In 1929, F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu,
Faust, Sunrise), one of the greatest of all film directors,
invited leading documentarist Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North,
Man of Aran) to collaborate on a film to be be shot on location in Tahiti, a
Polynesian idyll in which Murnau imagined a cast of island actors would provide
a new form of authentic drama and offer rare insight into their “primitive”
culture. The result of their collaboration was Tabu, a film that depicts the
details of indigenous island life to tell a mythical tale that is rich in the
universal themes of desire and loss.
Theatrical Release: August 1st, 1931
DVD Review: Eureka - The Masters of Cinema Series - Region 0 - PAL
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine # 66 - Region 0 - PAL|
Average Bitrate: 6.77 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
track by R. Dixon Smith and Brad Stevens.
Well, the Masters of Cinema Series just keeps bringing us important films to the DVD medium. In their release of Tabu - A Story of the South Seas, directed by F.W. Murnau, the image quality is not without its expected deficiencies - due to the source of the print. Time, and ineffectual storage, have deteriorated the original quality but the DVD presents the film in an extremely watchable format. There are dust and speckle blemishes as well as some light vertical scratches but I expect the progressive transfer reproduces the restored film experience as adeptly as possible on a dual-layered SD DVD. There may have been some selected brightness boosting to decrease the prominence of the damage marks but it is not so great as to unduly impinge upon viewing.
The film was made in English (although a silent film) and the intertitles appear to be original. They are slightly pictureboxed. It is advertised on the MoC website as 'New Murnau-Stiftung/Luciano Berriat˙a 75th anniversary restoration of the pre-Paramount, longer Murnau-approved version of the film, with uncensored scenes and titlecards for the first time.'
Supplements on the DVD are strong - another good commentary track by R. Dixon Smith and Brad Stevens. Important details are brought up and discussed along with production information. I learned a lot from listening to this commentary track. There is a 15-minute German documentary about Tabu by Luciano Berriat˙a (with optional English subtitles) and another magnificent 80-page liner notes booklet with articles by Scott Eyman, Richard Griffiths, and David Flaherty; an interview with the film’s cinematographer Floyd Crosby; and the original story treatments written by Murnau and Flaherty for Tabu and its aborted predecessor Turia.
It's wonderful to have this film on DVD - a real historical document with the commentary and professional book included. If you are any type of film student or one who enjoys silent cinema - then this package defines itself with its essential value. The Masters of Cinema Series are defining themselves as the Criterion of the UK. Strongly recommend!
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