The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

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Stefan Andersson
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The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#1 Post by Stefan Andersson » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:25 pm

Edgar Reitz is restoring his early films (soon on German DVD) and will then restore Heimat.

A quote from a newsletter on http://www.heimat123.de:

HEIMAT123.de-Newsletter Nr. 106 vom 12.04.2009 - Edgar Reitz arbeitet an der Restauration von HEIMAT

Wie ich bei einem Besuch in Woppenroth anlässlich eines Treffens mit einigen HEIMAT-Verbundenen aus zuverlässiger Quelle erfahren konnte, arbeitet Edgar Reitz mit seinem Team derzeit an der digitalen Aufarbeitung von HEIMAT. Nach Abschluss der Restaurierung des Frühwerks können somit die vorhandenen Kapazitäten weiter genutzt werden, um die HEIMAT-Trilogie für künftige Generationen in (nach heutigem technischen Stand) optimaler Qualität erhalten zu können. Über das aufwendige Verfahren hatte Reitz bereits im Begleitschreiben zur Ausgabe des Frühwerks am 20.3. (einzusehen auf der News-Seite von http://www.heimat123.de) berichtet. Bis zur Veröffentlichung des Ergebnisses werden sicher noch zwei Jahre vergehen.

(The writer visited the German town Woppenroth and learnt from a fellow Heimat fan (I think) of Reitz restoring his early films (frühwerk) and then planning a two-year digital restoration of Heimat.)

I´m posting news on early Reitz on German DVD in the appropriate forum.

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#2 Post by aox » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:29 pm

really wanting to see these films. I hear they are a good companion (or superior) to Haneke's The White Ribbon. Maybe I will hold off.

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#3 Post by bigP » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:14 pm

I've had these sitting in my room (The first two Chronicles via Tartan the third from Artificial Eye) for almost two years now. They look absolutely fantastic in their respective packages but, oh boy, I just feel so overwhelmed with the thought of when to start watching them (clocking in as a complete series at just under 52 hours). From what I gather, the Tartan releases are fairly good overall in terms of picture and audio quality and there is a lovely 82 page book accompanying the first Heimat and a 62 page book for Heimat 2: Chronicle of a Generation but Artificial Eye's Heimat 3: A Chronicle of Endings and Beginnings is fairly superior all around with decent picture and audio, as well as a documentary, an interview with Edgar Reitz and an accompanying book.

I haven't read before about a companionship with The White Ribbon, so you may have just given me the incentive!

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#4 Post by zedz » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:22 pm

The original Heimat does indeed have an affinity with the Haneke, but it's almost unimaginably more ambitious: one of the great German films of any period. If you have it lying around, just dive in. The Tartan set seems fine to me, but you need to mentally adjust for the loss of grain and detail. A big part of the texture of the film comes from its juxtaposition of a range of different film stocks and processes (and the way in which the shifting textures from scene to scene evoke the shadings of memory). As with Berlin Alexanderplatz it's a TV series which really needs to be seen on the big screen to get its full impact. On DVD, these textural subtleties often get flattened out to black-and-white vs. colour. As such, this would be a fantastic candidate for BluRay.

And, mea culpa, I've had 2 and 3 sitting around for a couple of years awaiting the 'right time' but in my defense I'll cite The Second Heimat's 26 hour duration as much more daunting than the first series' 15!

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#5 Post by Stefan Andersson » Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:20 am

Is HEIMAT 1 still on sale anywhere online outside eBay?

For a nice Reitz interview (he had to cut H3 to 11 hours due to financing difficulties), go here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film ... ld-be.html

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#6 Post by accatone » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:23 am

Interestingly there will be a new/re-release of the complete films in march:
http://www.arthaus.de/die_heimat_trilogie-gesamtedition
for a reasonable price at 85€. (Compared to the 3 single editions its a bargain). Do they somehow want to "throw out" the SDVD (with a "sell-out" price point) before going HD or does it say that there will not be a HD version of this in the near future? Anyway, its a great show but can only be compared to Das weiße Band in the broadest sense…actually, no! it can not be compared to the Haneke film. (i mean it could…but i would not expect much from this comparison…urghh).

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#7 Post by bigP » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:08 pm

zedz wrote:The original Heimat does indeed have an affinity with the Haneke, but it's almost unimaginably more ambitious: one of the great German films of any period. If you have it lying around, just dive in. The Tartan set seems fine to me, but you need to mentally adjust for the loss of grain and detail. A big part of the texture of the film comes from its juxtaposition of a range of different film stocks and processes (and the way in which the shifting textures from scene to scene evoke the shadings of memory). As with Berlin Alexanderplatz it's a TV series which really needs to be seen on the big screen to get its full impact.


Thanks for the info zedz. Personally, I'd love to see a section of the the saga up on the big screen, and in light of Heimat undergoing a new restoration, i'm wondering if this might actually become a feasible notion?! From the point of view of finding the urge to watch the DVDs, seeing the first (episode? film?) theatrically and with a pristine transfer would certainly put me in the spirit to get the ball rolling.

