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Fart Lighter
10-15-2002, 12:20 AM
has anybody seen this DVD? http://www.lasersedge.com/movie/33361 and is anywhere doing it any cheaper?

I'm curious regarding thr Ventura release of GOLEM / NOSFERATU / LAST LAUGH too. The box satates that it's the 1920 version of GOLEM, but the sypnosis reflects the 1914 version. DOes anyone know whcih is on this collection?

marioscido
10-15-2002, 02:47 AM
I know that the original "Golem " of 1914 was first released in the U.S. in 1917. But as far as I know, it has not surfaced anywhere since. The Elite "Masterworks of German Horror Cinema" release is the 1920 film.

Actually, until this new Kino edition, the Elite version was the only "Golem" available on DVD. The film material utilized for the Elite video transfer was a constrasty 16mm reduction print. But according to the folks at the Silent Film Website, 35mm prints of the 1920 "Golem" are available. And more importantly, they are supposed to be in good shape!

I stilll haven't seen the Kino discs, nor have I read any informed reviews of the discs.

This is a quote from Lotte Eisner's book, The Haunted Screen: "this first 'Golem' of 1914, which mixed contemporary events (the Golem being discovered in Prague) with the legend of Rabbi Loew, in the year 1580, creating the giant, is unfortunately lost. The 'Golem' we know is that of 1920..."

Unless someone has found a print somewhere (like in the closet of a mental institution in Sweden), the other version you mention is also the 1920 film.

-en
10-15-2002, 04:13 AM
i picked up a copy of the golem up at oldies.com (http://www.oldies.com/genre/listing.cfm/genre/hor/format/dvd.html) for 6 dollars.

marioscido
10-15-2002, 06:57 AM
The version you purchased was just released by Alpha Video on September 24th! What does it look like? Is the print in good shape? Does it run at sound speed?

These Alpha Video guys have put out a bunch of interesting titles. I wonder what the quality is like on most of their titles?

-en
10-27-2002, 12:29 AM
well, i'm new to silent films so i don't have anything to gauge it against. overall it's very watchable, i enjoyed it and for $6 how can you go wrong? (unless it's a Madacy disc ;) )

dwatts
06-30-2008, 11:21 PM
My viewing pleasure tonight was The Golem.

I viewed the R1 Kino disc.

Of course this is a classic, so it's not like it has to be bigged up or anything. It's not a film I've been able to spend much time with over the years, so having the DVD is a major step forward.

Essentially everything you've probably heard about it is true - a fantastic piece of entertainment, with good FX and incredible sets. Many films have paid tribute by way of borrowing bits and pieces over the years - Murnau borrowed the creation sequence, James Whale borrowed the "young girl meet monster" sequence, etc. All really testament to the power of what's on display.

The Kino disc isn't one of the best restorations, truth be told. A few scenes could have done with some contrast adjustment. But it's certainly not poor. Also, the score they have with it is actually very good (two violins and a piano).

Extras on the disc are light, but fascinating. For starters you get a almost seven minute excerpt from "Julian Duviver's 1936 version of The Golem", showing the creature being awoken, tearing down walls, and releasing lions and tigers to attack unsuspecting party goers. The condition of the print is actually worse than the main feature, which is perhaps to be expected. Interesting though.

Secondly we have six or seven pages from Chayim Bloch's 1925 book of the story, explaining the creation sequence (different from the movie version). Finally, we see a sequence from Murnau's Faust. There's also a gallery of artwork etc.

All in all, a fully featured disc of a movie that every horror collection could be improved by owning, imo. With it's tale of the persecution of the Jews, the love between foes, and a monster gone mad, The Golem is a great watch.

Get it.

By the way, I strongly encourage many of you to fork out for the higher end releases of silent films - it really does make a huge difference. These 16mm reduced prints simply spoil everything about the films. It's easy to get the impression that people moving too fast, jump cuts where frames are missing, crystal clear picture quality, and sound without pops and crackles, are just what one must expect from silent cinema these days. But it isn't so! The higher end restorations - which obviously cost more money - have brought many of these films to life as though you were watching it in the day of its release.

