Showing posts with label fritz lang. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fritz lang. Show all posts

27 October 2013

Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922) Masters Of Cinema Blu-ray Review

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BD Release Date:
28th October 2013 (UK)
Eureka! Video
Fritz Lang
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker
Buy Dr.Mabuse The Gambler: [Blu-ray] / (Limited Edition Steelbook) [Blu-Ray]

Dr. Mabuse: der spieler is a two-part film from Fritz Lang. The films it total run over 4 hours in length. It’s one of Fritz Lang’s first great films and Lang would continue the story of the criminal masterpiece Dr. Mabuse in The Testament of Dr. Mabuse and The 1000 eyes of Dr. Mabuse, the last film Lang directed. The character of Dr. Mabuse comes from the novel of the same name by Norbert Jacques.

Dr. Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) is a criminal masterpiece, doctor of psychology and master of disguise. He also has powers of hypnosis and mind control. The good doctor the overseer of counterfeiting and gambling of the Berlin underworld. The first film starts with orchestrating a cunning plan of a theft of an important contract that creates a temporary panic n the stock market that he exploits to his financial advantage.

Dr. Mabuse is also a expert gambler due to his hypnotising his opponents. He hypnotises Edgar Hull but after other people confront him about his lost he can’t remember loosing. He goes to State Prosecutor Norbert von Wenk and he believes it’s the same man who is responsible for all of these huge looses in illegal card games. He vows to find the man responsible and bring him to justice. Dr. Mabuse will do anything in his power to stay elusive even if it means murder.

The film was preceded by Fritz Lang’s Destiny, which I’ve still never seen but from all accounts was the film, which his style became apparent from. Lang along with Eisenstein and Griffith are hands down the people responsible for all the techniques in modern film language. Lang invented what would become the modern thriller and science fiction film in films like Mabuse, M, Spione and of course Metropolis. He was one of the first directors to use special effects extensively and many modern techniques from him then for example Méliès.

The film is sprawling complicated mystery of intrigue, magic, hypnosis and cocaine. It’s runs for an epic 4 hours and 30 minutes or so and it would be a lie if it didn’t drag at moments but silent films of this ilk were very much the original mini-series. It predates film noir by roughly 20 years and Lang and German expressionism in wider sense were the biggest inspired for the film noir of the 1940s and 1950s. The influence was so much so that Lang himself is also a noted director noir with films like The Big Heat and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

It’s a one of Lang’s most important film even though it probably could have lost a good hour of footage but if you take it as a proto mini-series you will be fine. The sequel The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a tighter film and better for it but it all started here and it’s mighty fine piece of work. The great Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein actually edited it down for a Soviet audience and that would be an interesting find but I doubt it will ever surface sadly.


Ian Schultz

22 August 2013

Eureka Video Announce Their Masters Of Cinema October/November Releases

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Eureka Entertainment have announced via their twitter feeds (@eurekavideo & @mastersofcinema) the forthcoming releases in The Masters of Cinema series for the months of October and November 2013.

Proudly presenting films from 6 different countries, spanning 67 years, and encompassing classic Hollywood, silent cinema, and the finest in global art cinema, The Masters of Cinema Series is as eclectic as ever in its October and November 2013 line-up – a 5-release slate that includes directors F.W. Murnau, Kenji Mizoguchi, Howard Hawks, Fritz Lang, Metin Erksan, Ahmed El Maanouni, and Ermek Shinarbaev.

In October, we welcome Hollywood legend Howard Hawks into the series for the first time with his John Wayne Western classic Red River alongside the worldwide Blu-ray première of Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler. [Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler.] and a strictly limited-edition box-set of late-career films by Kenji Mizoguchi.

More cinematic treats follow in November with a gorgeous new restoration of F.W. Murnau's vampire horror classic Nosferatu (following a UK theatrical release just in time for Halloween), and the very first multi-film release in an exciting new partnership with Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving and restoring neglected films from around the world.

Across 5 standout releases, which include no less than 14 films, world and UK premières abound, with new restorations aplenty, Eureka! Entertainment’s Masters of Cinema Series continues its quest to release the very finest in world cinema, using the very best available materials, all with a meticulous attention to detail and design.

Managing Director of Eureka Entertainment, Ron Benson comments “Among other highlights, it is a real privilege to establish a new partnership with Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation in the US, and to continue through all of our releases to be part of a worldwide cinephile community dedicated to preserving and celebrating the treasures of more than a century of cinema.”

28 October 2012

Die Nibelungen (Masters Of Cinema) Review

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Die Nibelungen came out in 1924 and was directed by the master of German Expressionism Fritz Lang. It’s really 2 long films put together which is turn comes around to 4 hours and 40 minutes. It was made in-between his first Dr. Mabuse film and his Magnum opus Metropolis. It in a way is a stepping-stone to what would become Metropolis and like that his later ex-wife Thea von Harbou co-wrote the film.

The film tells the epic saga of Siegfried of Norse Mythology. He is the son of King Siegmund of Xanten. He forges his own sword. He hears stories of the kingdom of Burgundy and Kriemhild the Princess. He announces when he leaves Xanten he wants to win her hand in marriage. The swordsmith Mime who’s shop he forged his sword, tells him of a shortcut to Burgundy but it reality it leads him to a dragon which he slays and baths in it’s blood but missed a shot so he gets a Achilles’ heal. He goes on numerous adventures on his way to Burgundy. There is a part 2 of the film but it would spoil the film too much.

The film isn’t one of Fritz Lang’s best films. It’s very baggy, it’s about 4 hour and 40 minutes and every scene is dragged out to excruciating levels as times. It is a film from the 20s so obviously the pacing is very different to modern films but there are 20 minutes scenes that should be half the length.  However film is basically an early mini-series, each segment and both films has a title card.  The plus sides of the film are the imagery is hallucinatory at times and utterly fantastical. The 1st half of the film is most visually arresting which ends brilliantly. The 2nd half has an astonishing climax though. The story is truly epic in scope, which can be expected when it comes from mythology.  It’s worth watching simply for the imagery.

Overall, It’s a good piece of early sword and sorcery cinema. It’s not gonna be for most people but if your interesting in Frit Lang and early cinema it’s worth seeing.

Ian Schultz


DVD/BD Re-Release Date: 29th October 2012 (UK)
Directed By: Fritz Lang
Cast: Paul Richter, Margarete Schön , Theodor Loos
Buy Die Nibelungen: BLU-RAY/ DVD

24 September 2012

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Masters Of Cinema) Blu-Ray Review

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The Testament of Dr. Mabuse was Fritz Lang’s last film in his native Germany. Soon after his completion of the film he fled Germany because of his Jewish ancestry and the fact the Nazi head of propaganda banned his film and also because he went Lang to make films for them. It is a sequel to his previous film in the Dr. Mabuse series but having not seen the earlier film will not diminish the effect of the sequel.

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse opens with disgraced Detective Hofmeister who escapes from his criminal attackers. He phones his former superior inspector Karl Lohmann and frantically tells him he has discovered a huge criminal conspiracy. Before he can discloses the identity of the responsible criminal, shots and fired and he goes mad and institutionalized at Prof. Baum’s mental institute.

Baum introduces the case of Dr. Mabuse who went bad and crazy 10 year previously. Mabuse writes detailed plans for crimes and is the head of the crime syndicate. A colleague of Baum’s is shot and killed by Mabuse’s execution squad. There is clue scratched on a window. Lohmann suspects Mabuse but it’s revealed Mabuse died that morning. The rest of the film is Lohmann’s investigate in the crime syndicate.

The film is a complex endlessly fascination crime sage with a strange supernatural twist to it. Fritz Lang later regretted the supernatural element but it’s ads this wonderful off kilter aspect to the crime film. The film is one of the last grasps of German expressionism but is shot in a much realistic style than most German expressionism. It’s not quite up to the beauty of Lang’s Metropolis or M. It’s a near masterpiece with some slight pacing issues but saying that the previous Mabuse film was over 4 hours long (I haven’t seen it yet).

The Nazis banned the film because according to Joseph Goebbels “showed that a extremely dedicated group of people are perfectly capable of overthrowing any state with violence”. It is a very cynical look at the government/officials who are rather useless in the film and can’t do anything about the syndicate.

The film is wonderfully photographed and has enough twist and turns to keep you guessing. It’s not as good as some of Lang’s previous masterpiece but what are? Not many films. It’s a wonderfully offbeat mix of cop drama, mystery and horror and it’s a wonderful piece of proto-noir. It has been lovingly restored by Eureka for Masters of Cinema on blu-ray.

Ian Schultz

UK DVD Release Date: 24th September 2012
Directed By:Fritz Lang
Cast: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Otto Wernicke , Gustav Diessl  
Buy Testament Of Dr. Mabuse: Blu-ray [1933]

19 September 2012

The Ingenious Fritz Lang's DIE NIBELUNGEN To Get Masters Of Cinema Release

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Renowned for its ingenious special visual effects and breathtaking set design, DIE NIBELUNGEN [THE NIBELUNGEN] is to be released in the UK on Blu-ray & DVD as part of Eureka Entertainment’s MASTERS OF CINEMA Series on 29 October 2012

Perhaps the most stately of Fritz Lang's two-part epics, the five-hour Die Nibelungen is a courageous and hallucinatory work. Its extraordinary set-pieces, archetypal themes, and unrestrained ambition have proved an inspiration for nearly every fantasy cycle that has emerged on-screen since – from Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings.

