German Expressionism Gets DVD Collection

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Kino Video this week released a new DVD box set that represents masterworks of German Expressionism, one of the most creative decades in the history of film. Working with dark, shadowy, and non-realistic aesthetics coupled with themes of mystery, insanity or madness, German filmmakers of the 1920’s embraced Expressionism on film with intellectual depth and creativity.

The box set is a collection of 4 films from the era, including two that are first time available titles. Starting with a re-release of the classic, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1919) by director Robert Weine, the new box set by Kino Video also features Arthur Robinson’s “Warning Shadows”(1923). Weine has a second film in the set, his 1924 film “The Hands of Orlac”. “Secrets of a Soul”, by director G.W. Pabst, rounds out the collection. Both “The Hands of Orlac” and “Secrets of a Soul” will be available for the first time on DVD in this box set.

These films can be purchased both within the boxed set and individually. Additionally, Kino Video has available many of the German Expressionism classics that are not within the set. These include “Nosfaratu”(1922), and the later Expressionism film titles such as “Metropolis”(1927), or “M”(1931).

Kino Video’s De scri ption of the boxed set:

The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari
Director: Robet Wiene
Country: Germany
Year: 1919
A masterpiece of psychological horror and the film that has come to epitomize the mysterious highly stylized German Expressionist cinema. A demented hypnotist and his ghastly henchman spread death througout the German countryside. Newly remastered from the archival German material and tinted according to original instructions with evocative score. Germany. 1919. 73 min. Color tinted.

WARNING SHADOWS: A Nocturnal Hallucination
Director: Arthur Robison
Country: Germany
Year: 1923
Arthur Robison’s classic take of psychological horror, celebrated for its outrageous visual style and notorious for its attempt to make a purely visual feature film.

The Hands of Orlac
Director: Robet Wiene
Country: Austria
Year: 1924
HANDS OF ORLAC is a deliciously twisted thriller that blends grand guignol thrills with the visual and performance styles of German Expressionism.

Secrets of a Soul
Director: G. W. Pabst
Country: Germany
Year: 1926
In the 1920s, film studios around the world sought to capitalize on the public’s curiosity about the newborn science of psychoanalysis. In 1925, Hans Neumann (of Ufa’s Kulturfilm office) contacted members of Sigmund Freud’s inner circle with a plan to make a dramatic film that explores the mystifying process of the interpretation of dreams. With the help of noted psychologists Karl Abraham and Hanns Sachs, and under the direction of G.W. Pabst (Pandora’s Box), SECRETS OF A SOUL was completed.

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Christopher P. Duffy

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