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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:13 pm 
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THE COMPLETE FRITZ LANG MABUSE BOXSET (DVD only)

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Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler.

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One of the legendary epics of the silent cinema — and the first part of a trilogy that Fritz Lang developed up to the very end of his career — Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler. [Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler.] is a masterpiece of conspiracy that, even as it precedes the mind-blowing Spione from the close of Lang’s silent cycle, constructs its own dark labyrinth from the base materials of human fear and paranoia.

Rudolf Klein-Rogge plays Dr. Mabuse, the criminal mastermind whose nefarious machinations provide the cover for — or describe the result of — the economic upheaval and social bacchanalia at the heart of Weimar-era Berlin. Initiated with the arch-villain’s diabolical manipulation of the stock-market, and passing through a series of dramatic events based around hypnotism, charlatanism, hallucinations, Chinese incantations, cold-blooded murder, opiate narcosis and cocaine anxiety, Lang’s film maintains an unrelenting power all the way to the final act… which culminates in the terrifying question: “WHERE IS MABUSE?!”

A bridge between Feuillade’s somnambulistic serial-films and modern media-narratives of elusive robber-barons, Lang’s two-part classic set the template for the director’s greatest works: social commentary as super-psychology, poised at the brink of combustion. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Lang’s early triumph in its fully-restored version with new English subtitles.

Special Features
• New, officially licenced transfer from restored materials
• New and improved optional English subtitles with original intertitles
• Newly recorded feature-length audio commentary by film-scholar and Lang expert David Kalat
• Three video pieces: an interview with the composer of the restoration score, a discussion of Norbert Jacques, creator of Dr. Mabuse, and an examination of the film’s motifs in the context of German silent cinema
• 32-PAGE BOOKLET featuring vintage reprints of writing by Lang


Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse

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With the etching onto glass of a single word — “MABUSE” — Berlin reawakens into a nightmare. Fritz Lang’s electrifying Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse [The Testament of Dr. Mabuse] is the astonishing second instalment in the German master’s legendary trilogy, a film that puts image and sound into an hypnotic arrangement unlike anything seen or heard in the cinema ever before — or since.

It’s been eleven years since the downfall of arch-criminal and master-of-disguise Dr. Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), now sequestered in a room of an asylum under the watchful eye of one Professor Baum (Oskar Beregi). Mabuse exists in a state of ‘catatonic graphomania’, his only action the irrepressible scribbling of blueprints that would realise a seemingly theoretical “Empire of Crime”. But when a series of violent events courses through the city, police and populace alike start asking themselves with increasing panic: “Who is behind all this?!” The answer borders on the realm of the Impossible…

Not only a follow-up to Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler., but also, with the presence of Otto Wernicke’s Police Commissioner Lohmann, a semi-sequel to Lang’s immortal masterpiece M, Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse is itself considered by many to be Lang’s greatest achievement — a work of terrible and practically supernatural power that, like Renoir’s La Règle du jeu, seems to have prophesied the implications of the Nazi scourge… and the entirety of the 20th Century. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse fully-restored and with new English subtitles.

Special Features
• New, officially licenced high-definition transfer from restored materials
• New and improved optional English subtitles with original soundtrack
• Newly recorded feature-length audio commentary by film-scholar and Lang expert David Kalat
• [Boxed DVD edition] 32-PAGE BOOKLET featuring reprints of writing by Michel Chion and excerpts of vintage interviews with Lang
• [Dual Format edition] 52-PAGE BOOKLET featuring writing by Lotte H. Eisner, Fritz Arno Wagner, Michel Chion, and substantial excerpts of vintage interviews with Fritz Lang about the film


Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse

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After enjoying fantastic success with Fritz Lang’s two-part “Indian Epic” in 1959, the German producer Artur Brauner signed the great director to direct one more film. The result would be the picture that, in closing the saga he began nearly forty years earlier, brought Lang’s career full-circle, and would come to represent his final celluloid testament — by extension: his final film masterpiece.

Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse [The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse] finds that diabolical Weimar name resurfacing in the Cold War era, linked now to the actions of a criminal gang whose methodology — executed by, among others, the bug-eyed “No. 12” (portrayed by Howard Vernon, of Melville’s Le Silence de la mer and Godard’s Alphaville) — resembles that of the same villainous mastermind who gripped Berlin with his menace in the years preceding Hitler. Séances, assassinations, and Nazi-engineered surveillance-tech — all abound in Lang’s paranoid, and ultimate, filmic labyrinth.

One of the great and cherished “last films” in the history of cinema, Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse provides a stylistic glimpse into the ’60s works on such subjects as sex-crime, youth-culture, and LSD that Lang would unfortunately never come to realise. Nonetheless: deemed “masterly … lively, spontaneous, thrilling” by Lotte Eisner, and described by Roger Greenspun as asking from its audience “both greater innocence and infinitely greater sophistication than most of us bring to the movies nowadays,” Lang’s final film remains an explosive, and definitive, closing statement. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Fritz Lang’s Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse in its fully-restored version for the first time in the UK.

Special Features
• New, officially licenced anamorphic transfer from restored materials
• New and improved optional English subtitles with original soundtrack
• Newly recorded feature-length audio commentary by film-scholar and Lang expert David Kalat
• 2002 video interview with actor Wolfgang Preiss
• An alternate ending taken from the French print of the film
• Optional English-language dub track, approved by Fritz Lang
• 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring vintage reprints of writing by Lang, new writing by David Cairns, notes by Lotte Eisner on Lang’s final, unrealised projects, and more


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:55 pm 
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peerpee wrote:
089 - 090 - 091
THE FRITZ LANG MABUSE BOX
October release

We're working closely with David Kalat on this set, he's providing newly recorded, updated commentaries for all three films. Should be a sexy box.

With David Kalat commentaries, I'm sold.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:59 pm 
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Boxset only or individual discs too? Question for people like me who have the Criterion Testament disc


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:05 pm 
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boxset only I'm afraid. We can't take into consideration every previous available edition in other territories and offer multiple permutations. These have been a long time coming to the MoC Series and they're all deeply related films - hence the box. Sorry!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:04 am 
peerpee wrote:
boxset only I'm afraid. We can't take into consideration every previous available edition in other territories and offer multiple permutations. These have been a long time coming to the MoC Series and they're all deeply related films - hence the box. Sorry!

Don't be, more than happy to upgrade my Eureka Gambler and Criterion Testament and finally see 1000 Eyes, so this is the right way to go about it, actually I recall posting on here some time back about the possibility of putting the three Mabuse films together so glad to see it happen.

I look forward to finding out what material MOC and Kalat have available, ideally without using parts of the readily available book by Tom Gunning on BFI which people should already have by now. Bit of a long shot but I've always wondered whether or not the note book in Testament which he passes on his designs and schemes exists in a props archive, if so a reprint in the box (even if it meant a RRP increase) would be a joy to behold.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:59 am 
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akaten wrote:
Don't be, more than happy to upgrade my Eureka Gambler and Criterion Testament and finally see 1000 Eyes, so this is the right way to go about it,

Hang on... I actually thought the three films in question would be "Spieler" Pt.1 & 2 and "Testament", considering there are only three spine numbers. Nick, can you confirm whether "1000 Eyes" is in the set?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:09 am 
Dot Com Dom
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Considering Kalat owns the rights to 1000 Eyes, it seems pretty silly to worry that it won't be included. Who even thinks of the first Mabuse film as two pictures?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:55 pm 
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We're counting both parts of SPIELER as one spine number. Yes, 1,000 EYES is the third film.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:24 pm
Will this set be available in blu or dvd?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Only as DVD.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:22 pm 
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That's too bad that a set as nice as this one will be can't get a Blu-Ray release. I already have the Eureka Gambler and the Criterion Testament (and have seen 1,000 Eyes), and the commentaries will not really be enough reason for me to get the new set.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:38 pm 
Gregory wrote:
That's too bad that a set as nice as this one will be can't get a Blu-Ray release. I already have the Eureka Gambler and the Criterion Testament (and have seen 1,000 Eyes), and the commentaries will not really be enough reason for me to get the new set.

