnica de València), Elio Ugenti (Università degli Studi Roma Tre)





Scientific Organization: Tanja Michalsky and Malvina Giordana

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