Edgar Allan Poe Featured on American Masters
Just in time for Halloween, American Masters is releasing their profile on a classic Gothic author – Edgar Allan Poe. But just because we know the The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart forwards and backwards, Poe’s work (which includes MUCH more than horror, by the way) is really about tapping into what it means to be human in a modern and sometimes frightening world than about, say, getting trapped inside a wall.
So of Poe’s more than 100 works, why do we remember the scary stories the best? And when we think of Poe, why do we immediately see a dark, drug-addled figure on the brink of madness, much like the narrators in those horror stories?
This caricature is thanks, in large part, to a high-profile obituary filled with falsehoods, written by his literary rival Rufus W. Griswold. Determined to re-invent American literature, Poe was an influential – and brutally honest – literary critic and magazine editor, who also invented the detective protagonist with his character C. Auguste Dupin, refined the science fiction genre and popularized short stories, actually writing more comedies than horror. An orphan in search of family, love and literary fame, Poe struggled with alcoholism and was also a product of early 19th century American urban life: depressed from the era’s culture of death due to the high mortality rate and the struggles of living in poverty. Poe famously died under mysterious circumstances and his cause of death remains unknown.
Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive, which airs Monday, October 30, at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16, draws on the rich palette of Poe’s evocative imagery and sharply drawn plots to tell the real story of the notorious author. The film stars Tony Award-winning and Emmy-nominated actor Denis O'Hare (This Is Us, American Horror Story, Take Me Out) and narrated by Oscar- and Tony-nominated, two-time Golden Globe-winner Kathleen Turner.
“The mystery around Poe’s death is the least of it,” said filmmaker Eric Stange. “The real question at the heart of this film is why Edgar Allan Poe continues to be one of the most popular writers in the history of Western literature – and one of the most misunderstood.”
“America loves creepy horror stories, and there is a good reason why Poe is still taught in every high school – he is just the all-time master. Best of all, now the series has its own spooky Halloween episode,” added Michael Kantor, American Masters series executive producer.