I'd take it that the first Lang on Blu Ray will most likely be Die Nibelungen and Metropolis, the latter depending on the condition of the rediscovered material in the next couple years.

Thank you for the clarity over the set content, I took it for granted with the Usher announcement that MOC were dealing with Kalat on a range of material and that it also allows an overview of his career and tribute (in line with the clippings in the Frau Im Mond book and the director appreciation of Kenji Mizoguchi in the Akasen Chitai /Yokihi set) to Lang ahead of the aforementioned two films being restored.

Peerpee I don't know what point the book is at in terms of arranging content but I was wondering if you'd consider including Fritz Lang's 1924 defence of the serial 'sensation film' - here's the notes entry from Tom Gunning's Films of Fritz Lang:

Quote:
Fritz Lang 'Kitsch, Sensation-Kultur und Film' in E.Beyfuss and A.Kossowsky (eds), Das Kulturfilmbuch (Berlin: Carl P. Chryselius Ed., 1924), reprinted and translated into French in Postif, no 358, December 1990, pp-151-153.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:52 pm 
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Gregory wrote:
That's too bad that a set as nice as this one will be can't get a Blu-Ray release. I already have the Eureka Gambler and the Criterion Testament (and have seen 1,000 Eyes), and the commentaries will not really be enough reason for me to get the new set.

We've not started experimenting yet with 20fps material in 1080i, but we don't really want to go there... doing 5.5 hours of it (for GAMBLER) doesn't really make sense for a fledgling format.

(The MoC GAMBLER will contain MUCH better subs than the Eureka GAMBLER.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:15 pm 
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Gregory wrote:
That's too bad that a set as nice as this one will be can't get a Blu-Ray release. I already have the Eureka Gambler and the Criterion Testament (and have seen 1,000 Eyes), and the commentaries will not really be enough reason for me to get the new set.

Yeah, the same here, hate to say it. I have the Transit "Spieler" and the Eureka "Testament", and can't find any serious fault with them (don't know about the subs, of course). "1000 Eyes" is a different story; I suppose the existing dvd versions aren't that great (I only have the film recorded from TV), but neither is the film itself. In my view it's a pale shadow of Lang's early achievements, though it still is infinitely better than the later Mabuse films made in Germany in the 1960s. But like with "Eschnapur/Indian Tomb", Lang seems to have been caught up in the web of the utterly dull late 50s German cinema and couldn't really get out of it. "1000 eyes" is not quite as campy as the Indian film, but I'm not sure whether this is really an advantage. If I think about it, "Eschnapur/Tomb" has a weird entertainment value of its own, whereas "1000 eyes" always appeared to me as a real letdown. But of course it would be good to listen to that audiocommentary; not much is available on those very late Lang films elsewhere.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:06 pm 
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peerpee wrote:
Gregory wrote:
That's too bad that a set as nice as this one will be can't get a Blu-Ray release. I already have the Eureka Gambler and the Criterion Testament (and have seen 1,000 Eyes), and the commentaries will not really be enough reason for me to get the new set.

We've not started experimenting yet with 20fps material in 1080i, but we don't really want to go there... doing 5.5 hours of it (for GAMBLER) doesn't really make sense for a fledgling format.

(The MoC GAMBLER will contain MUCH better subs than the Eureka GAMBLER.)

Well, I also have the Transit Spieler (which is magnificent) and the Criterion Testament and the Image 1,000 Eyes, but I may double-dip depending on the book (if it includes new essays, especially) and the extras.

Blu would have been incredible, but I hadn't thought about the problem of transferring 20fps material. Would it need to be interlaced?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:18 pm 
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Correct me if this is wrong but I asssume transferring 20 fps (or any other silent speed) requires some sort of algorithmic frame interpolation which would make progressive encoding impossible, given variable frame rates within the standard 60 herz. The question then is how would that translate when deinterlaced to progressive on a 1080p display?

