It’s become something of a tradition for Hope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second to cover the digital unveiling of the latest Masters Of Cinema titles, and this quarter makes for no exception. So, what does the upcoming season have in store for us? We’re perhaps most excited to see The Passion Of Joan Of Arc make an earlier appearance than initially scheduled, while it’s something of a relief to see the long-in-the-pipeline Die Nibelungen finally in sight. Elsewhere its a veritable minefield of fantastic discs and titles.
Die Nibelungen – Finally! Five years on from it’s initial announcement Fritz Lang’s epic has a release date! The already legendary years-in-the-making restoration from Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung carries the disc, while we await with baited breath what supplementary material will feature on the disc(s). No less than two 50-gigabyte Blu-ray discs is necessary to hold Lang’s monumental work. There’s a fantastic article on the film(s) here.
Park Row – Sam Fuller’s media odyssey sees the maverick filmmaker make his first appearance in the series. We’re unfamiliar with the film, but eager to know more. DVD-only but approved by Fuller’s widow. Check out this lengthy piece on the film over at Sense Of Cinema.
Trouble In Paradise – Again, DVD-only, but the last one of 2012, is Ernst Lubitsch’s best known feature and one of the great romantic comedies. Lubitsch is a filmmaker with whom we’re woefully unfamiliar, but are keen to seek out more. A nice piece on Trouble In Paradise can be found here.
The Passion Of Joan Of Arc – As mentioned above, Carl Th. Dreyer’s best known feature makes an earlier than expected appearance in the series (We’re fairly sure it was mooted for 2013). Needless to say, we’re quaking with excitement. Not only is this the films first release in the UK since VHS, it also marks the films first appearance on Blu-ray anywhere in the world. The disc features an exclusive restoration of the film (a first for the series, we think), and holds the film in both 20 fps and 24 fps variations and includes the famous La Doca cut of the film. For more on the different versions of The Passion Of Joan Of Arc click here.
Floating Weeds – Ozu makes his series bow with an A-list title from the prolific filmmakers oeuvre. We’re actually quite surprised to see the Japanese filmmaker making an appearance in the Eureka imprint, given the close relationship between the BFI and the directors estate. Donald Richie on Floating Weeds.
Gate Of Hell – A second Japanese title rounds out the end of 2012, with Teinosuke Kinugasa’s Gate Of Hell, a tale of ” feudal intrigue, political machinations, and erotic obsession” according to the MoC guys. We haven’t seen it, so can’t say anymore, but here’s a nice article on the film over at Midnight Eye. Interesting side note – couple of years ago Martin Scorsese listed the 10 greatest ever colour films, and Gate Of Hell made the cut. Check out the full list here.
Check out the complete Masters Of Cinema collection online at MastersOfCinema.org.