Three years after helping to achieve some of the most amazing imagery in cinema history with 2001: A Space Odyssey, special effects maestro Douglas Trumbull made an auspicious directorial debut at age 29 with the environmentally themed science fiction classic Silent Running. In the distant future, plant life on our planet is extinct. Remaining specimens are cultivated in vast greenhouse-like domes orbiting in space. Bruce Dern (Marnie, Coming Home, The 'burbs, Monster) stars as Freeman Lowell, dedicated botanist aboard the Valley Forge , awaiting the call to refoliate Earth – despite the scorn of his crewmates. When an order comes to instead destroy the domes and return home, Lowell takes matters into his own hands, beginning a long and lonely voyage into the unknown.With its remarkable special effects (especially the robot drones Huey, Dewey, and Louie); glorious score (including songs performed by Joan Baez); memorable sound effects (created by Joseph Byrd from the cult band The United States of America); a screenplay co-written by Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) and Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues), and an impassioned central performance from Dern, Silent Running remains a uniquely contemplative and haunting adventure that continues to make hippies of young children, even today.
Frau im Mond. [Woman in the Moon.] is: The first feature-length film to portray space-exploration in a serious manner, paying close attention to the science involved in launching a vessel from the surface of the earth to the valleys of the moon. A tri-polar potboiler of a picture that manages to combine espionage tale, serial melodrama, and comic-book sci-fi into a storyline that is by turns delirious, hushed, and deranged. A movie so rife with narrative contradiction and visual ingenuity that it could only be the work of one filmmaker: Fritz Lang. In this, Lang's final silent epic, the legendary filmmaker spins a tale involving a wicked cartel of spies who co-opt an experimental mission to the moon in the hope of plundering the satellite's vast (and highly theoretical) stores of gold. When the crew, helmed by Willy Fritsch and Gerda Maurus (both of whom had previously starred in Lang's Spione), finally reach their impossible destination, they find themselves stranded in a lunar labyrinth without walls - where emotions run scattershot, and the new goal becomes survival. A modern Daedalus tale which uncannily foretold Germany's wartime push into rocket-science, Frau im Mond. Is as much a warning sign against human hubris as it is a hopeful depiction of mankind's potential. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present in a Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) special edition the culmination of Fritz Lang's silent cinema, restored to its near-original length. Special Features: Gorgeous 1080p transfer on the Blu-ray of the F. W. Murnau-Stiftung restoration Original German intertitles with newly translated optional English subtitles The First Scientific Science-Fiction Film - a German documentary about Frau im Mond. Made by Gabriele Jacobi [15:00] 36-page booklet which includes a newly revised analysis by Michael E. Grost on the film, and on Fritz Lang's body of work as a whole
In 1929, F. W. Murnau (Nosferatu, Faust, Sunrise), one of the greatest of all film directors, invited leading documentarist Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North, Man of Aran) to collaborate on a film to be be shot on location in Tahiti, a Polynesian idyll in which Murnau imagined a cast of island actors would provide a new form of authentic drama and offer rare insight into their primitive culture. The result of their collaboration was Tabu, a film that depicts the details of indigenous island life to tell a mythical tale that is rich in the universal themes of desire and loss. Subtitled A Story of the South Seas , Tabu concerns a Tahitian fisherman (played by an islander, Matahi) and his love for a young woman (played by fellow islander Reri, who went on to star on Broadway) whose body has been consecrated to the gods, rendering her tabu as far as mortal men are concerned. The lovers flee their island and its restrictive traditions, but will their love prevail in the civilised world? This Oscar-winning film (the Academy Award went to cinematographer Floyd Crosby) is both poetic and simple in tone. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present - completely uncensored and fully restored - this landmark film of rare exoticism and magical beauty, described by critic Lotte Eisner in 1931 as the apogee of the art of the silent film , for the first time ever on Blu-ray in its original aspect ratio. Special Features: New 1080p HD transfer on the Blu-ray of the Murnau-Stiftung / Luciano Berriatúa 75th anniversary restoration of the pre-Paramount, longer Murnau-approved version of the film, with uncensored scenes and titlecards, appearing in its original 1.19:1 aspect ratio for the first time Full-length commentary track by R. Dixon Smith and Brad Stevens 15-minute German documentary about Tabu by Luciano Berriatúa Newly presented outtakes from the original shoot of the film Treibjagd in der Südsee (1940) - an archival short film 56-Page Booklet with articles by Scott Eyman, Richard Griffiths, and David Flaherty; an interview with the film’s cinematographer Floyd Crosby; and the original story treatments written by Murnau and Flaherty for Tabu and its aborted predecessor Turia