It doesn't sound easy!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:20 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
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Tommaso wrote:
I have the Transit "Spieler" and the Eureka "Testament", and can't find any serious fault with them (don't know about the subs, of course).

Re. the Eureka Testament, I discovered on comparing it with the Criterion that it's missing a short section. It occurs roughly 75 minutes into the film where Kent and his girlfriend are kidnapped. On the Eureka there is an abrupt cut and sound edit when they are forced into the car but the Criterion has at least two extra shots with the noise of a train as the gunman approaches them.

I gather that MoC (who were not of course involved in the Eureka edition) were aware of this before I discovered it, so I presume it will be corrected in the new edition.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:38 am 

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re: Der Spieler: Jonathan, in another thread (a long time ago), I did a comparison of the Eureka and Image versions:

Quote:
The Eureka disc is stunning, and a definitive improvement on the David Shepard restoration from Image. While we have almost no details on the Sherpard restoration, the Eureka disc states the reconstruction was made on the basis of two camera negatives - one German and one of the foreign distribution version. The car crash scene and entrance inside the Petit casino looks like it's filmed from different angels on the Eureka and Image disc.

The missing scenes from the Image disc which David Kalat mentions in his excellent commentary, are included on the Eureka disc.

The time difference between the two releases is almost entirely from Part One. The running time for the first part (excl. intro and credits) clocks at aprox. 152 min. for the Eureka disc and 118 min for the Image disc. The difference is due to added scenes, some scenes are structured differently, longer focus on the original intertitles and difference speed projections.

The new scenes includes: Mabuse’s Lecture, Mabuse changing disguises and the famous nude-scene at the Foiles Bergeres (aprox. 3 min.), “dialog” between von Wenk and Edgard Hall (aprox. 3 min.), von Wenk’s visits Countess Told (aprox. 1 min), Hotel Excelsior (2 min 30 sec.), Mabuse waits for Georg (1 min 30 sec.), von Wonk stolen items returned (1 min), Mabuses new plan (1 min), the other world (aprox. 2 min), Mabuse and countess Told (1 min 30 sec.), von Wenk and Carozza in jail (1 min 30 sec.), Countess Told and Carozza in jail (aprox. 1 min)

The running time for Part Two is approx. 114 min for Eureka and 107 min for Image. The only added scene is the 40 sec. cut where
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Von Wenk lays the body of Cardozza on the bed
in the prison. Rest of the time difference is due to the longer focus on the original intertitles and different speed projections.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:00 am 
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I'll gladly double-dip on 1,000 Eyes, considering the OOP All Day disc is going for $54.99 and up on Amazon.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:21 pm 

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akaten wrote:
Peerpee I don't know what point the book is at in terms of arranging content but I was wondering if you'd consider including Fritz Lang's 1924 defence of the serial 'sensation film'


A translation of the Lang essay — "Kitsch, Sensation-Kultur und Film" — will be included in the SPIELER booklet.

Incidentally it's from a different issue of Positif than that cited by Gunning.

ck.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:39 am 

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Cash Flagg wrote:
I'll gladly double-dip on 1,000 Eyes, considering the OOP All Day disc is going for $54.99 and up on Amazon.

Crikey! I ought to put mine up for sale & use the money to buy this new set.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:35 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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I don't think I could part with mine, too many dreamy David Kalat memories tied up in it


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:50 pm 
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Well at least 1000 Eyes doesn't have any Marmalade eating Chauffeurs or Pomaded-coiffed Count Tolds for Kalat to exercise his Gaydar upon.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:04 am 
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But it does have Howard Vernon, whose homosexuality (and Lang's attitude thereto) I believe Kalat discusses right at the beginning of his commentary.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:25 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 3:37 pm
This Kalat grudge has been going on far too long, no reason to continue in this thread also.

[-X


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