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The Tin Drum [Dual Format Edition - DVD + Blu Ray]
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Winner of the Cannes Palme d Or and the Best Foreign Film Oscar, and adapted from one of the major works of postwar German literature (whose author later won the Nobel Prize), few films have such a powerhouse artistic pedigree.
When Oskar Matzerath (the extraordinary David Bennent, just twelve at the time) receives a tin drum for his third birthday, he vows to stop growing there and then and woe betide anyone who tries to take his beloved drum away from him, as he has a banshee shriek that can shatter glass. As a result, he retains a permanent child s-eye perspective on the rise of Nazism as experienced through petit-bourgeois life in his native Danzig, the free city claimed by both Germany and Poland whose invasion in 1939 helped kick-start World War II. With the help of Luis Buñuel s favourite screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, director Volker Schlöndorff turns Günter Grass s magical-realist masterpiece into a carnivalesque frenzy of bizarre, grotesque yet unnervingly compelling images as Oskar turns his increasingly jaded eye and caustic tongue on the insane follies of the adult world that he refuses to join.
Arrow Academy presents Volker Schlöndorff s masterpiece in its original theatrical version and the Director s Cut, seen for the first time in the UK after its Cannes Film Festival premiere.
- High Definition and Standard Definition presentation of the original theatrical version
- High Definition presentation of the Director s Cut [Blu-ray only]
- New restoration of both the theatrical version and the brand new Director s Cut approved by director Volker Schlöndorff
- Brand new interview with Volker Schlöndorff
- Comprehensive booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by George Lellis and Hans-Bernhard Moeller, authors of Volker Schlondorff's Cinema: Adaptation, Politics and the Movie-appropriate, as well as extracts from Volker Schlöndorff s diary, writing by Jean Claude Carrière and Günter Grass, illustrated with archival stills.
- More extras to be announced!
This Oscar-winning adaptation of Günter Grass's novel is an absurdist fantasy about a little German boy (David Bennent) who wills himself at the age of three not to grow up in protest of the Nazi regime. Despite acquiring a certain level of notoriety for its m ore salacious moments the film is more startling and surreal than obscene. Bennent is very good, and while the 1979 film doesn't meet the high standards of the best work from the the n-renaissance of German film, it has a special place in the hearts of many who saw it upon its release. Directed by Volker Schlöndorff (The Handmaid's Tale). --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Oskar Matzerath (Bennent) is a three-year-old boy who carefully observes the behaviour of the adult world during the rise of the Nazis in 1920's Germany. Disgusted by what he sees, he throws himself down the cellar steps in order to stop himself growing, and he succeeds. Oskar continues his observations of adults as he ages like a normal human being, but he is still in the body of a three-year-old, which makes for something truly terrifying.
Oskar has a lot of emotional anger that he only lets out by beating his red and white toy drum that was given to him on his third birthday, and letting out a shrill, terrifying scream that can shatter glass. His (Oskar's) anger is only infused by the many grotesque, violent and perverted acts that occur around him, like the sex scenes between his mother and his uncle, or the rotting horse's head that his father, Alfred uses as bait for eels that he cooks for dinner. When his mother discovers that she is pregnant with another child, it becomes clear to Oskar that Alfred (Adorf), who he thought was his father might not be, but his Uncle Jan (Olbrychski) is. Oskar's mother is overcome with guilt, so she starts eating whole fish, uncooked. Eventually, the guilt overwhealms her and she kills herself in the bathroom. This is when Oskar sees that the world is not going to change, so he starts on his demented way towards living out the rest of his life.Read more ›
Having read the book by Grass, I was concerned how it might translate to the screen. It actually works extremely well, capturing much of the claustrophobic/paranoid atmosphere of the book.
Obviously, things have had to go. Some of the ..ahem... sticky and descriptive bits have been left out - in the wrong hands it could have been verging on pornographic, which certainly isn't the tone of the book.
Also, much of Oskar's musing's have been curtailed - the film ends at a point where the book has still some time to cover. This could cause some confusion for anyone who has not read it as they would have no idea that Oskar is actually telling his story from a lunatic asylum.
Despite these shortcomings, though, one experiences a wealth of emotions during the showing. There is sorrow, laughter, (look out for the waltzing Hitler Youth) anguish (Charles Aznovour as the toyshop owner) and bewilderment to name a few.
The music at the beginning is heavy and plodding - one can imagine a heavy horse pulling a cart through muddy potato fields. The wailing of the Jew's Harp further intensifies the experience.
Oskar is faithfully represented by David Bennett -the boy who decides not to grow. The other members of the cast, though maybe not household names provide a rich mixture of characters who show a no-holds-barred-reality. Just look at the haircut of the Youth Leader! There is no prettyfication here.
It stands up as a film in its own right. It does have blemishes, but I don't feel that they detract from the the experience and certainly can assist the understanding of an often enigmatic book.
The film seems to be about 2 minutes shorter then the version i saw in 1980.Most of the cuts are from sex scenes between oscars uncle and his mother and a controversial sequence in which Oscar has oral sex with his nanny. That said, if you've never seen the film you probably wouldn't notice. You certainly won't have seen anything like it befor. The film won the best foreign language oscar in 1979. An award it richly deserved.
He is also inseparable from his tin drum - which he bangs at all occasions and needs to regularly replace. He also has a gift of having such a high powered scream that it will shatter glass - this he uses when ever he is displeased. His rejection of his family and their middle class attitudes is set against the rise of Nazism and Der Fuhrer. Even though his body will not grow his mind certainly does and that will bring its own problems.
This is a truly memorable film, with acting, direction and camera work that is as close to flawless that I have seen. It is 136 minutes long but seems much shorter which is always the sign of a quality film. There are scenes that come close to bizarre but that too is used to show the absurdist nature of what was taking place at the time and beneath the pomp of the rallies, and the like, lay the very real dangers that Hitler and co would bring down on Germany. This is one of those films that all serious cinephiles need to see, I am glad I finally have.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sadly no English subtitles that I could find. Good job the books translated into English as the film seems to track the plot (pictures) well.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
The Bohemians in my Local Pub all raved on about this Film,so I bought it and sat through it.Tedious in the Extreme,I should have been warned by the Blurb on the Box Winner of... Read morePublished 10 months ago by The Old Git