(aka "Hitler, a Film from Germany" or "Our Hitler" or "Hitler, un film d'Allemagne")

 

directed by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg
Germany 1978

 

The film tries to be everything. Syberberg's unprecedented ambition in Hitler, a Film from Germany is on another scale from anything one has seen on film. It is work that demands a special kind of attention and partisanship; and invites being reflected upon, reseen. The more one recognizes of its stylistic references and lore, the more the film vibrates. (Great art in the mode of pastiche invariably rewards study, as Joyce affirmed by daring to observe that the ideal reader of his work would be someone who could devote his life to it.) Syberberg's film belongs in the category of noble masterpieces which ask for fealty and can compel it. After seeing Hitler, a Film from Germany, there is Syberberg's film - and then there are the other films one admires. (Not too many these days, alas.) As we said ruefully of Wagner, he spoils our tolerance for the others.

Excerpts from Susan Sontag's Essay in Under the Sign of Saturn

Poster

Theatrical Release: June 7th, 1978

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DVD Review: Filmgalerie 451 - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution

Filmgalerie 451

Region 0 - NTSC

There is a Region 1 - NTSC edition from FACETS released December 11th, 2007:

           

Runtime 6:49:38
Video

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.41 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio German, English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English
Features Release Information:
Studio: Filmgalerie 451

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.37:1

Edition Details:
• Extracts from the film Premiere in New York

DVD Release Date: June 8th, 2007
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Chapters 79

 

Comments:

NOTE: This German sold disc is in fact NTSC (and has English subtitles).

The German independent producer Filmgalerie 451 have put together a Syberberg-authorized special anniversary edition of "Hitler, a Film from Germany". What we get are two dual-layered discs, featuring two episodes each.

Hans-Jürgen Syberberg himself spend years transferring this monumental film to the digital medium, a process that one could follow on his daily-updated website (www.syberberg.de). Still, the image isn't perfect. While contrast and colors are very good, the image is sometimes a little soft. There are also some reel change marks that remain in the frame. But fortunately, the DVD is completely free of any ghosting, combing or obtrusive grain.

The 2.0 transfer does its job very well. On this disc, the viewer can choose between the original German and English version. The latter one's dialogues/monologues are in German (with very good, optional English subtitles), whereas the voice-over narration has been dubbed into English. There are some pops in the soundtrack once in a while, but that probably has to do with the source material and the historical records Syberberg uses.

To my great surprise we even get bonus material. I was very happy to see these extracts from a film called "Premiere in New York", directed by Jörg Bundschuh and Christian Bauer. Here we see about 20 minutes of footage shot in New York, where director Syberberg, US distributor Francis Ford Coppola as well as the critics Susan Sontag, Andrew Sarris and John Simon are being interviewed. It is a very nice and informative piece of accompaniment that I'm very thankful for.

It is difficult to find the appropriate words for a film as overwhelming as this one (Susan Sontag did, in her above-quoted essay). Needless to say, this DVD is an absolutely essential one. It's not only approved by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg and completely uncut but even region-free and NTSC encoded. Filmgalerie 451 deserves a lot of acclaim for bringing this masterpiece to the digital medium.

 - Stan Czarnecki

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Filmgalerie 451

Region 0 - NTSC

There is a Region 1- NTSC edition from FACETS released December 11th, 2007:

           




 

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