Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Der müde Tod

Der müde Tod. Ein deutsches Volkslied in 6 Versen / Väsynyt kuolema / Den obesegrade döden / Destiny. DE 1921. PC: Decla-Bioskop. P: Erich Pommer. D: Fritz Lang. SC: Thea von Harbou. DP: Erich Nitzschmann, Hermann Saalfrank, Fritz Arno Wagner. AD: Robert Herlth, Walter Röhrig, Hermann Warm. Cast: Lil Dagover (girl), Walter Janssen (her fiancé), Bernhard Goetzke (Death).
    THE FIRST LIGHT - THE ARABIAN STORY. Lil Dagover (Zobeide), Walter Janssen (the franke), Bernhard Goetzke (el Mot), Rudolf Klein-Rogge (the dervish), Eduard von Winterstein (the caliph), Erika Unruh (Aisha).
    THE SECOND LIGHT - THE VENETIAN STORY: Lil Dagover (Fiametta), Rudolf Klein-Rogge (Girolamo), Lewis Brody (the moor), Lothar Müthel (the confidant), Lina Paulsen (nurse), Walter Janssen (Francesco).
    THE THIRD LIGHT - THE CHINESE STORY: Lil Dagover (Tiaotsien), Walter Janssen (Liang), Bernhard Goetzke (the archer), Paul Biensfeldt (the wizard Ahi), Karl Huszar (the emperor), Max Adalbert (treasurer), Neumann-Schüler (executioner).
    Originally 2311 m /20 fps/ 101 min, the Münchner Filmmuseum reconstruction 2151 m /18 fps/ 104 min, /20 fps/ 94 min. Viewed with e-subtitles by AA at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 23 Nov 2010

Revisited Fritz Lang's first masterpiece, every time a profound experience, a successful combination of poetry and fantasy, the Ur-Film for Buñuel, Cocteau, and Franju. It is about the confrontation with death. It is also about transcending one's limits. Finally the girl saves the life of the baby and sacrifices her own. Because love is stronger than death and even stronger than egoism. - The Munich reconstruction is the best with its beautifully reconstructed intertitles. Because negatives don't exist the visual quality does not pay justice to the original. It is often low contrast, and from the good parts (the Venetian story, etc.) we can deduce how the whole film once looked. - Der müde Tod is my number one candidate for the film that I would once want to see in a brilliant print.

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