Marie, a waitress, lives a horrible existence where she is mistreated by both her parents and her lover, Paul, an unemployed drunk. Marie is terrified of Paul, yet she dreams of being able to escape her life with Jean, a dockworker, who she sneaks away to spend time with. Eventually the two men confront one and other but Paul is able to retain his grasp on Marie. Jean Epstein's The Faithful Heart is a masterpiece of silent cinema which perfectly supports the notion that the invention of sound killed cinema as a visual form of storytelling. The easiest way I can think of how to describe this film is a visual poem about love. The Faithful Heart is an emotionally resonant experience as we watch Jean and Marie fight for each other even when things become bleak. I believe Epstein wanted to state the power of love with this film and he certainly succeeded. The entire film is a visual feast but the use of editing is really phenominal and ahead of its time. The film uses lots of overlaying and quick cutting to elicit emotion with Jean's scene of despair near the water being a perfect example of this. After Jean loses Marie to Paul we see how Jean sees Marie in almost everything he looks at, from the water, to the shore, he is unable to escape the power of his love for her. Random sidenote: Geno Manes, who plays Marie, has some of the most vibrant eyes I've seen - if eyes are the window into ones soul than she gives us one helluva a view. The Faithful Heart is a film that I have a hard time putting into words but I will say it's incredibly powerful and astonishingly well-crafted, especially for the time.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.