Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2018

Retrospective & Homage

Jan 16, 2018:
Berlinale Classics 2018: Seven Restorations to Celebrate Their World Premieres

The Berlinale Classics section of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival will present the world premieres of a total of seven films in digitally restored versions.

Der Himmel über Berlin by Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders’ prize-winning classic Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire, Federal Republic of Germany / France 1987) returns to the screen in a new, digitally restored 4K DCP version. Two guardian angels keep watch over Berlin, until one of them falls in love with a mortal woman. He chooses to become human, giving up his immortality, and an entirely new world is revealed to him. The film was shot on both black-and-white and colour stock. At the time, that required several additional steps in the lab in order to produce a final colour negative, which was several generations removed from the camera negatives. This version, restored by the Wim Wenders Foundation, is based on the original negatives; STUDIOCANAL will be releasing it in German cinemas in the near future.

Az én XX. századom by Ildikó Enyedi

Az én XX. századom (My 20th Century, Hungary / Federal Republic of Germany 1989), the feature debut of the winner of the 2017 Golden Bear, Ildikó Enyedi, is a complex, poetic fairy tale, and an homage to silent movies. Shot in black-and-white, the film follows the very different live of identical twins in Old Europe at the dawn of the 20th century. Using the original camera negative and the magnetic sound track, the film was digitally restored in 4K by the Hungarian National Film Fund – Hungarian National Film Archive, working with Hungarian Filmlab. Cinematographer Tibor Máthé (HSC - Hungarian Society of Cinematographers) supervised the digital grading.

Fail Safe by Sidney Lumet

Sidney Lumet’s thriller Fail Safe (USA 1964) is an impressive critique of the Cold War military doctrine. When an errant U.S. bomber threatens to destroy Moscow, the president calls the Soviet premier on the red phone to try to prevent a retaliatory nuclear strike. The film was restored in 4K under the aegis of Sony Pictures Entertainment and its head of restoration, Grover Crisp. The incomplete camera negative was supplemented with the use of a duplicate negative. Conforming the various different source materials presented a special challenge to the restoration team.

Letjat schurawli by Michail Kalatosow

Letyat Zhuravli (The Cranes Are Flying, USSR 1957) by Mikhail Kalatozov was Soviet cinema’s first international hit after World War II. Made during the period of liberalisation that followed Joseph Stalin’s death, this unusual black-and-white film’s expressionist images tell the tragic story of two lovers after Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union. The film brought international fame to Mikhail Kalatozov and his lead actress, Tatiana Samoilova. Letyat Zhuravli was restored by Mosfilm under the leadership of general director Karen Shakhnazarov. The ditigal 2K restoration, on the basis of the original negative, was supervised by the head of restoration Igor Bogdasarov.

HaChayim Al-Pi Agfa by Assi Dayan

Director Assi Dayan was lauded by the International Jury of the Berlinale in 1993 for the courage and honesty of his HaChayim Al-Pi Agfa (Life According to Agfa, Israel 1992). The film revolves around a Tel Aviv bar, where a world of bohemians, business people, junkies, tourists, pimps, and soldiers all meet. The events of a single night, captured in black-and-white photos, are a microcosm of a society that considers itself liberal and tolerant, but in which seemingly trivial actions can become explosive. The 4K restoration was produced by the Jerusalem Cinematheque – Israel Film Archive, where the negative was scanned. It was supervised by cinematographer Yoav Kosh and supported by the Israel Film Fund.

Tokyo Boshoku by Yasujiro Ozu

With Tokyo Boshoku (Tokyo Twilight, Japan 1957), Berlinale Classics will provide a rare opportunity to see a largely unknown and seldom shown work by Yasujiro Ozu. The theme of the end of a family living together is one that Japanese directing maestro Yasujiro Ozu often reworks, and here he has given it a dramatic twist. In wintery Tokyo, a family's silence leads to its breakdown. Tokyo Boshoku, considered Ozu’s most sombre post-war film, was digitally restored in 4K on the basis of the 35mm duplicate negative provided by the Japanese production company Shochiku, managed by Shochiku MediaWorX Inc. Colour correction was led by Ozu’s former assistant cameraman Takashi Kawamata and cinematographer Masashi Chikamori.

Das alte Gesetz by E.A. Dupont

The Berlinale Classics section will open on February 16, 2018, at 5 pm in the Friedrichstadt-Palast with the premiere of the Deutsche Kinemathek's digital restoration of the 1923 silent film classic Das alte Gesetz (The Ancient Law) directed by E.A. Dupont (see press release of December 5, 2017). ZDF/ARTE commissioned French composer Philippe Schoeller to create new music for this version, which will be presented by the Orchester Jakobsplatz München with Daniel Grossmann at the podium.

The full programme of the Berlinale Classics section:

Das alte Gesetz (The Ancient Law)
Dir: Ewald André Dupont, Germany, 1923
World premiere of the digitally restored version
in 2K DCP

Az én XX. századom (My 20th Century)
Dir: Ildikó Enyedi, Hungary / Federal Republic of Germany, 1989
Presented by Ildikó Enyedi and Tibor Máthé
World premiere of the digitally restored version
in 4K DCP

Fail Safe
Dir: Sidney Lumet, USA, 1964
World premiere of the digitally restored version
in 4K DCP

HaChayim Al-Pi Agfa (Life According To Agfa)
Dir: Assi Dayan, Israel, 1992
World premiere of the digitally restored version
in 4K DCP

Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire)
Dir: Wim Wenders, Germany / France, 1987
Presented by Wim Wenders
World premiere of the digitally restored version
in 4K DCP

Letyat Zhuravli (The Cranes are Flying)
Dir: Mikhail Kalatozov, USSR, 1957
World premiere of the digitally restored version
in 2K DCP

Tokyo Boshoku (Tokyo Twilight)
Dir: Yasujiro Ozu, Japan, 1957
Presented by Wim Wenders
World premiere of the digitally restored version
in 4K DCP

Press Office
January 16, 2018

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