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#8 Post by Stefan Andersson » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:01 pm

Now I hear the Heimat restoration is not fully financed yet.

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#9 Post by MichaelB » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:46 am

zedz wrote:As with Berlin Alexanderplatz it's a TV series which really needs to be seen on the big screen to get its full impact. On DVD, these textural subtleties often get flattened out to black-and-white vs. colour. As such, this would be a fantastic candidate for BluRay.


Yes, I can absolutely endorse this - I saw the first four hours on the big screen on its original theatrical release, and have never forgotten it. Sadly, scheduling issues (it didn't run for long, and the four big-screen parts clearly had to be watched in order) meant that I had to wait for the rest on BBC2, but it was clearly made with theatrical projection in mind.

And, mea culpa, I've had 2 and 3 sitting around for a couple of years awaiting the 'right time' but in my defense I'll cite The Second Heimat's 26 hour duration as much more daunting than the first series' 15!


I sympathise - I've had an off-air VHS copy of 2 for nigh-on twenty years and the DVD box, and I still haven't started on it. However, it has at least been watched - I was only too happy to lend it to a curious friend last year (who loved it - part 2 was her favourite of the three).

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#10 Post by GaryC » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:31 pm

Ha! I've sat through Heimat 1 & 2 twice each - first on serialised TV broadcast then the Tartan DVD releases, which I reviewed for DVD Times. I've only seen Heimat 3 once though, but that was in the cinema, the only one of the three I've seen there.

I would have loved to have seen the first Heimat in the cinema but I'd just started University, so no chance.

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#11 Post by Erikht » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:01 am

What about the Second Sight edition of Heimat? Will it be worth the outlay, will or will Tartan or Artifical Eye releases be better?

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#12 Post by GaryC » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:26 am

The BBFC have just passed a 146-minute extra, "Heimat Fragments-The Women", which wasn't on the Tartan release.

Second Sight are only releasing Heimats 1 and 2. As far as I know, Heimat 3 will continue to be distributed by Artificial Eye.

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#13 Post by Stefan Andersson » Fri May 04, 2012 7:08 am

35mm resto of Heimat 1 underway. Read more in English: http://www.kulturstiftung-des-bundes.de ... reitz.html

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#14 Post by tomN245 » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:35 pm

(sorry for resurrecting the thread)

I'm just wandering what the difference is between the dvd editions of the films.

I just bought the red box of Heimat 2 (Tartan release), but was surprised to see it not in a digipack, but in seven (or so) thin cases and a book instead. Is the layout the only difference?

Is there any differences (quality, extra features etc) between the Tartan releases of Heimat 1 and 2, and the green/blue Second Sight DVD boxsets?

What about the two different editions of Heimat 3? They're both Arteficial Eye, but one seems to be a be OOP. Any differences?

The last question is can I watch Heimat 2 before Heimat 1?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Heimat (1984) restoration?

#15 Post by swo17 » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:49 pm

I'm pretty sure that for at least Heimat 1, the Second Sight discs are direct ports of the Tartan ones.

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Re: The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#16 Post by zedz » Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:23 pm

The first two Heimats are quite distinct - The second isn't even a sequel in the way we normally understand the term (but I can't say more without spoiling both films). So it's perfectly freestanding. However, the second will definitely be richer if you've seen the first (and it's one of the greatest films ever made, so you might as well see it at its best!)

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Re: The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#17 Post by GaryC » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:43 am

zedz wrote:The first two Heimats are quite distinct - The second isn't even a sequel in the way we normally understand the term (but I can't say more without spoiling both films). So it's perfectly freestanding. However, the second will definitely be richer if you've seen the first (and it's one of the greatest films ever made, so you might as well see it at its best!)
Heimat 2 is an "interquel" - a word I didn't make up. Chronologically it takes place between episodes 9 and 11 of the original series.

Die andere Heimat: Chronik einer Sehnsucht came out in German cinemas last year. Does anyone know of any plans to release it elsewhere? Agreed it's four hours long, but that's not insurmountable. I'd have thought that someone (Artificial Eye?) would release it in the UK, but it's all gone very quiet.

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Re: The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#18 Post by Stefan Andersson » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:20 am

News about Die andere Heimat: Chronik einer Sehnsucht on upcoming AE Blu:
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Home-from ... ay/109395/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#19 Post by GaryC » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:12 pm

Thanks! I've done another search and AE (or rather Curzon Film World) are giving it a cinema release on 24 October, so the Blu and DVD are only a month and a half later. That cinema release date leads me to suspect it will get a London Film Festival showing.

I feel a rewatch of Heimat 3 coming on...and a first watch of Heimat Fragments: The Women!

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The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#20 Post by zedz » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:50 pm

GaryC wrote: Heimat 2 is an "interquel" - a word I didn't make up. Chronologically it takes place between episodes 9 and 11 of the original series.
SpoilerShow
Except that what happens during that period in Die zweite Heimat doesn't happen in Heimat. It's an alternative history. The third film attempts to reconcile the two versions of the characters.
It's complicated.