Before he arrived in Hollywood to leave his indelible (and inimitable) mark on timeless comedies like Trouble in Paradise and The Shop Around The Corner, Ernst Lubitsch created an expansive body of work in Germany that proved to be as varied in tone as it was sophisticated in its measure of man and woman. This set collects six restored works from the silent phase of Lubitsch s career, and casts new light on the director both as a fully-formed comic master, and as a virtuoso of cinematographic technique. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present these six works by Ernst Lubitsch for the first time ever on Blu-ray. BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES: High-definition restored transfers of all six films Original German intertitles with optional English subtitles Robert Fischer s 2006 feature-length documentary Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin: From Schönhauser Allee to Hollywood Exclusive concertina score for Die Puppe, by Bernard Wrigley PLUS: A booklet containing liner notes for all six features by film-writers David Cairns, Anna Thorngate, and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Georg Wilhelm Pabst (Pandora’s Box, Diary of a Lost Girl) made a flawless transition from silent to sound filmmaking with, Westfront 1918 and Kameradschaft, a pair of strongly anti-war titles (Pabst himself was a prisoner of war for the duration of WWI) that combined elements of Expressionism and New Objectivity to stunning effect. In Westfront 1918, four infantrymen on the Western Front suffer the everyday hardships and insanity of trench warfare, and in Kameradschaft, a team of German miners risk their lives to rescue a team of French miners left trapped after an underground explosion. Sharing many thematic elements, as well as key cast and crew (most notably cinematographer Fritz Arno Wagner, M, Nosferatu, Der müde Tod), Westfront 1918 and Kameradschaft represents a master director at the height of his powers, and The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present both these titles for the first time ever on Blu-ray in a special Dual Format edition. DUAL FORMAT EDITION FEATURES: Limited Edition O-card [First 2000 copies] Both films presented on Blu-ray in stunning 1080p Uncompressed PCM soundtrack for both titles (on the Blu-ray) Optional English subtitles Westfront 1918, an introduction by film scholar and author Jan-Christopher Horak Kameradschaft, an introduction by film scholar and author Jan-Christopher Horak PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Philip Kemp, alongside rare archival imagery
One of the most artistically significant and controversial motion pictures ever made, D. W. Griffith's silent epic The Birth of a Nation was a massive commercial success at the time of its release, owing to its dynamic storytelling and its breakthrough developments in cinema language that have become common traits of practically every film that has since followed. However, the picture's legacy is one that continues to elicit outrage over its vulgar depictions of African-Americans and its deceptive historiography of the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Birth of a Nation begins depicting the amiable relationship between two families, Northern and Southern, and the way in which the impending Civil War intensifies the conflict of their worldviews. Following the end of the war and the assassination of President Lincoln, a lawless chaos courses throughout the Reconstruction South, and the Ku Klux Klan is formed to take on a rising black militia and impose a vengeful vigilante justice across their land and birthright . It's a film that's deeply divisive even to the senses of a single viewer: images of painterly beauty in composition and tonal quality often exhibit a contemptuous, inflammatory coarseness with regard to subject matter; just as frequently, long tracts evince an innocent, terrifically lyrical grandeur. Griffith would attempt to make amends for the moral schism of this schizophrenic epic in his next film, Intolerance, but The Birth of a Nation cannot - and should not - remain unseen, or undiscussed: it is a great, and terrible, masterpiece. The Masters of Cinema Series releases Griffith's three-hour epic, including a series of the director's Civil War shorts, for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK.
An iconic film of the German expressionist cinema, and one of the most famous of all silent movies, F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror continues to haunt - and, indeed, terrify - modern audiences with the unshakable power of its images. By teasing a host of occult atmospherics out of dilapidated set-pieces and innocuous real-world locations alike, Murnau captured on celluloid the deeply-rooted elements of a waking nightmare, and launched the signature Murnau-style that would change cinema history forever. In this first-ever screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, a simple real-estate transaction leads an intrepid businessman deep into the superstitious heart of Transylvania. There he encounters the otherworldly Count Orlok - portrayed by the legendary Max Schreck, in a performance the very backstory of which has spawned its own mythology - who soon after embarks upon a cross-continental voyage to take up residence in a distant new land... and establish his ambiguous dominion. As to whether the count's campaign against the plague-wracked populace erupts from satanic decree, erotic compulsion, or the simple impulse of survival - that remains, perhaps, the greatest mystery of all in this film that's like a blackout... Remade by Werner Herzog in 1979 (and inspiring films as diverse as Abel Ferrara's King of New York and The Addiction, and E. Elias Merhige's Shadow of the Vampire), F. W. Murnau's surreal 1922 cine-fable remains the original and landmark entry in the entire global tradition of the horror film . The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present, newly restored on 1080p Blu-ray at long last, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror in its definitive restoration, complete with original intertitles and accompanied by the score that played with the film at the time of its initial release. Special Features: Brand new high-definition restoration by Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung Two audio commentaries: one newly recorded by film historian David Kalat; the second by historian R. Dixon Smith and critic Brad Stevens The Language of Shadows, a 53-minute documentary on Murnau's early years and the filming of Nosferatu New video interview with BFI Film Classics Nosferatu author Kevin Jackson Newly translated English subtitles with original German intertitles More surprises to be revealed closer to release date! PLUS: a 56-page booklet featuring writings and rare imagery
