Bogie56

Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1974

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Your Top Foreign Language Films

Hello everyone.  I enjoyed posting the ’Your Favourite Performances of…’ each week so I thought this might be an interesting carry-on.  The main purpose of this and the performances thread was to gather lists of recommended films.  For this thread you are simply to consider the overall film.  Hopefully there will be some discussion about them too.  The format for listing the films should be like this ….

1.  Day for Night (1973) Francois Truffaut, France.

Lots of films are co-produced by many countries.  I usually just try to pick one representative.  The predominant language or the nationality of the director may be the best judge.

I ask only a few things of participants.  First, to wait until I have changed the year of the thread before posting your own choices.  

Second, to go by the generally accepted theatrical release date of a film rather than the year it was released in North America or nominated for an Oscar.  The imdb and wikipedia are pretty good sources for these initial release dates.  Film festivals and most premieres count as release dates.  I have my own rule of thumb when it comes to films that have been banned from public release for many years.  The Soviet block countries had a habit of doing this.  In these instances I use the date the film was completed.  

Films simply shot in a foreign country do not qualify.  Orson Welles made a lot of films in Europe but they were in the English language.  Similarly, Antonioni’s The Passenger (1975) with Jack Nicholson is an English language film.  I would think that films like The Longest Day or Tora Tora Tora or Last Tango In Paris which have big segments in a foreign language would not qualify as they are primarily English language films.  Sergio Leone’s westerns with Eastwood would be English language films as the main cast performed the film in English.  And The Artist (2011) is too cute to qualify.  If you are like me, you probably try to avoid dubbed versions of foreign films but in some instances they are the only ones available to us.  I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not to include them but you might mention if the versions you screened were dubbed.

There really isn’t a limit to the number of films one can list but remember they are supposed to be “favourites.”   That can mean different things to different people.  Excellent films are usually my favourites.

Please list them in your preference, i.e., number 1 through 10 and runner-ups.  As in the performance thread at the end of each decade I will do a recap of the number one choices and then call for choices of the best foreign language film of the decade.

We generally try to avoid short subjects or television movies.  But, as in the case of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage many foreign tv movies have also had theatrical releases or played in film festivals.  Those films are fair game.  A film should be at least 40 minutes in length to qualify as a feature film in this thread.

This time I am going to start with films prior to 1920 for a week then after that films from the 1920’s for three weeks.  After that we will go year-by-year doing one year per week.  Saturdays will usually be the turn over day for new posts.

For the silent films, and countries like Japan which were still making them in the early thirties, qualifying films should come from non-English speaking countries.

It may take a little while for this thread to gain some steam.  Personally, I have not seen very many foreign films in the 1930’s.  But in prepping some of this I have noticed that when going year-by-year one gets a greater appreciation of the careers of some of the directors and a greater focus on their films.

I plan on mentioning films that have won major awards in foreign countries or film festivals.  But as you are no doubt aware they often win these awards years after their initial release dates in their own countries.  This could get very messy.  I will endeavour to mention the awards a 1967 film has won while we are on 1967, etc.

You don’t have to have seen many to participate.  Just have a favourite.

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As we kick-off this thread with pre 1920 films just remember that this is just about feature films.  The running time needs to be at least 40 minutes.

My top FF films from pre 1920 (3 films seen)

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1.  Cabiria (1914) Giovanni Pastrone, Italy

2.  Sir Arne’s Treasure (1919) Mauritz Stiller, Sweden

I’ve also seen this …

Juve Contra Fantomas (1913) Louis Feuillade, France

I am going to list my 'also seen' films which are not favourites so I do not have to list films that I have not seen at the end of the week.

Next Saturday we will start films from the 1920's for three weeks.  We will then do one year per week starting with 1930.  Hopefully this will allow interested participants to get ahead of the game.

