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Eggers Shows Early Short Film, Adaptation of Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart"


While Robert Eggers is now known for his artsy (yet incredibly gruesome) period pieces, he started out like any other filmmaker...making short films on shoe-string budgets. Today, Eggers decided to show how far he's come by releasing (via Indiewire) one of his early short films that adapted Edgar Allen Poe's timely story The Tell-Tale Heart. Upon releasing the film, he had this to say:

“I am pleased to share The Tell-Tale Heart. It is an uneven film, but my first film that I was proud of making. It is also my first collaboration with my DP Jarin Blaschke and editor Lousie Ford, and we have worked together ever since, so it is an important film for all three of us. It is also my first collaboration with sound designer Damian Volpe.”

So, in many ways, the film is a representation more of the foundation of his collaborations then anything else. He also spoke of the compromises he had to make to his vision of the adaptation to accommodate difficult shooting conditions, though he acknolwedges this led to creativity as well:

“Originally, I wanted an incredibly frail actor, on death’s door, to play The Old Man, and realized the shooting conditions would not be able to accommodate that fragility We shot the film in an abandoned 19th-century house in New Hampshire, in February. It was filthy and cold – to put it mildly. I said to myself, ‘I’d rather have a doll play The Old Man than a slightly younger actor in makeup.’ That stuck. This idea of an unliving doll or puppet as the antagonist was a strange choice, but for better or worse, one that certainly makes the film unique. I am also particularly proud of the performance by Carrinton Vilmont. I hope that audiences take note of him.”

In any case, the film is as interesting as any filmmakers' first work, showing the early signs of what would become their style or choice of narrative. And, in Eggers case, the attention to detail of the period the story takes place in which has become a distinction for the filmmaker since he broke out with his feature film debut The Witch (2015). Check out the short film below:

Stay tuned!

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