British distributors Eureka Entertainment have officially announced and detailed their upcoming Blu-ray release of director Fritz Lang's five-hour epic Die Nibelungen (1924). The release will be available for purchase online and in shops across the United Kingdom on October 29th.
Perhaps the most stately of Fritz Lang's two-part epics, the five-hour Die Nibelungen is a courageous and hallucinatory work. Its extraordinary set-pieces, archetypal themes, and unrestrained ambition have proved an inspiration for nearly every fantasy cycle that has emerged on-screen since – from Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings.
In Part One, Siegfried, the film's eponymous hero acquires the power of invincibility after slaying a dragon and bathing in the creature's blood. Later, an alliance through marriage between the hero and the royal clan of the Nibelungen turns treacherous, with Siegfried's sole weakness exploited. In Part Two, Kriemhilds Rache [Kriemhild's Revenge], Siegfried's widow travels to the remote land of the Huns to wed the monstrous Attila, and thereby enlist his forces in an act of vengeance that culminates in massacre, conflagration, and, under the auspices of Lang, one of the most exhilarating and terrifying end-sequences in all of cinema.
Long-awaited expert HD restoration by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Germany
Immaculately presented in the film's original frame rates and aspect ratio, in 1080p on the Blu-ray
Newly translated optional English subtitles for the original German intertitles
An hour-long documentary: The Heritage of Die Nibelungen
Illustrated booklet featuring the words of Lang, rare archival imagery, and more
Further details to be announced nearer the release date!
I'm a big fan of the music... and note the influences of the story in modern and less-modern fantasy epics... If this doesn't get a US release, I would love to import if it is compatible with US players.
Have heard of some folk getting UK imports that were in frame rates that US players couldn't handle.
Because most pre-talkies are still presented in 24 fps instead of their original 16/18/etc. Since Blu-ray can't run slower than 24, speed correction (if any) needs either some elaborate form of frame duplication (Coeur FidÃ¨le comes to mind), or lossy frame blending.
It's a special feature only because most other studios don't bother fixing frame rate.
Kino is releasing this in the US. Judging by history, I imagine the only difference will be that the intertitles will be translated to English and there will not be an option for the original German intertitles and for me, that is a deal breaker. Had I had region-free capability at the time, I would've never bought Kino's version of Metropolis for this very reason.
I saw this in Los Angeles, all 5 hours At the American Cinematheque several years ago. It was a German print so the English intertitles had to be projected on a screen next to the main screen, I love a challenge!