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Pre-1920's Foreigners

  1. Cabiria (1914) Giovanni Pastrone, Italy
  2. Les Vampires (1915) Louis Feuillade, France
  3. The Outlaw and His Wife (1918) Victor Sjostrom, Sweden
  4. Dante's Inferno (1911) Francesco Bertolini & Adolfo Padovan & Giuseppe de Liguoro, Italy
  5. The Spiders (1919) Fritz Lang, Germany
  6. A Trip to Mars (1918) Holger-Madsen, Denmark
  7. The Eyes of the Mummy (1918) Ernst Lubitsch, Germany
  8. The Student of Prague (1913) Stellan Rye & Paul Wegener, Germany
  9. Harakiri (1919) Fritz Lang, Germany
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My list of favorite foreign films of the 1910s and 20s.

Otets_Sergiy_1918_Poster.jpg

 

1.) Father Sergius, Yakov Protazanov, Alexandre Volkoff, Tsarist Russia

2.) The Outlaw and His Wife, Victor Sjostrom, Sweden

3.) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene, Germany

4.) Satan Triumphant, Yakov Protazanov, Tsarist Russia

5.) Children of the Age, Yevgeni Bauer, Tsarist Russia

6.) Daydreams, Yevgeni Bauer, Tsarist Russia

My favorite ff films of the 1920s-

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1.) Nosferatu, F.W. Murnau, Germany 

2.) Metropolis, Fritz Lang, Germany 

3.) The Passion of Joan of Arc, Carl Dreyer, France

4.) Pandora’s Box, G.W. Pabst, Germany

5.) Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein, Russia 

6.) Phantom, F.W. Murnau Germany

7.) The Phantom Carriage, Victor Sjostrom, Sweden 

8.) Polikushka, Aleksandr Sanin, Soviet Union

9.) Strike, Sergei Eisensetin, Soviet Union

10.) Berlin, Symphony of a Great City, Walter Ruttmann, Germany

Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages Benjamin Christensen, Sweden/Denmark

La Roue Abel Gance, France

 Red Devils, Ivane Perestiani, Soviet Union

 October Ten Days That Shook The World, Sergei Eisenstein, Russia 

 Spione, Fritz Lang, Germany

The Extraordnary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks, Lev Kuleshov, Soviet Union

Moscow That Laughs and Weeps, Boris Barnet, Soviet Union

The End of St. Petersburg, V.I. Pudovkin, Soviet Union

A Fragment of an Empire, Fridrikh Ermler, Soviet Union 

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Good thread idea. Is the exclusion of short films just for this pre-1920s round to keep out very short, proto-movie stuff like A Trip to the Moon or that will be in effect throughout? I ask because many of my all-time favorites, including the best work from some foreign masters like Alain Resnais, Rene Clair, Joris Ivens, Albert Lamorisse, etc., are short films and I’m not sure the benefit of ghettoizing them with disqualification. 
 
1.) The Outlaw and His Wife (1918) Victor Sjostrom, Sweden
2.) Sir Arne's Treasure (1919) Mauritz Stiller, Sweden
3.) J'Accuse! (1919) Abel Gance, France
4.) Cabiria (1914) Giovanni Pastrone, Italy
5.) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Robert Wiene, Germany
6.) A Man There Was (1917) Victor Sjostrom, Sweden
7.) Les Vampires (1915) Louis Feuillade, France
8.) The Golem (1920) Carl Boese, Paul Wegener, Germany
9.) Fantomas (1913) Louis Feuillade, France
10.) Thomas Graal's Best Child (1918) Mauritz Stiller, Sweden
 
Funny to see only 4 countries represented in my 10 favorites. Sweden owned this era, which I guess is just to say that Sjostrom and Stiller were killing it. 
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On 12/2/2017 at 5:49 AM, Bogie56 said:

2.  Sir Arne’s Treasure (1919) Mauritz Stiller, Sweden

 

5 minutes ago, KilgoreTrout said:
 
2.) Sir Arne's Treasure (1919) Mauritz Stiller, Sweden
 

Both of you had this one on your lists, and I've never heard of it. Stiller is a name that I've heard but I know nothing about, and haven't seen any films by.

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15 hours ago, KilgoreTrout said:
Good thread idea. Is the exclusion of short films just for this pre-1920s round to keep out very short, proto-movie stuff like A Trip to the Moon or that will be in effect throughout? I ask because many of my all-time favorites, including the best work from some foreign masters like Alain Resnais, Rene Clair, Joris Ivens, Albert Lamorisse, etc., are short films and I’m not sure the benefit of ghettoizing them with disqualification. 

