Silent Movies Kick Ass.

Okay, so Kino Video here in the States is about to release a new two-disc “Ultimate Edition” of F.W. Murnau’s silent film Nosferatu, which is one of my favorite movies of all time. I did a bit of digging, and found out that the UK company Eureka is releasing their own version on the same day, which prompted a bit of research on my end since I want to get the best possible edition of this terrific film.

Compare them for yourself: the US Kino verion versus the UK Eureka version.

The packages seem very similar. The covers are different, but both sets feature the same highly praised HD-remastered transfer with a newly recorded version of the 1921 score, and both editions include the same new 53-minute making-of documentary and restoration demonstration.

However, the Eureka version has a new audio commentary track by two film historians, plus a 96-page booklet detailing the history of the movie, neither of which are included with the Kino disc. But the Kino version includes a bonus disc of “lengthy excerpts” from many other rare Muranu films.

What to do, what to do.

In the end I went with the Eureka version, which I pre-ordered last night. I like the Eureka cover better, but what finally clinched the decision was the presence of a new commentary track, coupled with the higher resolution of the PAL video format. (I have the Eureka edition of Murnau’s Faust, and it kicks the Kino version’s ass.)

And on some level, it’s just cool to order an import DVD that won’t play on any of your friends’ systems. Mwhahaha! I love having a region-free player! Now, to go compare specs on Kino and Eureka’s respective Battleship Potemkin discs…

DVD is a wonderful thing, but I’d give a great deal to see Nosferatu on the big screen with live musical accompanyment. That’s on my “Ten Things to Do Before I Die” list. Seems most of my film-saavy friends have had this experience already, but not me.

Sadly, there was *just such a screening* about 90 miles from me last weekend, but because I didn’t find out about it until the last possible second, there was no possibility of attending. Oh well… maybe next Halloween. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pout for a year.

-CSJ

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