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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


(aka 'Tabu')

Directed by F.W. Murnau
USA 1931

 

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.

Subtitled a “Story of the South Seas”, Tabu concerns a Tahitian fisherman (played by an islander, Matahi) and his love for a young woman (played by fellow islander Reri, who went on to star on Broadway) whose body has been consecrated to the gods, rendering her tabu as far as mortal men are concerned. The lovers flee their island and its restrictive traditions, but will their love prevail in the “civilised” world?

Poster

Theatrical Release: August 1st, 1931

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Comparison:

Eureka - The Masters of Cinema Series - Region 0 - PAL vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 0 - PAL LEFT

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #61 Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 Box Cover

 

  

Distribution Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine # 66 - Region 0 - PAL

Masters of Cinema - Spine #61

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:22:33 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:25:42.345
Video 1.09:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.77 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,759,925,416 bytes

Feature: 26,197,995,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English Intertitles English Intertitles
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka - Masters of Cinema Series

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.09:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary track by R. Dixon Smith and Brad Stevens.
• 15-minute German documentary about Tabu by Luciano Berriat˙a.
• 80-PAGE BOOK 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.

DVD Release Date: November 19th, 2007

Double Thick Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 14

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka - Masters of Cinema Series

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.12:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,759,925,416 bytes

Feature: 26,197,995,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Commentary track by R. Dixon Smith and Brad Stevens.
• 15-minute German documentary about Tabu by Luciano Berriat˙a.(14:53)
• Newly presented outtakes from the original shoot of the film (15:26)
• Treibjagd in der SŘdsee (short subject from 1940 depicting a South Seas fishing hunt, created from unused material from the filming of Tabu) 11:43
• 56-PAGE BOOKLET containing writing by Murnau, Scott Eyman, David Flaherty, and Mark Langer & Floyd Crosby, along with “A Song for Mr. Murnau” and rare imagery.

Blu-ray Release Date: June 24th, 2013
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 14

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (June 2013): Brighter, significantly superior contrast and a heck of a lot more information in the frame. It's nice to see the grain here and there too. The 1080P is thick, rich and textured - a huge bump as compared with the flatter, smoother SD. The Bora Bora lagoons look so enticing in HD. Linear PCM mono sound brings the tinny music back to a more reasonable level. Extras keep the R. Dixon Smith and Brad Stevens commentary and Luciano Berriat˙a's 15-minute documentary (see below). We also gain 15-minutes of outtakes from the original shoot of the film and Treibjagd in der SŘdsee - an 11-minute short subject from 1940 depicting a South Seas fishing hunt, created from unused material from the filming of Tabu. *I *think* the liner notes booklet is the same (but more compact) containing writing by Murnau, Scott Eyman, David Flaherty, and Mark Langer & Floyd Crosby, along with “A Song for Mr. Murnau” and rare imagery.

 

A wonderful, romantic, exotic silent era masterpiece - looking so pleasing in the newer format. An easy Blu-ray recommendation. MoC impress again!

 

* The reissue version booklet misses out the following...
'Flaherty and Tabu' (by Richard Griffiths)
'Turia, an Original Story' (by F. W. Murnau and Robert Flaherty)
'Tabu (Taboo), a Story of the South Seas' (by F. W. Murnau and Robert Flaherty)
'Tabu, a Story of the South Seas' (by Lotte Eisner)       - thanks Neil!

***

ON THE DVD: 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! 

Gary W. Tooze


Menus

 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 0 - PAL LEFT

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #61 Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT


 

 


Intertitle Samples

 

Transition from left version to right sample

 

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1) Eureka - MOC - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #61 Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #61 Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #61 Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #61 Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #61 Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #61 Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #61 Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #61 Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


 Box Cover

 

  

Distribution Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine # 66 - Region 0 - PAL

Masters of Cinema - Spine #61

Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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