The thought was to go with just feature films throughout.  Films that are at least 40 minutes in length.  But if anyone wishes to post a separate list of memorable shorts in any given year that would be most welcome too.  I think it would be best to note them as shorts and keep them in a separate list or even separate post.

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1. Les Vampires (1915) Louis Feuillade, France

2. The Doll (1919) Ernst Lubitsch, Germany

3. The Oyster Princess (1919) Ernst Lubitsch, Germany

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France is making the first heist films, while Italy is focusing on historical epics.

1. Les Vampires (1915) Louis Feuillade, France

2. Fantômas - À l'ombre de la guillotine (In the shadow of the guillotine) (1913) Louis Feuillade, France

3. J'Accuse (1919) Abel Gance, France

4. Cabiria (1914) Giovanni Pastrone, Italy

5. Quo Vadis? (1913) Enrico Guazzoni, Italy

6. Fantômas contre Fantômas (1914) Louis Feuillade, France

I have seen lots of films from Western European countries, especially from France and after 1960. The period 1930 - 1945 was relatively weak for foreign language movies in terms of quantity, but I think I know at least one good one for each year. Some of these very early films are better known as the remake, but that can arouse your interest to see the early versions too. 

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I'd be interested to hear from others if they saw most of their choices on TCM.  I've only seen a paltry 3 in total but many more U.S. films of course.

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5 hours ago, Bogie56 said:

I'd be interested to hear from others if they saw most of their choices on TCM.  I've only seen a paltry 3 in total but many more U.S. films of course.

 

On 12/2/2017 at 11:31 AM, LawrenceA said:

 

  1. Cabiria (1914) = YouTube
  2. Les Vampires (1915) = DVD
  3. The Outlaw and His Wife (1918) = FilmStruck
  4. Dante's Inferno (1911) = YouTube
  5. The Spiders (1919) = YouTube
  6. A Trip to Mars (1918) = YouTube
  7. The Eyes of the Mummy (1918) = YouTube
  8. The Student of Prague (1913) = YouTube
  9. Harakiri (1919) = DVD

So I didn't see any of them on TCM.

 

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These were our number one choices of foreign films pre 1920 ...

Cabiria (1914) Giovanni Pastrone, Italy (2)

Les Vampires (1915) Louis Feuillade, France (2)

The Outlaw and His Wife (1918) Victor Sjostrom, Sweden

 

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It's time for the 1920's.  We will be on the 1920's for 3 weeks then move to 1930 and go one year per week.  Please remember that these are foreign language films so non U.S. films in English do not qualify (see the OP).  And this thread is primarily for feature films (40 minutes or longer) but if you wish to mention some notable favourite shorts please do so separately.

Here are my top FF films from the 1920's.  33 seen.

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1.  Mother (1926) V.I. Pudovkin, Russia

2.  The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) Carl Dreyer, France

3.  Potemkin (1925) Sergei Eisenstein, Russia 

4.  Napoleon (1927) Abel Gance, France 

5.  Metropolis (1927) Fritz Lang, Germany 

6.  Storm Over Asia (1928) V.I. Pudovkin, Russia 

7.  Nosferatu (1922) F.W. Murnau, Germany 

8.  Man With a Movie Camera (1929) Dziga Vertov, Russia

9.  Dr. Mabuse, King of Crime (1922) Fritz Lang, Germany 

10. Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler (1922) Fritz Lang, Germany 

 

And these are all the others that I have seen from this period, ranked: 

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924) Fritz Lang, Germany 

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Robert Weine, Germany 

The Phantom Carriage (1921) Victor Sjostrom, Sweden 

Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) G.W. Pabst, Germany

Pandora’s Box (1929) G.W. Pabst, Germany

The End of St. Petersburg (1927) V.I. Pudovkin, Russia 

Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (1927) Walter Ruttmann, Germany

