(aka "Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey" or L'Étrange aventure de David Gray" or "Adventures of David Gray" or "Castle of Doom" or "Not Against the Flesh" or "The Strange Adventure of David Gray" or "The Vampire")

France / Germany 1932

 

The first sound-film by one of the greatest of all filmmakers, Vampyr offers a sensual immediacy that few, if any, works of cinema can claim to match. Legendary director Carl Theodor Dreyer leads the viewer, as though guided in a trance, through a realm akin to a waking-dream, a zone positioned somewhere between reality and the supernatural.

Traveller Allan Gray (arrestingly depicted by Julian West, aka the secretive real-life Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg) arrives at a countryside inn seemingly beckoned by haunted forces. His growing acquaintance with the family who reside there soon opens up a network of uncanny associations between the dead and the living, of ghostly lore and demonology, which pull Gray ever deeper into an unsettling, and upsetting, mystery. At its core: troubled Gisèle, chaste daughter and sexual incarnation, portrayed by the great, cursed Sybille Schmitz (Diary of a Lost Girl, and inspiration for Fassbinder’s Veronika Voss.) Before the candles of Vampyr exhaust themselves, Allan Gray and the viewer alike come eye-to-eye with Fate — in the face of dear dying Sybille, in the blasphemed bodies of horrific bat-men, in the charged and mortal act of asphyxiation — eye-to-eye, then, with Death — the supreme vampire.

Deemed by Alfred Hitchcock ‘the only film worth watching… twice’, Vampyr’s influence has become, by now, incalculable. Long out of circulation in an acceptable transfer, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Dreyer’s truly terrifying film in its film restored form for the first time in the UK....

From the MoC website located HERE

Promotional material

Theatrical Release: May 6th, 1932

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Eureka (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Eureka (Masters of Cinema) - Spine # 25

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:10:51
Video 1.19:1 Original Pillarboxed Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.1 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
Audio Mono Dolby Digital German
4 soundtracks:
        1. Unrestored soundtrack
        2. Tony Rayns commentary
        3. Guillermo del Toro commentary
        4. Restored soundtrack
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Eureka (Masters of Cinema)

Aspect Ratio:
Pillarboxed - 1.19:1

Edition Details:
• New, high-definition transfer of the Martin Koerber / Cineteca di Bologna film restoration in its original aspect ratio (1.19:1)
• New and improved English subtitles (optional)
• Full-length audio commentary featuring film scholar Tony Rayns
• Full-length audio commentary featuring Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro on one of his favourite films
• Choice of restored or unrestored audio track
• Two deleted scenes, removed by the German censor in 1932
• Carl Th. Dreyer (1966) – a documentary by Jörgen Roos
• Visual essay by scholar Casper Tybjerg on Dreyer’s Vampyr influences
• The Baron – a short MoC documentary about Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg
• Inspiration for the film – Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla – as an on-disc pdf.
• 80-page book featuring rare production stills, a facsimile reproduction of the 1932 Danish film programme, writing by Tom Milne (The Cinema of Carl Dreyer), Jean and Dale Drum (My Only Great Passion: The Life and Films of Carl Th. Dreyer), and Martin Koerber (film restorer).

DVD Release Date: August 25th, 2008
Transparent
Keep Case

Chapters 14

 

Comments NOTE: UK correspondent for DVDBeaver, Henry Kedger, has an early copy of Masters of Cinema's Vampyr and has sent us some captures and comments. He will try to match our Criterion/Image Entertainment ones located HERE as soon as possible (or I will when I receive my copy).

Gary Tooze

***

Firstly, thanks to Gary for the opportunity to supply information to the DVDBeaver community of my favorite film on this new Masters of Cinema DVD. I am very appreciative!

In comparison to the Criterion - it appears as though MoC did not undertake any visual digital restoration attempting to preserve the unique "sfumato" look of the film. This is comparative to watching an old 35mm film presentation and I, personally, felt this transports a far more theatrical 'feel' to the DVD viewing than I found with the Criterion. There is still a large amount of damage, speckles, and scratches but the contrast levels seemed more consistent without the fluctuations used to minimize the inherent negative damage. In one sense, this gives a cleaner, more accurate, visage of Dreyer's film - especially those who do not have an adverse reaction to the weaknesses that time has rendered upon Dreyer's Vampyr.

On the audio - MoC have used the 'non-cleaned up' soundtrack as the default. Another excellent choice in my opinion. I suspect this was done because various audio restoration software(s) simply mask the prevalent hiss by removing the higher frequencies. This can remove some of the very high strings in the orchestral soundtrack of Vampyr. The restored soundtrack is still included as option 4 (after the commentaries) - available for those that just can't stand the background hiss. Like the image quality, the un-restored track would be more in-line with replicating a 35mm projected presentation.

Extras - repeated from the Criterion edition are the excellent, MoC-made, Tony Rayns commentary,
Jørgen Roos documentary and Casper Tybjerg visual essay (noted in the comparison HERE). Unique, though, to the Masters of Cinema supplements are THE BARON (a 14-minute documentary about Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg), two deleted scenes, removed by the German censor in 1932 and the informal Guillermo del Toro commentary track. Del Toro humorously starts out with this disclaimer from the director; "This is not a scholarly dissertation, this is the equivalent of inviting a fat Mexican to your house and you feed him, and then you have to listen to him for a, mercifully, short time... then disagree, agree, insult, or share any of my opinions.". It is a very personal commentary track from a man who absolutely loves the film and talks extremely passionately about Vampyr. He was a pleasure to listen to. The package includes an 80-page book featuring rare production stills, a facsimile reproduction of the 1932 Danish film programme, writing by Tom Milne (The Cinema of Carl Dreyer), Jean and Dale Drum (My Only Great Passion: The Life and Films of Carl Th. Dreyer), and Martin Koerber (film restorer). Finally, saving some paper, is Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (inspiration for the film)– included as an on-disc PDF file.  

Henry Kedger

 


Recommended Film reading (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)


DVD Menus

 

 


 

 

Subtitle Samples

 

 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Eureka (Masters of Cinema) - Spine # 25

Region 2 - PAL


 




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!