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Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (Masters of Cinema) [DVD]

5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: F.W. Murnau
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Jun. 2013
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CGYHC0E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,769 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

SYNOPSIS In 1929, F. W. Murnau ( Nosferatu, Faust, Sunrise), one of the greatest of all film directors, invited leading documentarist Robert Flaherty ( Nanook of the North, Man of Aran) to collaborate on a film to be be shot on location in Tahiti, a Polynesian idyll in which Murnau imagined a cast of island actors would provide a new form of authentic drama and offer rare insight into their " primitive " culture. The result of their collaboration was Tabu, a film that depicts the details of indigenous island life to tell a mythical tale that is rich in the universal themes of desire and loss.

Subtitled " A Story of the South Seas ", Tabu concerns a Tahitian fisherman (played by an islander, Matahi) and his love for a young woman (played by fellow islander Reri, who went on to star on Broadway) whose body has been consecrated to the gods, rendering her tabu as far as mortal men are concerned. The lovers flee their island and its restrictive traditions, but will their love prevail in the " civilised " world?

This Oscar - winning film (the Academy Award went to cinematographer Floyd Crosby) is both poetic and simple in tone. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present - completely uncensored and fully restored - this landmark film of rare exoticism and magical beauty, described by critic Lotte Eisner in 1931 as " the apogee of the art of the silent film ", in its original aspect ratio.

SPECIAL DVD EDITION

  • New transfer of the Murnau - Stiftung/ Luciano Berriat úa 75th anniversary restoration of the pre - Paramount, longer Murnau - approved version of the film, with uncensored scenes and titlecards, appearing in its original 1.19:1 aspect ratio for the first time
  • Full - length commentary track by R. Dixon Smith and Brad Stevens.
  • 15 - minute German documentary about Tabu by Luciano Berriat úa.
  • Newly presented outtakes from the original shoot of the film.
  • 56 - PAGE BOOKLET with articles by Scott Eyman, Richard Griffiths, and David Flaherty; an interview with the film s cinematographer Floyd Crosby; and the original story treatments written by Murnau and Flaherty for Tabu and its aborted predecessor Turia.

Review

" Such joyous filmmaking ***** (Five Stars) " --Total Film

" still as wondrous and exotic to behold now as it must have been in 1931 " --Daily Telegraph

" a touching and poetic story of ill - starred love " --The Guardian

" still as wondrous and exotic to behold now as it must have been in 1931 " --Daily Telegraph

" a touching and poetic story of ill - starred love " --The Guardian

" still as wondrous and exotic to behold now as it must have been in 1931 " --Daily Telegraph

" a touching and poetic story of ill - starred love " --The Guardian

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Tabu, Murnau's last film is the latest up-grade to blu-ray from a previous Masters of Cinema package, the excellent 2007 DVD release. I have so many Eureka releases of Sunrise that I didn't get around to up-grading it to BD, but Tabu has got there in two easier [on the wallet] steps.

So, is the Blu-ray worth it? Yes, the image quality is considerably higher than the DVD but the irony is that the higher resolution also sharpens any damage and there is plenty of surface damage. I'd sooner have it that way rather than use digital tools to clean it all up at the expense of film texture. I'm glad to see that this is the route F W Murnau Stiftung has taken of late, as with the recent photochemical only restoration of Die Nibelungen.

The improvement in image quality in this release is twofold; the obvious improvement that comes with a well produced blu-ray transfer is here complemented by the radical aspect ratio change. MoC's 2007 release was 1.37:1, which it was claimed was he original aspect ratio but this new version is 1.19:1. which again is claimed to be original and this time it would appear to be correct. However well meaning I'd say this calls into question the 'promotional' use of the term original aspect ratio.

So, what does this mean in viewing terms? The first and obvious difference is that 1.19:1 is considerably narrower than 1.37:1, that's two inches narrower when making a rudimentary onscreen measurement of the image width on my TV set. Given this, I set about analysing the same two frames from the two versions. The first was from the second image in the film, the young men standing in the surf with their fishing spears.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have been waiting years for a quality release of a restored and high definition edition of Murnau's superb 'Tabu. A Story of the South Seas.' The F.W. Murnau Stiftung has done a marvelous and painstaking job of restoration and collection of all available prints in order to create a definitive edition. The extra features on this Blu-ray disc are also top quality. Very fortunate that Eureka!'s Masters of Cinema unit should be the producers of this set, which also includes a booklet with interesting essays and production background. They truly do this masterpiece justice. Top recommendation.
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Format: DVD
This is a visually stunning film and very different from some of Murnau's earlier expressionist movies. Filmed in Tahiti it tells the story of Matahi, a young fisherman, who falls in love with Reri. She has been declared Tabu though and is forbidden to have lovers but the young couple are not prepared to give up so easily...
The story is simple and told without intertitles much like Murnau's 'the Last Laugh'. Only certain facts are conveyed through signs, documents etc where necessary.
The scenery and photography are stunning and although the film starts with a documentary feel the story soon takes over. It offers a fascinating glimpse into island life and is a pleasure to watch.
I would recommend 'Tabu' more to those who are already fans of 'silents' or Murnau, who want to see more of his work. Those new to the genre might find his more well known films a better starting place.
The extras include a 96 page book, commentary and documentary.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
TABU is for me a Chef d’œuvre of silent movies, an ethnographical testimony on the life of the inhabitants of the Polynesians islands (Tahiti) and an evocation of the paradise such as a Westerner could dream about it in the begining of the last century.
Of a high quality of images, the movie is completed by a interesting documentary presenting outtakes from the original shoot of the film , and a short realized from sequences not edited by F. W. Murnau.
A "clin d’œil" in the magic of the images of the director and his main chief cameraman who shows that the dream works always today.
Thanks M. Murnau
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This movie is in black and white with no soundtrack, yet, it still had the ability to attract my attention. I liked what I learned about it from comments. More, much more persuasive , was the fact that it is about French Polynesia, more so, Tahiti. I have had the privilege of visiting French Polynesia no less than eight times.I love the place and this movie brought back many memories of the beauty of that place. The story itself, to me, was as entrancing as the islands themselves, including its story. I enjoyed this movie and I think that you will too.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although this seems a beguiling, innocent story, this critique of religion and capitalism borders on blasphemy. It is visually lavish and Murnau's play with dark and light is reminiscent of 'Nosferatu', as is the iconic imagery. The sharp, truthful ending has a powerful punch that will not bring happiness to the romantics out there but completes a strong, meaningful story. I love it. The extras are great as well. A detailed 80 page booklet, a commentary with two film experts and a 'making of' documentary gives a full account of the film. This is as good as it gets; although 'Faust' is still my favourite.
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