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Destiny, Baron Munchausen, The Music Room: New Releases of Classic Films

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Take a step back from this year’s blockbusters, sequels and over-the-top productions with this selection of classic films getting new releases on DVD and Blu-ray. There is something utterly satisfying in watching oldies, remastered and brought to near perfection. Returning to the cinematic period where the stories were created with much less than in present day, and witnessing how a selected few still hold their place in film history. DVD and Blu-ray editions give you a nice retrospective look on the classic film, but we’ve also spiced the selection with a handful of fan favourites.

Destiny (Der Müde Tod)

Destiny (Der Müde Tod) transports you to an era of silent film, with its initial release in 1921. From the German director Fritz Lang, marking his directorial debut, the film takes on a subject which has occupied human mind since the first conscious thought – mortality and destiny. The story focuses on a young woman played by Lil Dagover who, in effort to save her fiancée’s life, confronts Death itself portrayed by Bernhard Goetzke. Death in return gives her three chances, presented in three romantic tragedies, to once again be with her fiancé if she prevents the death of the lovers in at least one story. Destiny created a strong beginning for director Fritz Lang whose 1927 film Metropolis still ranks among the best films, cinematic masterpieces and a pioneer of the dystopian sci-fi genre.

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Baron Prásil)

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Baron Prásil) is a Czechoslovak adventure, comedy, and romance all mixed in one classic film first released in 1962. Titular Baron is played by Milos Kopecky, a fantastic storyteller whose stories are just a bit too unbelievable. Does he really meet the Man in the Moon? Actually, there he’s joined by a space traveller Cyrano de Bergerac, who becomes his companion on the journey round the universe. Directed by Karel Zeman, The Fabulous Baron Munchausen comes from a fruitful cinematic period for Czechoslovakia, accompanied with astonishing special effects and animation for the time. This is the style most people associate with Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam, while in fact, Gilliam’s work must be heavy influence by Zeman. Another great reason to see the Baron in action!

The Music Room (Jalsaghar)

Finally getting its deserved Blu-ray release as a part of the Criterion Collection, The Music Room (Jalsaghar) shows us the story filmmaker Satyajiy Ray masterfully weaves in one of his best works. Released in 1958, The Music Room follows an aristocrat, played by Chhabi Biswas, who has fallen on hard times and is desperately trying to keep at least something from his old prosperous lifestyle. And that one thing he clings on is his music room, a performance space for an array of accomplished artists. This Indian Bengali drama has brought international fame to Ray after becoming financial hit. Fun movie trivia is that The Music Room was the first film to extensively incorporate classical Indian music and dancing.

More upcoming and new film releases of the classics include I Accuse, Abel Gance’s 1938 remake of a silent film, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, representative of giallo murder mystery, and Honour Among Thieves, depicting two ageing gangsters who manage to pull off their final heist, from director Jacques Becker. Have a fun movie night watching classics!

The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh

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