Jean Epstein (1897-1953) was a French filmmaker, film theorist, literary critic, and novelist. Although today he is remembered primarily for his film adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's tale The Fall of the House of Usher, he directed three dozen films and was an influential critic of literature and film from the early 1920s through the late 1940s. He is often associated with French Impressionist cinema and the concept of photogénie.
Epstein served as a secretary and translator for Auguste Lumière, one of the founders of cinema, and Luis Buñuel worked as an assistant director to Epstein on his films Mauprat (1926) and La Chute de la maison Usher (1928). Epstein's criticism appeared in the early modernist journal L’Esprit Nouveau.
In the seminars, Deleuze discusses Epstein's use of temporal perspective and aberrant movement, as well as the theme of the travelling fair.