Thursday, November 15, 2018

I Believe In Franz Biberkopf

Some spectacular news to brighten a not exactly bright day - Criterion has announced their next round of blu-ray releases, this time for February 2019, and as seen above they've re-done their boxed-set of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 15 hour mega-masterpiece Berlin Alexanderplatz! They'd released the series on DVD back in the day but it's been due an upgrade, and this set sounds mighty fancy - here's the list of Special Features:

High-definition digital restoration by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation and Bavaria Media, supervised and approved by director of photography Xaver Schwarzenberger, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
Two documentaries by Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation president Juliane Lorenz: one from 2007 featuring interviews with the cast and crew, the other from 2006 on the restoration
Hans-Dieter Hartl's 1980 documentary Notes on the Making of "Berlin Alexanderplatz"
Phil Jutzi's 1931 feature-length film of Alfred Döblin's novel, from a screenplay cowritten by Döblin himself
Interview from 2007 with Peter Jelavich, author of "Berlin Alexanderplatz": Radio, Film, and the Death of Weimar Culture
PLUS: A book featuring an essay by filmmaker Tom Tykwer, reflections on the novel by Fassbinder and author Thomas Steinfeld, and an interview with Schwarzenberger

You can read more about it at their site, and pre-order your copy now before its street-date of February 12th - it's actually going for cheaper than the DVD set does on Amazon, so that's pretty cool! It's been awhile since I watched the series -- seven years actually, since I documented the experience in a big post right here. I laid on the floor of my apartment one weekend and watched the whole fifteen-hour thing in just about one sitting, with some sleep in the middle. I remember being delirious by the end, which is probably exactly how you're supposed to feel. Looking forward to trying that out again next year. PS they're also releasing Visconti's Death in Venice in February too, so February just got real gay all of a sudden...

No comments: