Institute History


At dawn, after a feverish night of work on his poem, "The Haunted Palace," the poet, William, sits at his desk remembering an old letter from his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher. William's reverie turns to a trip to that friend's home, the House of Usher.

There to help Roderick out of his dangerously depressed spirits, William finds himself in a battle with the inevitable force of his death. Roderick's twin sister, Madeline, is dying and indeed, is laid to rest in a vault beneath the house.

Her death worsens Roderick's condition; the whole household seems to reel under the spirit of death. Yet is Madeline dead? One night with a symphony of clangorous noise, Madeline appears on a balcony of the house as Roderick declares, "Madman. We have put her living into the tomb!" Madeline utters, "Dear Brother--", and falls onto Roderick, both now embraced by death.

William escapes from this "haunted palace" in time to witness the house crumble and fall into the dark lake beside it. As dawn light enters his room, William, back from his gloomy reverie, finishes his poem.

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]