41 / BD 91 Frau im Mond.

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MichaelB
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#26 Post by MichaelB » Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:31 pm

Yes, that's a very fair reflection of what I saw. I really can't imagine anyone being disappointed with this, and a rave review was filed with Sight & Sound this morning.

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#27 Post by TheGodfather » Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:17 pm

WOW! those look gorgeous.

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#28 Post by nyasa » Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:23 pm

I've pre-ordered with HMV - £11.99, and the order confirmation included an undertaking that if the price drops between now and the release date I'll pay the lower price.

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#29 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:12 am

DVD Times review.

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Tommaso
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#30 Post by Tommaso » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:32 am

This review confirms the already high expectations. Who is the composer Willy Schmidt-Gentner, btw? Is this an original score from the 20s?
The reviewer hasn't a lot of good things to say about the accompanying essay, though. Well, of course I'd have to wait until I have read it myself but Noel Megahey writes, criticizing the essay:

"There is no discussion of anything like a human element to the film or consideration that the characters might be actual people - they all [are] representations of types, ie. Feminist, Worker, Capitalist."

Well, if that is where the essay puts its emphasis, I couldn't agree more with it. I never found the characters in "Frau im Mond" very individualized. Like "Spione", "Frau im Mond" has a very essential 'pulp' character, and with that of course goes the fact that characters are flat, simplified stereotypes. That's part of the fun of it! I really can't see where Megahey sees the great individual human emotions in the film that he seems to detect.

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#31 Post by markhax » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:52 am

Tommaso wrote:Who is the composer Willy Schmidt-Gentner, btw? Is this an original score from the 20s?
He is listed in the Lang filmography as the composer who did the 'Zusammenstellung' --which I take to have been a pastiche--for the premiere. He wasn't a concept to me, but there is an entry on him on the German Wikipedia. He also did the music for the 1926 'Der Student von Prag," and for Pabst's 'Weisse Hölle von Piz Palü.' He moved to Vienna in 1933 and 'composed' up to ten film scores a year, including a number of the better known films of the Nazi era. He did the score for the 1954 "Emil und die Detektive" and a German-American co-production from 1954, called 'Carnival Story' (Rummelplatz der Liebe).

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#32 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:56 am

I thought the music on the MoC version was improvised by Javier Perez de Aspeitia?

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#33 Post by peerpee » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:01 am

Yes, the MoC score is a new piano score by Javier Perez de Aspeitia. He used a few minutes of Willy Schmidt-Gentner's original score.

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#34 Post by Tommaso » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:29 am

markhax wrote:
Tommaso wrote:Who is the composer Willy Schmidt-Gentner, btw? Is this an original score from the 20s?
He is listed in the Lang filmography as the composer who did the 'Zusammenstellung' --which I take to have been a pastiche--for the premiere..
Yes, it means 'pastiche', most likely of existing works (for film or otherwise) by other composers, which probably is an explanation why FWMS didn't go back to the original music for this restoration. Same most likely for "Piz Palü" which has an excellent new orchestral score by Ashley Irwin. Of course one would have wished for an orchestra with "Frau im Mond" as well, but no complaints. Aspeitia does it really well.

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#35 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:33 am

Tommaso wrote:Of course one would have wished for an orchestra with "Frau im Mond" as well, but no complaints. Aspeitia does it really well.
I thought the music was fine - as with Aspeitia's accompaniment to Diary of a Lost Girl, it's unobtrusive and therefore completely inoffensive. And clearly vastly cheaper to record than a full orchestra!

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#36 Post by markhax » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:33 am

peerpee wrote:Yes, the MoC score is a new piano score by Javier Perez de Aspeitia. He used a few minutes of Willy Schmidt-Gentner's original score.
Why did one decide not to use the original score? I gather from the term 'Zusammenstellung', however, that there must not have been much original material in it.

