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Nosferatu [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray]
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SYNOPSIS: An iconic film of the German expressionist cinema, and one of the most famous of all silent movies, F. W. Murnau s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror continues to haunt - and, indeed, terrify - modern audiences with the unshakable power of its images. By teasing a host of occult atmospherics out of dilapidated set - pieces and innocuous real - world locations alike, Murnau captured on celluloid the deeply - rooted elements of a waking nightmare, and launched the signature " Murnau - style" that would change cinema history forever.
In this first - ever screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, a simple real-estate transaction leads an intrepid businessman deep into the superstitious heart of Transylvania. There he encounters the otherworldly Count Orlok - portrayed by the legendary Max Schreck, in a performance the very backstory of which has spawned its own mythology - who soon after embarks upon a cross-continental voyage to take up residence in a distant new land... and establish his ambiguous dominion. As to whether the count's campaign against the plague-wracked populace erupts from satanic decree, erotic compulsion, or the simple impulse of survival - that remains, perhaps, the greatest mystery of all in this film that's like a blackout...
Remade by Werner Herzog in 1979 (and inspiring films as diverse as Abel Ferrara s King of New York and The Addiction, and E. Elias Merhige's Shadow of the Vampire), F. W. Murnau s surreal 1922 cine - fable remains the original and landmark entry in the entire global tradition of ''the horror film''. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present, newly restored at long last, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror in its definitive restoration, complete with original intertitles and accompanied by the score that played with the film at the time of its initial release.
- Brand new 1080p high - definition restoration by Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung
- Two audio commentaries: one newly recorded by film historian David Kalat; the second by historian R. Dixon Smith and critic Brad Stevens
- The Language of Shadows, a 53 - minute documentary on Murnau's early years and the filming of Nosferatu
- New video interview with BFI Film Classics Nosferatu author Kevin Jackson
- Exclusive video piece taped by and featuring filmmaker Abel Ferrara
- Newly translated English subtitles with original German intertitles
- 56-PAGE BOOKLET featuring writing by Gilberto Perez, Albin Grau, Enno Patalas, and Craig Keller; notes on the restoration; and rare archival imageryimagery
REVIEWS:A visual and emotional treat. - Kim Newman, EMPIRE Magazine
If contemporary horror films were as richly imaginative as Nosferatu there's no doubting the genre would be taken more seriously than it is - Billy Chainsaw, Bizarre Magazine
It remains a film to freeze the blood... - The Independent
" A visual and emotional treat. " --Kim Newman EMPIRE Magazine
" If contemporary horror films were as richly imaginative as Nosferatu there s no doubting the genre would be taken more seriously than it is " --Billy Chainsaw, Bizarre Magazine
" It remains a film to freeze the blood " --The Independent
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Really a good edition for a collector and movie lover.
I really recommend.
a 2 x DVD special edition of the 2007 F.W. Murnau-Stiftung restoration plus original score. This edition of NOSFERATU features Hans Erdmann's original music for the first time since the film's initial release in the 1920s. The original score in paper form has been located (no original recordings were ever made, it was only performed live in the 1920s). A lush, orchestral recording of this original score has been performed by Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken conducted by Berndt Heller
+ Full-length audio commentary by Brad Stevens and R. Dixon Smith - film historian.
+ A 96-page book containing articles by David Skal (author of Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen); Thomas Elsaesser (author of Weimar Cinema and After: Germany's Historical Imaginary); Gilberto Perez (author of The Material Ghost: Films and Their Medium); Enno Patalas (former director of the Münchner Stadtmuseum/Filmmuseum, where he was responsible for the restoration of many German classics, including Nosferatu); a newly translated archival piece on vampires by the film's producer Albin Grau; notes on the film's restoration; and archival imagery
- 53-minute German documentary about Murnau and the making of Nosferatu complete with fascinating footage of the film's locations today
- Restoration demonstration
there might be a few other extras but nothing confirmed at this time.
The cover art is taken from Albin Grau's poster of the time.
On top of this edition "KINO" films is releasing their own version AND there is a groovy "STEELBOOK" edition available from AMAZON.DE which I have pre-ordered. It boasts amongst other things a picture gallery and a 60 minute documentary by Luciano Berriatúa
about the director FW Murnau called "the language of shadows". The commentary on the 1970s version of Nosferatu by Werner Herzog states Nosferatu as the greatest German film of all time.
The film itself has never looked so good and the score was crystal clear. In fact my ONLY gripe is that the score could have been more menacing when Orlock was on screen - I had always imagined a slow sinister piano tinkering when he came on screen. But that is a minor criticism in a altogether fabulous film.
This iconic film deserves to be in everybody's collection, and this is the edition to buy and show at this time of year.
The music is also a real joy, as it is probably the "definitive" score for the film, the very score that was performed at the movie's premier. You will never get much better than that, and it fits the film wonderfully. While James Bernard did a great job on the BFI release, the Hammer Horror artefacts were too overbearing at times. However, the music on this release is perfectly unbiased and fits the movie like a glove.
The special features are about as good as can be expected for this nearly-lost and mysterious film. On disc two, there is one interesting documentary that delves into the history and background of the film, as well as a brief featurette about the restoration process. The documentary is good, revisiting some of the shooting locations and exploring Murnau's past and the occult background to the film, but if you're hoping for any footage of a non-Nosferatu Max Schreck like I was, then you'll be disappointed! Back on disc one, you can find a useful commentary track that delves into the film's imagery and influence.
The main flaw with this release is that everything except the commentary track is in subtitled german, and that includes the documentary and ALL of the text/intertitles in the film. This does comply with the authenticity of the restoration, and it doesn't bother me, but it could be considered lazy when it comes to the documentary. It's also a shame that the special features weren't more exhaustive. At least one photograph of Max Schreck sans-makeup would have been nice, and some interviews or featurettes on the commercial influence of the film would have been really cool. It was good of them to include a very nice 80-page booklet with the DVD though, which contains a number of nice essays.
If you consider the film alone, the picture and the audio quality make everything worthwhile. This the most watchable and authentic version of the film that you can get your hands on. You really won't regret it!
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