The Golem (1920) Paul Wegener, Germany 

Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Revenge (1924) Fritz Lang, Germany 

The Joyless Street (1925) G.W. Pabst, Germany 

Sumurun (1920) Ernst Lubitsch, Germany 

The Crazy Ray (1924) Rene Clair, France

Kino Pravda (1922) Dziga Vertov, Russia 

October Ten Days That Shook The World (1928) Sergei Eisenstein, Russia 

Spione (1928) Fritz Lang, Germany

Faust (1926) F.W. Murnau, Germany 

Waxworks (1924) Leo Brinsky & Paul Leni, Germany 

Othello (1922) Dimitri Buchowetzki, Germany 

By the Law (1926) Lev Kuleshov, Russia

A Propos de Nice (1929) Jean Vigo, France

Alraune (1928) Henrik Galeen, Germany

Asphalt (1929) Joe May, Germany

Feu Mathias Pascal (1927) Marcel L’Herbier, France

 

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I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to rank them year by year, and then I'll compile a best-of-decade before the end of the 3 weeks. It's late where I am at the moment, so I'll just leave this for now:

1920

  1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Robert Wiene, Germany
  2. The Golem Paul Wegener & Carl Boese, Germany
  3. The Wandering Shadow Fritz Lang, Germany

1921

  1. The Phantom Carriage Victor Sjostrom, Sweden
  2. Destiny Fritz Lang, Germany
  3. The Haunted Castle F.W. Murnau, Germany
  4. Four Around the Woman Fritz Lang, Germany

1922

  1. Nosfertau F.W. Murnau, Germany
  2. Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages Benjamin Christensen, Sweden/Denmark
  3. Dr. Mabuse the Gambler Fritz Lang, Germany

1923

  1. La Roue Abel Gance, France
  2. Warning Shadows Arthur Robison, Germany

1924

  1. The Last Laugh F.W. Murnau, Germany
  2. Die Nibelungen Fritz Lang, Germany
  3. Aelita: Queen of Mars Yakov Protazanov, USSR
  4. The Hands of Orlac Robert Wiene, Austria
  5. Waxworks Paul Leni & Leo Brinsky, Germany

To Be Continued...

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For me it's the same as with Lawrence. I've seen most of these foreign language films on DVD, occasionally on Belgian or French TV, or YouTube as a last resort if it's impossible to find elsewhere.

1. Metropolis (1927) Fritz Lang, Germany

2. Pandora's Box (1929) Georg Wilhelm Pabst, Germany

3. Battleship Potemkin (1925) Sergei Eisenstein, Soviet Union

4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Robert Wiene, Germany

5. Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) Georg Wilhelm Pabst, Germany

6. The Last Laugh (1924) Emil Jannings, Germany

7. The Hands of Orlac (1924) Robert Wiene, Austria

8. Nosferatu (1922) F. W. Murnau, Germany

9. Strike (1925) Sergei Eisenstein, Soviet Union

10. Cirano di Bergerac (1923) Augusto Genina, France

11. The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920) Carl Boese & Paul Wegener, Germany

12. The Phantom Carriage (1921) Victor Sjöström, Sweden

13. Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922) Fritz Lang, Germany

14. Häxan (1922) Benjamin Christensen, Sweden/Denmark

15. Man with a Movie Camera (1929) Dziga Vertov, Soviet Union

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1925

  1. Battleship Potemkin Sergei Eisenstein, USSR
  2. Strike Sergei Eisenstein, USSR
  3. Master of the House Carl Theodor Dreyer, Denmark
  4. Joyless Street G.W. Pabst, Germany
  5. Maciste in Hell **** Brignone, Italy
  6. Whirlpool of Fate Jean Renoir, France

1926

  1. Faust F.W. Murnau, Germany
  2. The Adventures of Prince Achmed Lotte Reiniger, Germany
  3. The Student of Prague Henrik Galeen, Germany
  4. A Page of Madness Teinosuke Kinugasa, Japan
  5. Nana Jean Renoir, France

1927

  1. Metropolis Fritz Lang, Germany
  2. Napoleon Abel Gance, France
  3. The End of St. Petersburg Vsevolod Pudovkin & Mikhail Doller, USSR