So while Alpha and Madacy release these titles - I think they do a grave disservice, and propagate the view that old films simply look old.... they can be so much more. Check it out. ;)

Erick H.
07-01-2008, 07:35 AM
This is quite a striking film and was a big influence on the look of the later Universal classics.I saw it as a kid,never forgot it.

dwatts
07-01-2008, 12:17 PM
You should pick up the Kino mate - they've done a reasonable job, and it's still apparently the best version out there (although with some of the silent films getting new treatments maybe it'll get one too).

The lines between this and Frankenstein are pretty obvious, but also fun to spot. Although, the tone is slightly different. There is also a sense of theater in the film that I miss watching modern stuff. I think that today filmmakers strive for "realism" far too much, as though we can't be entertained unless we can connect at a very surface level by things appearing real to us.

Wasn't so bad in the day. There's a clear feeling here of theatricality. These days this is written off with terms such as "stagey", as though it's quaint or that the filmmakers did something they shouldn't have. But why should film take more from theater? The creation scene here, with the mask of the demon, is so wonderfully done - though today would laugh at it because it doesn't look natural.

Sometimes I think we've forgotten how to enjoy film.

Erick H.
07-02-2008, 09:00 AM
I know what you mean dwatts,many modern viewers have lost the ability to appreciate theatrical flair ,which was indispencable in the silent era.A critic once asked Charlie Chaplin why he didn't go in for unusual angles and camera tricks to make his films more interesting,more modern.He replied "I don't need to because I AM interesting".Chaplin realized his performance was the centerpiece of his films,what carried the audience along.In a time without sound,without ultra sophisticated special effects,it was the flair of the performers that captured the attention of viewers.Were performances always natural,no,but the best performers (and best directors),knew that they could slip the bounds of reality and captivate audiences in a larger than life fantasy.In a fairy tale like story such as THE GOLEM you are clearly straying into a dream world.Personally I like my dreams "big".

dwatts
07-02-2008, 09:46 AM
Agreed. It's like we've strayed a bit, that we want our films to be "real" all the time because we've forgotten how to enjoy the fiction of it all.

I listened to the audio commentary on Cronenberg's Crash the other day, and it had a litte anecdote that made me laugh. One of the stunt drivers on the film went to Cronenberg and said: "The crashes aren't real." Cronenberg - whod' done a lot of research - replied, "Really, how are they not real?" The stuntman responded, "Wel, you're not using multiple camera angles, your cars aren't rolling, and nothing explodes."

What had happened is that the stuntman had now actually confused his realities. The accidents in Crash are actually the real ones, but the stuntman had bought into what he did as the true reflection.

There are some gimmicky efforts to do something else with film: 300, Sin City, A Scanner Darkly - but really they're veering more into the world of Anime and animation than anything else, imo.

To be perfectly honest, most modern films look pretty flat when compared to many silent films. The creativity is there, but its goal is knock the screen down, not to celebrate it. It's like the screen causes offense.

I was also talking with a buddy who mentioned how actors in silent cinema over-act. I thought about it for a moment and said, "Well, what's wrong with acting, exactly?" Meaning, here were actors who had to tell a story without sound, with just a minimal amount of intertitles to move things along. It's amazing they were able to get any message across.

But the level of "acting" today seems to be: "Well, in this movie I'm an office worker." In other words, a change of clothes, maybe a slight chage in accent, and you're off. It's all in this quest to be "real". Personally I like acting, and enjoy seeing it. It doesn't ruin the storytelling for me, and provides additional entertainment (you even get in sound films, check out Tod Slaughter, pantomime horror!)

Erick H.
07-03-2008, 09:12 AM
Truth be told I sometimes think there is too much dialogue in many modern films.Don't misundertand me,I love a well written script,I love language.But there is often a tendency to have film characters talking just to fill up space,to make sure the audience is awake.Much of what is said is complete rubbish,just blather,or else it's people describing things or events that we can already SEE.It's a visual medium,kids,unless your audience is sightless you needn't describe what they're already looking at.I always admired directors who could pull off long ,wordless sequences that said all we needed to know with the images.I think many younger directors are terrified of not having constant noise on the soundtrack,they are afraid people will lose interest.Plus I cannot stand it when we see a vital plot point being made in a movie and then have some savant on the screen ''explain" it to the audience like were four years old.I bought my own ticket chief,don't treat me like an idiot !

The Chaostar
07-03-2008, 10:03 AM
Fuck the KINO dvd. Get the german release. The restoration is great, the transfer is great, the extras are subtitled in english as well, the package is neat...