Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz to be out on DVD in 2007

User avatar
Jeff T.
Posts: 421
Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:28 am
Location: Blueberry Hill

Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz to be out on DVD in 2007

Postby Jeff T. » Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:39 am

This rare film had a VHS issue in 1982 on MGM Home Video. The 15 1/2 hour film went out of print fairly quickly. Last year I did a set DVD-Rs from the old OOP set of video tapes (rental copies I found). Now that the (my) work is all done, here comes news of a legit DVD release.

Info about the original movie, and an article about the restoration.

http://www.time.com/time/2005/100movies ... tz,00.html

This film, which is basically the longest narrative film ever made, is a 15-1/2 hour episodic exploration of the character of Franz Biberkopf, "hero" of Alfred Döblin's acclaimed novel, as well as the Alexanderplatz area of Berlin that he inhabits.

Here is the story from the 9/8 issue of Daily Variety:

"Berlin bound for digital facelift
Fassbinder's magnum opus gets digital restoration


BERLIN -- The Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation and Bavaria Media have teamed up to digitally restore the late German director's classic "Berlin Alexanderplatz" for an upcoming theatrical and DVD release.
Made for TV in 1980, the 14-part, 15½-hour miniseries was produced by Bavaria Film for regional pubcaster WDR and is widely regarded as Fassbinder's magnum opus.

Based on the novel by Alfred Doeblin, the series chronicles the life of Franz Biberkopf, an ex-con living in 1920s Berlin and trying unsuccessfully to straighten himself out. The series split the nation when it aired on TV here with its dark, gritty and unforgiving portrayal of the hardships of life.

Overseeing the restoration will be the production's original director of photography Xaver Schwarzenberger; Dieter Minx, who served as production manager of the series; and Juliane Lorenz, the pic's editor and current president of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation.

Backing the ambitious project are cultural subsidy and promotional orgs Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the Filmstiftung NRW, the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and German Films, with the support of the Museum of Modern Art New York and the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation.

Post-production specialists Arri and Cinepostproduction are carrying out the digital remastering of the series using 2K scan procedure and digital frame-by-frame retouching to ready "Berlin Alexanderplatz" for its DVD and high- def distribution as well as for special festival and event screenings.

The restoration process will be finished in early 2007, marking the 25th anniversary of Fassbinder's death. (The filmmaker died on June 10, 1982, of a drug overdose.)

Bavaria Film Intl. is handling international distribution of the film."

http://www.variety.com/article/VR111794 ... anderplatz

User avatar
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:51 pm

Postby dudelsack » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:57 am

15 and a half hours sounds long, but reading that book (even in English translation) would probably take longer. It's dense.

Alexanderplatz is like the "Five Points" area of New York: a historically gritty and mean slum of slums. And both are thankfully chronicled in pictures/literature, as they've been bulldozed (or bombed, heh) and replaced by a bunch of ugly buildings.

Though they're doing a lovely restoration of some of the remaining 1930s buildings at Alex.

User avatar
Posts: 946
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:24 pm
Location: North America

Postby MK » Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:25 am

Yeah, everytime I tell someone about it, they get turned off by the 15 1/2 hour remark, but it was a television mini-series, broken up (for the most part) into hour long segments...I mean, c'mon, if you told someone "Hey, season one of 24 is awesome," they don't moan, "Aw shit, you want me to watch TWENTY-FOUR HOURS of TV?????"
"When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war." – Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Neither slave nor tyrant." - Basque motto