It's interesting how, for his two remaining silent films after Metropolis, Lang did not employ a composer as he had for that film and Nibelungen, and there was no music especially composed for any of his films before Nibelungen. And apart from the Grieg Peer Gynt theme there is no music in 'M', a rather radical step, considering that silent films were never silent, never without music.

On the other hand, in both 'M' and 'Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse' Lang uses sound brilliantly, as an independent element in many cases. Think of how we hear the distraught mother crying 'Elsie' off camera as we look down the empty staircase or see the empty place at the table. And the use of the gramophone is 'Testament'. Or the brilliant 'silent' sequence with sign language at the beginning of the film, against the rhythmic noise of the machines.

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#37 Post by Tommaso » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:01 pm

MichaelB wrote:I thought the music was fine - as with Aspeitia's accompaniment to Diary of a Lost Girl, it's unobtrusive and therefore completely inoffensive. And clearly vastly cheaper to record than a full orchestra!
I completely agree about Aspeitia, but FWMS went to do orchestral scores for a lot of films by lesser known directors, say May's "Asphalt" or Fanck's "Der Heilige Berg", so I would think that doing the same for Lang should be a no-brainer. It may have to do with the fact that "Frau im Mond" sometimes hasn't been in too high regard when it came to Lang's silent canon, especially in Germany it would seem, being often dismissed because of its pulp character and the apparent impossibility to relate this to 20s/30s German history, as has often been done with "Mabuse", "Nibelungen" and "Metropolis", and could also be done with the equally pulpy "Spione". I hope that the MoC disc will help to re-evaluate "Frau im Mond" a little. If nothing more, it's hugely enjoyable entertainment.

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#38 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:41 pm


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#39 Post by Tommaso » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:40 am

Have just received my disc, and did have a quick look at it. The transfer is indeed excellent, as expected. There's still quite a huge amount of grain, but that is the film and can't be helped, but it's rendered completely naturally. A HUGE advance over the divisa disc!

I watched that 15 min. documentary and found it nice, too, especially in the way that it intercuts the moon landing as fantasized by Lang with the real one of 1969 (if that was real...). It's not as detailed and informative as the ones on "Nosferatu" and "Tabu" though, and also doesn't look exactly great (somewhat blurred, as if video-sourced). I wonder whether that really was made in 2006?

I haven't read it yet, but I quite like the layout of the booklet too, especially the typesetting which looks both 'old' AND 'futuristic'. So, while the whole package isn't probably as mindblowing as the two recent Murnaus, I'd say everybody will be happy with it. Not to be missed.

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#40 Post by Petty Bourgeoisie » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:48 pm

Got my copy in the mail from Amazon UK yesterday. Watched it lastnight and while I give MOC a 10/10 I give the film a 7/10. Definitely second tier Lang in my opinion. Fairly entertaining at times but with long stretches of boredom and melodrama. Not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination but certainly not one I'll be anxiously watching a second time. I guess I prefer my Lang earthbound.

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#41 Post by akaten » Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:07 pm

I cannot even begin to imagine how you could equate Fritz Lang with boredom, and certainly not with Frau Im Mond of all films. I was floored throughout, and not just by the launch sequence, the overhead models, the sunrise, journalists mingling with abstract constructs, but the film displays visual prowess throughout, use of form, shape, depth of field, mass media communication (acceptability, the 'weight' of ideas put across the airwaves as opposed to the spoken word) all wrapped up in a wonderfully pulpy yarn. However I reckon it could've done with some more multi-national astro-criminal colonialists sequences, cause there's gold in dem Moon hills!

Which comes to my second misgiving, as I fail to comprehend the notion of wanting Lang to remain "earthbound," if anything I dislike the occasions he does show restraint, I don't want him to, I wanted to see the clash of modern and middle age sciences in Metropolis, and damn it, I wanted to see more remnants of ancient Atlantis civilisation on the Moon.

