DER GOLEM is coming to The Masters of Cinema Series later in the year

A new 4K restoration of Paul Wegener’s 1920 classic of German Cinema, DER GOLEM, which premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival, will be released on Blu-ray as part of the Masters of Cinema Series later in the year. Supervised by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung and Cinematek, the film has been restored in 4K by L’Immagine ritrovata from the film’s original negative that was thought to have been lost.

Set in the Jewish ghetto of medieval Prague, the film opens with the Jewish community being threatened with removal from the city. Responding to this crisis, Rabbi Loew, the head of the city’s Jewish community, begins to construct a monstrous figure out of clay – the mythical golem of the title. Calling upon ancient, mystical powers, the Rabbi brings this creature to life, hoping to protect his people.

With its foreshadowing of the Jewish persecution that was to come in Europe, DER GOLEM is a powerful and poignant piece of film-making – capped by inventive special effects, and exhilarating lighting and cinematography from the film’s photographer Karl Freund. Wegener himself stars as the titular creature, and he cuts an imposing and impressive figure in his tactile, clay like costume and make-up – an extraordinary bit of physical special effects.The film is also one of the earliest examples of the horror movie, and a clear precursor to the classic monster movies produced by Universal in the 1930s – Freund went on to work in Hollywood on classic horrors such as DRACULA (1931) and THE MUMMY (1932).

Full details of the release are yet to be finalised, but we can confirm that the home video release will feature original scores from Admir Shkurtaj, Stephen Horne and Wudec (Lukasz Poleszak).

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