In Part One, Siegfried, the film's eponymous hero acquires the power of invincibility after slaying a dragon and bathing in the creature's blood. Later, an alliance through marriage between the hero and the royal clan of the Nibelungen turns treacherous, with Siegfried's sole weakness exploited. In Part Two, Kriemhilds Rache [Kriemhild's Revenge], Siegfried's widow travels to the remote land of the Huns to wed the monstrous Attila, and thereby enlist his forces in an act of vengeance that culminates in massacre, conflagration, and, under the auspices of Lang, one of the most exhilarating and terrifying end-sequences in all of cinema.

Adapted from the myth that was also the basis for Wagner's Ring cycle of operas, Lang's epic offers its own startling expressionistic power – a summit of the director's artistry. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Die Nibelungen in a spectacular new HD restoration, released as a 2 x DVD set & a 2 x Blu-ray set in the UK on 29 October 2012. 


• Long-awaited expert HD restoration by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Germany
• Immaculately presented in the film's original frame rates and aspect ratio, in 1080p on the Blu-ray
• Newly translated optional English subtitles for the original German intertitles
• An hour-long documentary: The Heritage of Die Nibelungen
• Illustrated booklet featuring the words of Lang, rare archival imagery, and more
• Further details to be announced nearer the release date! Pre-Order/Buy: DIE NIBELUNGEN (Masters of Cinema) BLU-RAY [1924]

20 July 2012

Metropolis Giorgio Moroder Presents Review

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The Giorgio Moroder cut of Metropolis was made in 1984 and for a long time was the most complete version of Metropolis known. It features pop music by the likes of Freddie Mercury and Adam Ant and a synthesizer score by Moroder. I’m somebody who considers the recently unearthed 2 and half hour cut one of the 5 or 10 greatest films ever made so I have a lot of problems with this much-abridged version.

This version is missing over an hour of footage and that footage makes the film’s plot make a lot more sense and it includes entire subplots and characters not included in this version. This version could be compared to the “Love Conquers All” version of Brazil, which the studio made, but unlike that film, the very basic message of the film is in tune with the original version. It’s the rather native message of workers and the elite must work together and a mediator is necessary for communication between the classes.

I respect Moroder for trying to find the most complete version of Metropolis; he started his work in the late 70s. However the soundtrack dates the film to the mid 80s whilst the film itself is utterly timeless. It also does the grave sin of colourizing some scenes and adding cheesy special effects to some scenes as well. It also uses subtitles instead of the standard inter titles which makes the film make a lot less sense. The subtitles are inserted so randomly and really ruin the flow of the scenes. It also includes some mechanical sound effects, which are effective, which works ok with synthesizer score and the se are only additions to the film that is not truly awful. I wouldn’t mind if somebody did a full electronic score for the complete version, which could work quite well.

It’s an interesting cult curiosity and was a stepping-stone for the eventually full restoration of Metropolis even though that took a further 20 + years. However it is sorta turned into an 84 minute 80s music video and really taints the film’s reputation. Despite all these flaws you can tell Moroder clearly loves the film and was trying to reedit the film for a more modern audience, which in reality was needed. So if your gonna see Metropolis which you of course should go get the stunning restoration that is a part of Eureka’s (who also released this version) “Masters of Cinema” range.

Ian Schultz

Rating: PG
Directed by: Fritz Lang
Cast: Brigitte Helm, Heinrich George, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Metropolis (1927 / 1984) - Trailer [HD] Published via

8 August 2010

Lesson in Classic Cinema: Watch this Trailer for Restored Fritz Langs METROPOLIS

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source 24 FPS
If you are a lover of movies or a student of film studies if you were to study one movie to learn about film making especially how to creat a dystopian sci-fi , you should look no further than METROPOLIS.

The silent movie masterpiece was created by Fritz Lang in 1927 and a few years back, 25 minutes footage previously thought was lost was found and now the restoration of the complete movie is ready to be admired once again on our big screens. During September as well October special screeenings/educational screenings will take place all around UK & Ireland  and you can find the full list of screenings on the specially made website .
Just think if it wasnt for movies like this movies like Blade Runner and probably the whole science fiction movie genre wouldn't have been created, Metropolis is a true cinematic piece of history, trailer after the break....

offical website