A Few Words About A few words about...™ Phantom

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,831
    Likes Received:
    6,312
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    It's seldom that a silent film arrives on DVD in a physical state that deserves to receive attention.

    This is the case with a new release from Flicker Alley, a Los Angeles firm working with silent cinema.

    Once thought lost, and later to have survived in incomplete prints, F.W. Murnau's 1922 Phantom has been restored.

    The resultant DVD shows just how beautiful a well-handled silent film can look. With all but the final reel coming from original negative, and with what has been researched as being the original tints and tones, The Phantom is one of the releases that one might purchase more for the quality and historical importance than for the film itself, which is not a film for which Murnau would have been remembered.

    A great director, cast and writer will not always guarantee a quality film. The point is proven here in terms of the screenplay by Thea von Harbou (Metropolis). The resultant film is overly melodramatic, and only occasionally exhibits the true Murnau look and spirit.

    The synchronized score by Robert Israel is of high quality and works beautifully with the images.

    A 15 minute documentary hosted by UCLA's Professor Janet Bergstrom serves as a background to the production and its history, while a booklet, packaged with the DVD, deals with the restoration and selection of color tints and tones, and goes into details that will be of interest to silent film buffs.

    I heartily recommend Flicker Alley's release as a step forward toward real quality for the silent cinema on DVD. Consider a purchase in support of film restoration, as well as Flicker Alley.

    RAH
     
  2. Seretur

    Seretur Extra

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks a lot for the heads-up, Mr. Harris. This will be an essential purchase...

    ...once I can locate it on-line. Could you provide an Amazon link, or at least its street date?
     
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,986
    Likes Received:
    4,916
    Real Name:
    Josh Steinberg
  4. Seretur

    Seretur Extra

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for that, Josh.
     
  5. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Did not know about this release until now. Thanks for the info!

    Looks like it would be the 7th Murnau film released on DVD, after Nosferatu, The Last Laugh, Tartuff, Faust, Sunrise and Tabu. Now if they could just release City Girl and find Four Devils.
     
  6. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    4,300
    Likes Received:
    40
    Good luck on Four Devils. A lot of people have looked with little success.

    This is an extraordinary silent release, one of the best yet. Flicker Alley should be proud. My full review of the DVD, which was Spotlight Disc of the Week at dOc is here:

    http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/sho...w.php3?ID=8930

    One of my many copies of Nosferatu also has excerpts from The Haunted Castle on it. I'd like to see Der Januskopf (1920) turn up and get a good release someday too. If only.....
     
  7. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    7,626
    Likes Received:
    1
    wow, I am absolutely interested in getting this especially after Sunrise
     

Share This Page