Watch Siegfried Fight A Dragon In Clip From Masters Of Cinema's DIE NIBELUNGEN

James Marsh, Asian Editor

On 29 October, Eureka Entertainment's prestigious Masters of Cinema series is set to release a new restoration of Fritz Lang's epic two-part fantasy, Die Nibelungen, on double Blu-ray and double DVD in the UK. Renowned for its innovative effects work and breathtaking production design, this hallucinatory five-hour work was adapted from the same legend that inspired Wagner's Ring Cycle operas and has itself inspired everything from the Star Wars saga to The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

To whet our appetites in anticipation of what is sure to be one of its biggest releases of the year, Eureka Entertainment has released a clip from their restoration, which gives just a little taste of the film's extraordinary set-pieces, archetypal themes, and unrestrained ambition. Siegfried, the eponymous hero of Die Nibelungen Part One is seen here in a thrilling battle with a fearsome dragon. Check it out below.


From the press release:

In Part One, Siegfried, the film's eponymous hero acquires the power of invincibility after slaying a dragon and bathing in the creature's blood. Later, an alliance through marriage between the hero and the royal clan of the Nibelungen turns treacherous, with Siegfried's sole weakness exploited. In Part Two, Kriemhilds Rache [Kriemhild's Revenge], Siegfried's widow travels to the remote land of the Huns to wed the monstrous Attila, and thereby enlist his forces in an act of vengeance that culminates in massacre, conflagration, and, under the auspices of Lang, one of the most exhilarating and terrifying end-sequences in all of cinema. 

Adapted from the myth that was also the basis for Wagner's Ring cycle of operas, Lang's epic offers its own startling expressionistic power - a summit of the director's artistry. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Die Nibelungen in a spectacular new HD restoration, released as a 2 x DVD set & a 2 x Blu-ray set in the UK on 29 October 2012.  

SPECIAL FEATURES:

• Long-awaited expert HD restoration by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Germany

• Immaculately presented in the film's original frame rates and aspect ratio, in 1080p on the Blu-ray

• Newly translated optional English subtitles for the original German intertitles

• An hour-long documentary: The Heritage of Die Nibelungen

• Illustrated booklet featuring the words of Lang, rare archival imagery, and more

Around the Internet:
  • Jonas Streich

    Well, I'm interested to see how this will compare with the Kino US BR release on 6 Nov. Reminds me a little bit about the UK BR release of the Del Toro special edition almost coinciding with the Criterion release of Cronos.

    Is this likely to be the same transfer for both releases? It also looks as though the US release might be both films rather than just the 1st movie, but difficult to tell at this point.

    Anyone else know?

  • Mr. Cavin

    leon: Interestingly, the reply I wrote yesterday must have gotten zapped. Also the one I wrote an hour ago. Originally, I assumed it was because I posted a comment that was full of links--perhaps it's still off awaiting moderation somewhere. But then I posted the information below without links, and it has disappeared too. Maybe none of my stuff will work until my links post gets moderated? I don't know. Here's to trying again:

    [EDIT (maybe): aaand now that all my double posts are beginning to appear, it's not really letting me delete things. Discqus is starting to come across pretty schizo. Will this edit work?]

    Probably the most faithful remake (to the original movie above, not the opera) of this is Giacomo Gentilomo's Italian film from 1957, SIGFRIDO, also known as LE CHEVALIER BLANC, with special effects by the late Carlo Rambaldi. A quick search will find both the IMDB page and YouTube uploads of the trailer. A search for "Siegfried et Fafnir" at the latter will take you to the remade dragon-slaying scene analogous to the scene posted above. It's worth checking out to get an idea how Gentilomo tried to hew very closely to the original work, maintaining much of the original's look and feel even while experimenting with the inclusion of color and sound. But check out those Eastman fantasy colors! I think the lurid red blood really amps up the horror in this scene.

  • leon

    is there anyone who could enlighten me as to any subsequent film versions around the Siegfried legend that would have ben released in technicolour - from 1960's onwards ?I seem to recall another large scale cinematic production when I was young & cannot find either the title of the film nor whether or not it might still be around ( ie on dvd ). I am keen for some cinema fundi to help me out, Thanx. Leon

  • Mr. Cavin

    Well, my favorite remake is the Italian film, SIGFRIDO (also known as Le chevalier blanc, 1958), directed by Giacomo Gentilomo with special effects designed by the late Carlo Rambaldi. While this is indeed a synched-sound version of the story, it does everything it can to leave intact the feeling of the silent German classic. Click here for the trailer, and here for the remade scene with Fafnir the dragon, analogous to the one above. Dig those otherworldly Eastman colors!

  • travis crabtree

    that poor dragon....

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