Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2015

Retrospective & Homage

Dec 19, 2014:
Berlinale Classics: Three German Films to Celebrate World Premieres of Digitally Restored Versions

During the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, Berlinale Classics will be presenting the new digital versions of a first-rate selection of films. The series will be showing rediscovered films in brilliant picture and sound quality, as well as film classics whose elaborate restorations are sure to delight audiences all over again. So far three German films have been confirmed for the upcoming edition of the festival and all three are screening as world premieres. The complete Classics programme will be announced in mid-January.

Warwick Ward and Lya de Putti in Varieté by E. A. Dupont

Varieté (1925) by director E. A. Dupont is a German film classic from the silent film era, a crime of passion set in the circus milieu. In the lead is Emil Jannings, who was later to become the world’s first winner of an Oscar. The digital restoration of the film is being made in 2014/15 by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, in collaboration with the Filmarchiv Austria. The starting material consisted of a nitrate print from the Library of Congress in Washington and a nitrate print from the Filmarchiv Austria. The restored version will present the almost complete cut of the film for the first time again.
Martyn Jacques, artistic director of the band The Tiger Lillies, has composed a new score for the film. As he says: “For us the music we have made is very much from the heart. It is our circus music for a wonderful film.” The Tiger Lillies will provide the live accompaniment of the world premiere of the digitally restored version, which will be realised in cooperation with the film production and distribution company NFP*.

In Jahrgang 45 (Born in ’45) director Jürgen Böttcher takes a look at young people’s lives in the Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg in the 1960s. It is the only fictional film made by this documentary filmmaker, and was the last and most unusual in what became known as the DEFA “Plenum films”. The 11th Plenum of the Central Committee of the SED (United Socialist Party of Germany), which in 2015 will have convened 50 years ago, led to the most far-reaching ban on film in the history of German cinema: in 1965/66 twelve fictional DEFA features were banned, which meant almost an entire year’s production. Work on Jahrgang 45 was halted in 1966, somewhere between the rough and final cut of the film, and shelved. First screened in 1990, it was not until after its showing that the film was completed based on the original negative; the sound had to be resynchronised afterwards. Director of photography Roland Graf has contributed significantly to the digital restoration, which began in 2014 and will be concluded in 2015 by the DEFA Foundation in a 4K workflow.

In 1968, in her debut fictional feature, 9 Leben hat die Katze (The Cat Has Nine Lives), Ula Stöckl captured the attention of the international film world, and participated in many film festivals. Her film revolves around five women and focuses on the question of whether, and to what extent, the emancipation of women can succeed in a male dominated society. It is considered a landmark work of feminist cinema in Germany. Originally shot in Techniscope and printed in Technicolor’s dye transfer process, the film has been digitally restored based on the original negative by the Deutsche Kinemathek. A Technicolor print preserved by the Munich Film Museum served as reference for the digital colour grading.

“Two of the films we will be showing were processed as part of the BKM’s (the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media’s) offensive to digitise films,” says a pleased Rainer Rother, head of the Retrospective and artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen. In addition, Berlinale Classics will present a panel discussion on ”Digitising Film Heritage in the Future”.

Special event:
Berlinale Classics: Digitising Film Heritage in the Future”
Thursday, Feb 12, 2015, 6.00 pm
Deutsche Kinemathek, Event Room, 4th floor
Panel discussion with Claudia Dillmann, Ralf Schenk, Ernst Szebedits and Rainer Rother

Germany 1925
Directed by Ewald André Dupont
Friday, Feb 6, 2015, 7.00 pm, Haus der Berliner Festspiele
World premiere of the digitally restored version in 2K DCP
Music and performance: The Tiger Lillies

Jahrgang 45
GDR 1966
Directed and presented by Jürgen Böttcher
World premiere of the digitally restored version in 4K DCP

9 Leben hat die Katze
FRG 1968
Directed and presented by Ula Stöckl
World premiere of the digitally restored version in 2K DCP

Press Office
December 19, 2014

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