Murnau's 1931 Tabu: A Story of the South Seas 3 september

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by oscar_merkx, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    from www.dvdjournal.com
    We're still waiting for a definitive DVD release of F.W. Murnau's 1927 silent classic Sunrise, but, thanks to Milestone Film & Video and Image Entertainment, one more Murnau film is about to go digital — the 1931 Tabu: A Story of the South Seas, which was his last. Co-directed with Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North), the movie is part drama, part documentary, and filmed in Polynesia with indigenous actors. This new, uncensored version has been restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and features will include the original orchestral score by Hugo Riesenfeld; a commentary track from UCLA film professor Janet Bergstrom; previously unseen footage located at the Deutsches Filminstitut; a portion of a short film with one of the Polynesian actors in New York; stills; and the original trailer. Get it on Sept. 3.
    great and pick this up as well.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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  3. Roderick Gauci

    Roderick Gauci Stunt Coordinator

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    I already have the Tartan Video edition of TABU (1931) on PAL VHS, which is allegedly cut. Therefore, I will gladly upgrade to this Milestone Collection DVD from Image Entertainment. Thankfully, there will be some choice supplements included, as opposed to the majority of Image's DVD editions of other Silent films.

    Murnau is one of my favorite auteurs. I already have the Kino DVD versions of THE LAST LAUGH (1924) and FAUST (1926) and I am eagerly awaiting their edition of NOSFERATU (1922), which will be included in their upcoming 4-Disc CLASSIC HORROR COLLECTION set featuring THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1919), THE GOLEM (1920) and WAXWORKS (1924).

    Last year, London's National Film Theater showed an extensive retrospective of Murnau's works - practically every film of his still in existence. Unfortunately I was unable to attend to any of the screenings, however I hope that some of these will eventually make it onto DVD someday: JOURNEY INTO THE NIGHT (1920), CASTLE VOGELOD (1921), PHANTOM (1922), THE BURNING EARTH (1922), THE FINANCES OF THE GRAND DUKE (1924), TARTUFF (1926), SUNRISE (1927) and CITY GIRL (1930).

    Where Flaherty is concerned, I have yet to pick up the Criterion DVD of NANOOK OF THE NORTH (1922). Furthermore, I would gladly welcome similarly decent DVD editions of MOANA (1925), MAN OF ARAN (1934) and LOUSIANA STORY (1949).
     
  4. Roderick Gauci

    Roderick Gauci Stunt Coordinator

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    I just found out, by pure coincidence, that Image Entertainment will actually be issuing one of the Murnau films I mentioned in my earlier post in this same thread, namely CASTLE VOGELOD (1921), under its alternate title of THE HAUNTED CASTLE.
    On the IMBD, the running time is given as 75 minutes. However, it seems that for its U.S. showings, it was cut down to 69 minutes. To make matters worse, the All Movie Guide lists it as running for a mere 56 minutes, stating that “…existing prints of THE HAUNTED CASTLE are fragmentary at best…the search still goes on after nearly eight decades for a complete print of THE HAUNTED CASTLE.”
    Well, as a matter of fact, the print shown at London’s National Film Theater during their Murnau retrospective in January 2001 was 79 minutes long! I don’t want to sound too optimistic but it would seem that a complete print of this precious Silent melodrama does exist.
    I am not expecting a multitude of supplements for this DVD. At this stage, a first class transfer of a beautifully restored print is all I ask for. After all, one cannot afford to let the opportunity of getting one of Murnau's few existing works pass by! In the end, one should feel grateful that there are DVD labels which are prepared to offer us these priceless gems from the Silent era. I am certain that THE HAUNTED CASTLE, when it will be released, will add luster to the growing library of Silent movies available on DVD for us serious film collectors.
    For what it’s worth, the release date is given as 03/11/03, and in case you were wondering were I got the news from, here’s the link: http://www.fangoria.com.
     
  5. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Running times for silent films are always a point of contention, since the frame rate was not constant. By way of example, the very same print of Metropolis can run as little as 90 minutes or well over two hours, depending on the frame rate used---the Eureka Video DVD from the UK runs at about 16 fps, for instance, instead of 24. This alone could account for the British showing with a longer running time, or they might really have a longer version. But it's impossible to judge from running time alone. The only meaningful measure of completeness of the film is the length in feet or meters in comparison to the censorship records of the time (the one good argument for censorship I can think of....it leaves footprints as to what the film is supposed to look like).

    In any event, I'll be interested in seeing what this DVD includes.
     

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