1928

  1. The Passion of Joan of Arc Carl Theodor Dreyer, France
  2. Storm Over Asia Vsevolod Pudovkin, USSR
  3. Spies Fritz Lang, Germany
  4. October: Ten Days That Shook the World Grigori Aleksandrov & Sergei Eisenstein, USSR

1929

  1. Man with a Movie Camera Dziga Vertov, USSR
  2. Pandora's Box G.W. Pabst, Germany
  3. The General Line/Old and New Grigori Aleksandrov & Sergei Eisenstein, USSR
  4. Woman in the Moon Fritz Lang, Germany
  5. Diary of a Lost Girl G.W. Pabst, Germany
  6. A Throw of Dice Franz Osten, Germany/India

 

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Top Ten Favorite Foreign Films of the 1920s

  1. Metropolis (1927) Fritz Lang, Germany
  2. Napoleon (1927) Abel Gance, France
  3. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) Carl Theodor Dreyer, France
  4. Nosferatu (1922) F.W. Murnau, Germany
  5. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Robert Wiene, Germany
  6. The Last Laugh (1924) F.W. Murnau, Germany
  7. Die Nibelungen (1924) Fritz Lang, Germany
  8. Battleship Potemkin (1925) Sergei Eisenstein, USSR
  9. Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922) Benjamin Christensen, Denmark
  10. Faust (1926) F.W. Murnau, Germany

#1 and #2 could swap places, depending on my mood. They're equal in my estimation, in other words.

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11 hours ago, Bogie56 said:

The Crazy Ray (1924) Rene Clair, France

I've seen this one as well, but since the 35-minute running time is shorter than the 40-minute qualifier, I omitted it from my lists.

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1920-1926

 1. Battleship Potemkin (1925)  Sergei Eisenstein, USSR

 2. Strike (1925) Sergei Eisenstein, USSR

 3. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) Lotte Reiniger, Germany

 4. The Wild Cat (1921) Ernst Lubitsch, Germany

 5. Die Nibelungen (1924) Fritz Lang, Germany

 6. L'Inhumaine (1924) Marcel L'Herbier, France

 7. A Page of Madness (1926) Teinosuke Kinugasa, Japan

  8. The Last Laugh (1924) F. W. Murnau, Germany

  9. Variety (1925) E.A. Dupont, Germany

10.  The Parson's Widow (1920) Carl Dreyer, Sweden

 

I saw #4 on TCM, #6, 10 on youtube. and possibly #7 as well.  The rest I saw on either VHS or DVD

 

1927

 

  1. Napoleon  Abel Gance, France
  2. Bed and Sofa Abram Room, USSR

  3. The Italian Straw Hat Rene Clair, France

  4. The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty Esfir Shub, USSR   I saw #2, 4 on youtube, #1 on VHS, and probably #3 on DVD.

 

1928

  1. The Passion of Joan of Arc  Carl Dreyer, France
  2. October Sergei Eisenstein, USSR
  3. Zvenigora Alexander Dovzhenko, USSR
  4. L’Argent Marcel L'Herbier, France
  5. Spies Fritz Lang, Germany
  6. The Fall of the House of Usher Jean Epstein, France
  7. Storm over Asia Vsevolod Pudovkin, USSR  I saw #3, 6 on youtube, and the others on either VHS or DVD.

 

1929

  1. Man with a Movie Camera Dziga Vertov, USSR
  2. Pandora's Box  G.W. Pabst, Germany
  3. Arsenal Alexander Dovzhenko, USSR
  4. The General Line  Sergei Eisenstein, USSR
  5. The New Babylon Grigori Kozintsev, Leonid Trauberg, USSR  I saw #4, 5 and possibly #3 on youtube and the others on either VHS or DVD.

Best of the Twenties

1. The Passion of Joan of Arc.

2. Napoleon

3. October

4. Battleship Potemkin

5. Man with a Movie Camera

 

 

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I just noticed this thread.  I can't really add anything as I really came in to see WHAT "Foreign Language Films from the 1920's " actually existed! :D   I mean, I didn't THINK the "furriners" beat us in making "soundies" back then. ;)

Sepiatone

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All is explained (I hope) in the original post.  Yes, silents are universal but we are trying to eliminate films from english speaking countries like America and Great Britain for the purposes of this thread. It will get easier when there is sound.

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Nominated for the 1981 New York Film Critics Best Picture Award …

Napoleon (1927) Abel Gance, France

IMG_1386.jpg

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I saw that film at Detroit's now gone FORD AUDITORIUM when it was making the rounds with live orchestra accompaniment  and CARMINE COPPOLA guest conducting the DSO.  I've long thought a movie adaptation based on KEVIN BROWNLOW'S  book that chronicled the search for all the missing reels and restoration of the Gance film would make a fine movie if done well.  It IS a compelling read.

Sepiatone

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8 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I saw that film at Detroit's now gone FORD AUDITORIUM when it was making the rounds with live orchestra accompaniment  and CARMINE COPPOLA guest conducting the DSO.  I've long thought a movie adaptation based on KEVIN BROWNLOW'S  book that chronicled the search for all the missing reels and restoration of the Gance film would make a fine movie if done well.  It IS a compelling read.

Sepiatone

The BFI issued a new blu ray of Napoleon this year which has a lot of extras ...

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Product Description

Napoleon (4 - disc DVD set)
A film by Abel Gance
Music composed by Carl Davis

Marking a new chapter in the history of one of the world's greatest films, the release of Abel Gance's Napoleon is the culmination of a project spanning 50 years. Digitally restored by the BFI National Archive and Academy Award-winning film historian Kevin Brownlow, this cinematic triumph is available to experience on DVD for the very first time

Originally conceived by Gance as the first of six films about Napoleon, this five-and-a-half-hour epic features full-scale historical creations of episodes from his personal and political life, that see Bonaparte overcome fierce rivals and political machinations to seal his imperial destiny.

Utilising a number of groundbreaking cinematic techniques, Napoleon is accompanied by Carl Davis monumental score (newly recorded in 7.1), and offers one of the most thrilling experiences in the entire history of film.

Special features 

  • New 2K restoration
  • The Charm of Dynamite (Kevin Brownlow, 1968, 51 mins): BBC documentary on Glance s silent films, narrated by Lindsay Anderson
  • Composing Napoleon An Interview with Carl Davis) (2016, 45 mins)
  • Feature-length commentary by Paul Cuff
  • Napoleon digital restoration featurette (2016, 5 mins)
  • Stills and Special Collections Gallery
  • Alternative single-screening ending
  • Individual triptych panel presentations
  • Illustrated 32-page book with writing by Paul Cuff, Kevin Brownlow and Hervé Dumont, an interview with Carl Davis; and full film, music and restoration credits

France | 1927 | black & white, tinted and toned | silent with English intertitles | 332 minutes | original aspect ratios 1.33:1 + 4.1 (triptych) | DVD9 x 4 | PAL | 25fps | 5.1 DTS-HR (48kHz/16-bit) and PCM 2.0 stereo (48kHz/16-bit) | Cert PG (mild battle violence | Region 2

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A few words about my favourite of the 1920s:

Fritz Lang's Metropolis is based on a dystopic science fiction novel by Thea von Hardau. In the remote future the working class lives completely separated under the ground, an idea that already appeared in H. G. Wells' The Time Machine. The people above the ground are kept ignorant with bread and circuses, while the workers are treated like parts of a machinery. The intertitles move up or down in relation to the two classes. The pentagram is used as a symbol for the human body, with four limbs and the head. This shape is also present in the clock, handled by a worker. The architecture is modernistic, influenced by Bauhaus.

Miniature sets were used. The camera doesn't move, although that impression is created by moving backgrounds. The character of the mad professor is an archetype, although it's explained what made him so. Brigitte Helm plays the double role of the prophetess and Maria and her robot impersonator. Only a reduced version was kept, until a complete version was discovered in Argentina in 2008. The restoration went in premiere in 2010. One scene was damaged beyond repair and has been replaced by title cards.

qxw7ix.jpg

 

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