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Re: The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#21 Post by tomN245 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:43 pm

Thanks guys. I'll pick up the Tartan Heimat 1 and watch it before Heimat 2.

:D :D :D :D

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Re: The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#22 Post by Stefan Andersson » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:18 am

Restored Heimat (1984), the theatrical version, showing at the Fünf Seen (Five Seas) film festival:
http://fsff.de/home/cm/fff-2015-sektion ... ronik.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

See also:
http://heimat.edgar-reitz.com/index.php ... remastered" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - info about resto work
http://www.openpr.de/news/863635/Ein-en ... r-Ort.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.trier-reporter.de/die-simons ... tal-trier/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - according to this news story, the full 11-part TV version has been restored
http://www.abendzeitung-muenchen.de/inh ... 34d3d.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://forum.cinefacts.de/239552-digita ... 015-a.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - mention of a 2K resto (2011-2014), two-channel mono sound, Blu release planned

For news about all things Reitz and Heimat, go here: http://www.heimat123.de/news.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
For recent news about the resto, scroll down to various items
For interesting essays in English (pdf format) about the Heimat films, scroll down to June 4, 2015

All other links in German.

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Re: The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#23 Post by GaryC » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:50 am

Funnily enough, after watching Home from Home and Heimat Fragments: The Women earlier this year, I've started rewatching the first series from the original Tartan DVD review copy I had. I've just watched Episode 5. Once that's done, I'm planning to rewatch the second and third series from the DVD review checkdiscs. This will be my third viewing for Heimats 1 and 2 and my second for Heimat 3 (which is the only one of the three I saw in a cinema).

Questions, if anyone knows. The series were shot in 35mm but was that in 24fps or 25fps, given the television origins? As per the BBFC site, the cinema and DVD running times for the first Heimat match.

I've only seen the series in its eleven-part TV serial form. I do know that Heimat was shown in its UK cinema run in four parts, which if they followed the TV episode divisions were I suspect episodes 1-3 (four and a half hours), 4-7 (four hours), 8-9 (four hours) and 10-11 (three hours). I do wonder if the recaps with Glasisch going through old photos at the start of episodes 2-11 were in the cinema version, also the credits sequences at the end of each episode. The recaps come in at around three minutes each so if they and most of the end credits sequences were left out of the cinema version 37 minutes or thereabouts would be what you'd expect to be the difference in running time between a cinema showing at 24fps and a PAL television/DVD one at 25fps.

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Re: The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#24 Post by Stefan Andersson » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:54 am

Found a rundown of the seven-part theatrical version of Heimat, including running times:
http://heimat.edgar-reitz.com/images/ablaufplan.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Haven´t found any detailed online info about the differences between the theatrical and TV versions. I assume comments about the differences could perhaps be forthcoming in German-language festival reports and articles following these recent showings.

Here is another news story:
http://www.rhein-zeitung.de/region/loka ... bopwmww-70" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
- mention of the 11-part TV series being shown, in digital format, in Mainz in early 2015 - I assume in restored form
- brief mention of different flow, editing ("andere Montage") and chapter headings for the theatrical version

Press kit for the Mainz showing, with interview about the resto:
http://www.heimat-fanpage.de/images/heimatmainz.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
- the restoration has been made in 4K from the 35mm original negative, hitherto not edited. As a guide for the editing of the O-neg, old theatrical prints were used as a source for info about the length of individual sequences.
- Old theatrical prints and video tapes for TV broadcast no longer usable for showings
- Most of the original colour has been restored. See page 6 in the PDF file for a side by side comparison of the original video tape, unrestored O-neg and restored O-neg.

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Re: The Heimat Saga (Edgar Reitz, 1984-2013)

#25 Post by zedz » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:00 pm

Stefan Andersson wrote:Found a rundown of the seven-part theatrical version of Heimat, including running times:
http://heimat.edgar-reitz.com/images/ablaufplan.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Haven´t found any detailed online info about the differences between the theatrical and TV versions. I assume comments about the differences could perhaps be forthcoming in German-language festival reports and articles following these recent showings.
I saw Heimat theatrically back in the 80s, and it was identical to the TV version, even down to the inclusion of each episode's opening and closing credits (assuming that the TV version is what I later saw on DVD). Some 'blocks' of the theatrical screening (which took place over two days) consisted of more than one episode. All of those chapter divisions are structurally and conceptually important: the series doesn't create mini-cliffhangers or follow on directly from episode to episode, but constructs each episode as a film of its own.

The main difference - and it's a biggie - is that what Reitz is doing with all the different filmstocks and processing decisions is much more apparent on the big screen. On TV / DVD, it's hard to perceive those subtleties beyond the obvious colour / black and white differentiation. On film, that textural vocabulary expands to a dozen or more variations.

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