The Sunday Intertitle: Tomorrow Belongs to Me

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Got some complimentary copies of CALIGARI in the post from the good people at Masters of Cinema. I’ve contributed a video essay to this one, and David Kalat has recorded a commentary track. His MABUSE tracks are among the finest commentaries out there, and this is well up to standard. I was intrigued to discover that we were both offering alternative readings of the film which intersect at various points. While mine is along the lines of a crackpot theory, inspired a little  by MULHOLLAND DRIVE, Mr. Kalat simply dispels the clouds of intrigue and confusion whipped up by the Krakauer-Janowitz account of the film’s making and meaning. Interestingly, while that yarn has been largely discredited for some time, it has still had an influence on how people see the film.

As mentioned before, the restoration makes the movie look like new, and suddenly, being able to see the facial expressions clearly, you get a whole new kind of emotional involvement too.

I have one spare copy — maybe I’ll offer it as a prize in the next Shadowplay Impossible Film Quiz?

If you can’t wait: Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (Masters of Cinema) (DUAL FORMAT Edition) [Blu-ray]

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5 Responses to “The Sunday Intertitle: Tomorrow Belongs to Me”

  1. I have no hope of ever winning that quiz, so I don’t regret having ordered this from MoC. Your move, Royal Mail.

    I saw it on the big big Castro Theater screen last weekend. Remarkable. You can see the sets in depth as never before, but you also get a sense of their materiality. (In one scene you see a little puff of dust rise in a corner.) The faces were the most startling element to me; you really did feel like you were seeing a new film, and looking at — living human faces. Wow, a person!

    I’m seeing the Kracauer-Janowitz account, or variations of it, offerred in reviews of this very release. Poor Robert Wiene, BLAMED for his masterpiece. I think his marginalization long preceded the Kracauer book, as Conrad Veidt made a comment (in the 30s, I think) to the effect that everyone was given credit for Caligari except the director.

  2. And at that time poor Wiene was schlepping the idea of a remake or sequel around Europe. It was the only thing he was remembered for, but he wasn’t really remembered for it.

    http://zauberklang.ch/filmcolors/timeline-entry/1216/#Das_Cabinet_des_Dr._Caligari_%281919%29 Frames!

    Next, I’d like pristine copies of Genuine and Raskolnikov, please…

  3. Yes, and Cocteau had supposedly agreed to play Cesare! Connie having wisely turned down the reprise.

  4. Really hoping this plays on the big screen in Seattle. Pretty please? (Still haven’t seen anything else by Wiene except bits of Genuine.)

  5. Next, I need to se some of Wiene’s non-expressionist work, which is highly regarded (by the few who have seen it).

    Cocteau as Cesar is a weird one. Although a Cocteau influence on the filmmaking would be delirious!

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