I feel the finest complement I can give is to describe Fritz Lang as a film composer in the truest sense of the word and this film offers ample evidence of the huge wealth of talent he possessed, deftly prescient and visually innovative, I came away with a real sense of wonder at what can be achieved cinematically. I was so caught up in the film that it took me a while to realise to my joy I had forgotten to correct the aspect ratio, causing me to start all over again.

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#42 Post by Petty Bourgeoisie » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:48 pm

I'm happy that you enjoyed it. Your enthusiasm for the film sounds like my own for The Testament of Dr. Mabuse.

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#43 Post by Tommaso » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:01 am

I somehow sympathize with both your points of view, and while I don't necessarily want Lang to remain 'earthbound', the pulpyness in "Frau im Mond" is a little bit too pronounced occasionally. While I also like Lang's silent works far better than his later films, it may be that the visuals, striking as they are, sometimes get too much value of their own, masking what is basically a story without too much depth. Just compare this to "M" or indeed "The Testament of Dr.Mabuse". What I miss a little in "Frau im Mond" are the underlying questions and also a more direct awareness of the 'times' that you find in "Testament", and which help to lift the pulp (and "Testament" of course IS also pulo) up to a something significantly going beyond it. "Testament" is even more entertaining on a basic level: "Frau im Mond" literally only lifts off when they leave the planet, the spy/crime yarn of its first hour has been handled much more effectively, without undue lengths, in "Spione" and perhaps even "Die Spinnen".
akaten wrote: I wanted to see the clash of modern and middle age sciences in Metropolis, and damn it, I wanted to see more remnants of ancient Atlantis civilisation on the Moon.
Perhaps you should try his very late 'Indian' films, which cater precisely to the taste for exoticism and over-the-top characters (which I also like). But these are a good example where the visuals fail to mask the utter triviality of the plot and the bad acting.
akaten wrote:I feel the finest complement I can give is to describe Fritz Lang as a film composer in the truest sense of the word and this film offers ample evidence of the huge wealth of talent he possessed, deftly prescient and visually innovative, I came away with a real sense of wonder at what can be achieved cinematically.
Well said, and in this respect "Frau" is just another masterpiece indeed (at least the second half of it). Though it slightly pales compared to "Nibelungen" and "Metropolis" even here.

By the way: the curious hairstyle of the 'evil' guy always struck me as a parody of Hitler's. I don't know whether this was intentional or just my imagination, but if it's the first, well, perhaps there's more to the film than one might think. Just an idea.

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Re: 41 Frau im Mond

#44 Post by eerik » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:44 am

Blu-ray upgrade announced!
Eureka! to release FRAU IM MOND, Fritz Lang's sci-fi odyssey and final silent epic from Fritz Lang, in a Dual Format edition on 25 Aug
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Re: 41 Frau im Mond

#45 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:56 am

Is this for real or a cruel ruse to flood the market with cheap offloads of the DVD?

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Re: 41 Frau im Mond

#46 Post by TMDaines » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:05 am

Awesome! Great to see MoC getting back to doing some silent classics over the last few months. Please continue and throw a few new things our way (the silent Langs you are still yet to release, for example)!

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Re: 41 Frau im Mond

#47 Post by Drucker » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:11 am

Excellent news!

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Re: 41 / BD 91 Frau im Mond

#48 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:05 pm

Keep'em coming

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Re: 41 / BD 91 Frau im Mond

#49 Post by zedz » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:59 pm

I hope they've reconsidered the inclusion of that hilariously terrible 'essay' that establishes that this film was indeed directed by Fritz Lang (I know, I was flabbergasted too) because he consciously chose to make so many elements of the film round, like the portholes on the ship, and the moon itself. I'm very disappointed that we never got to see the triangular moon that was clearly indicated in the script before auteurism reared its ugly head.

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Re: 41 / BD 91 Frau im Mond

#50 Post by swo17 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:35 pm

I know this won't happen, but it would be nice if they could throw some Fischinger shorts on here, maybe wrangle a workprint of Raumlichtkunst out of CVM. [-o<

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