Forever granted a place in cinematic history by winning the first ever Academy Award for Best Picture in 1927 and the only silent film to do so, William Wellman's silent epic Wings is more than an Oscar winner, but an epic story of friendship with the type of thrilling action only practical effects can imagine...Hometown best friends Jack (Charles Buddy Rogers) and David (Richard Arlen) compete for the affection of a gorgeous dame (Jobyna Ralston), though Jack doesn't realise that girl next door Mary Preston (Clara Bow) has eyes for him as well. But World War I is soon upon them, so the boys are off to France to fight against the Germans. Meanwhile, Mary follows Jack into enemy lines as a nurse. Wellman's epic drama combines the most spectacular of stunts with the most classical of melodrama, along with one of Bow's greatest performances and the screen debut of Gary Cooper. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this American classic in a beautiful new restoration on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK as part of a Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD) edition. Special Features: Gorgeous newly restored 1080p transfer Video documentary Wings: Grandeur in the Sky Video documentary Restoring the Power and Beauty of Wings Video piece Dogfight! 40-Page Booklet Featuring: A new essay on the film by critic Gina Telaroli Excerpts from a vintage interview with Wellman A 1930 profile of stuntmen from the film A vintage piece on the production of the film Personal anecdotes from Wellman Rare archival imagery
One of the most emotional film experiences of any era, Carl Theodor Dreyer s 1928 The Passion of Joan of Arc [La Passion de Jeanne d Arc / Jeanne d Arc s lidelse og dod.] is a miracle of the cinema, an enigmatic and profoundly moving work that merges the worlds of the viewer and of saintly Joan herself into one shared experience of hushed delirium. Dreyer s film charts the final days of Joan of Arc as she undergoes the debasement that accompanies her trial for charges of heresy through her imprisonment and execution at the stake. The portrayal of Joan by Renée Maria Falconetti is frequently heralded as the all-time finest performance in the history of film, and Dreyer s unusual and virtuosic method, in seeming to render the very soul of his actress, vaulted the director decisively into the ranks of the art form s supreme geniuses. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present The Passion of Joan of Arc in an exclusively restored version, presented in both 20fps and 24fps playback speeds, and featuring Dreyer s own original Danish-language intertitles. DUAL FORMAT SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES: Special edition O-card (First pressing only) Exclusively restored high-definition master presented in the film s original aspect ratio, in 1080p on the Blu-ray Presented in both 20fps and 24fps playback speeds Optional audio tracks: a piano score performed by Japanese silent film composer Mie Yanashita (for the 20fps option), and a radical new accompaniment by esteemed American avant-garde musician Loren Connors (for the 24fps version) Newly translated optional English subtitles for Dreyer s original Danish intertitles The complete Lo Duca version of the film the version (featuring an alternate edit and soundtrack) that circulated in France and around the world for decades before the rediscovery of Dreyer s director s cut | Video demonstration of the restoration A collector s booklet featuring writing on the film, alongside rare archival production imagery
One of the most artistically significant and controversial motion pictures ever made, D. W. Griffith's silent epic The Birth of a Nation was a massive commercial success at the time of its release, owing to its dynamic storytelling and its breakthrough developments in cinema language that have become common traits of practically every film that has since followed. However, the picture's legacy is one that continues to elicit outrage over its vulgar depictions of African-Americans and its deceptive historiography of the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Birth of a Nation begins depicting the amiable relationship between two families, Northern and Southern, and the way in which the impending Civil War intensifies the conflict of their worldviews. Following the end of the war and the assassination of President Lincoln, a lawless chaos courses throughout the Reconstruction South, and the Ku Klux Klan is formed to take on a rising black militia and impose a vengeful vigilante justice across their land and birthright . It's a film that's deeply divisive even to the senses of a single viewer: images of painterly beauty in composition and tonal quality often exhibit a contemptuous, inflammatory coarseness with regard to subject matter; just as frequently, long tracts evince an innocent, terrifically lyrical grandeur. Griffith would attempt to make amends for the moral schism of this schizophrenic epic in his next film, Intolerance, but The Birth of a Nation cannot - and should not - remain unseen, or undiscussed: it is a great, and terrible, masterpiece. The Masters of Cinema Series releases Griffith's three-hour epic, including a series of the director's Civil War shorts, for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK. Special Features: New 1080p presentation (on the Blu-ray) of the film from archival 35mm elements, in its original aspect ratio Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra in 2.0 stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Short archival introductions to the film by D. W. Griffith and Walter Huston Newly rediscovered original intermission sequence and 1930 re-release title sequence Seven Civil War shorts directed by Griffith: In the Border States (1910); The House with Closed Shutters (1910); The Fugitive (1910); His Trust (1910); His Trust Fulfilled (1910); Swords and Hearts (1911); and The Battle (1911). A lengthy booklet with writing about the film, rare archival imagery, and more.