Somewhat in character design, direction and wardrobe do the two monsters seem to resemble each other, right down to the platform shoes to make the actors appear taller. Many of the interactions between the monsters and their creators share dynamics: ebb and flow; submission, tension and rebellion. But before the magic that animates the clay man can be sent back to the dark forces from which it came, the golem is misused and runs rampant, terrorizing the people he was intended to protect.
The fun eeriness of the brief Astaroth invocation is among our favorite silent era sequences.
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Release date: 5 October Country of origin: USA. Six shots have been added from a 35mm print preserved by Gosfilmofond in Russia, with additional footage supplied by Munich Filmmuseum and Cineteca Italiana.
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We can assume that The Golem has not survived in ideal prints. The source materials for the restoration print were often contrasty, with detailless highlights and plugged up shadows.
Yet, several shots hold surprising highlight detail — for example, the shots of the black cat walking across the rooftops and of Florian riding over a bridge hold enough highlight detail to faintly render passing clouds in the sky, which was difficult for the filmstocks of the day. Irregardless of blasted highlights, the additional image detail in the middle greytone ranges provided by the 35mm prints, which ranges from very-good to excellent, makes this edition with its full-frame video transfer a definitive improvement over other home video editions that utilize 16mm reduction prints for their transfers.
The print is very lightly speckled and has moments of slight exposure fluctuations, with a few inked print markings, dust and other minor flaws. Color tinting is a good choice for contrasty prints as it diminishes the bright whites of lost highlight details, making for a satisfactory viewing experience.
ISBN 13: 9783849680350
The intertitles have been translated into English by Robert Gray, and care has been taken to emulate the original German titles, with their gothic typefaces, in this English edition. This edition features a new small orchestra music score composed by Aljoscha Zimmermann, which is in turns appropriately somber and spry, and adds tremendously to the viewing experience. The music is clearly rendered in digital stereo. We highly recommend this reasonably-priced home video edition of The Golem for its superior picture quality and excellent musical accompaniment.
Release date: 24 September This budget DVD edition from Alpha Video features a slightly letterboxed video transfer prepared from a very-good but, at times, quite contrasty 16mm reduction print. As in all 16mm prints of The Golem that we have seen, there are moments when the picture is so contrasty that eyes and mouths become dark slashes floating in a totally white face. Yet, however superhuman his attributes, Wegener's creature is undeniably Romantic.
Kinoeye | German horror: Paul Wegener's Der Golem
Having tasted eternal life, he nonetheless yearns for the fragile mortality of the people he observes. As a timeless invention of Rabbi Loew's supernatural abilities and Nietzchean conscience, the Golem's existence allows him neither pleasure nor pain. Ironically, the Golem envies the uncertainty and finite life of the humans who stand in terror of him. They fear his immortal powers, and he desires a short, passionate, unpredictable life like theirs. The grasping toward humanity by Wegener's beast is one of the most affecting transformations in all of cinema. The Golem is a richly symbolic narrative drawn from Jewish mythology.
But the question remains after the Golem's ultimate fate is decided in a startling instant at the end of the film: is this a sympathetic portrait of the oppression Jews faced throughout Europe, in crowded ghettoes of twisted lanes and dark hovels? Or is The Golem more demented "proof" of Jewish necromancy, another in a long line of paranoid fantasies about Jewish spellmakings over Gentiles? For Paul Wegener, the story of the Golem proved so fascinating that he retold it again and again, rewriting it, directing it, and playing the creature himself, in a remarkable artistic quest to understand the tyrannical power of religious myth.
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Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders. Edit Cast Complete credited cast: Paul Wegener Edit Storyline In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem - a giant creature made of clay. Taglines: Acting that stamps it a masterpiece. Settings that bewilder and amaze.
Dealing with the mysterious and miraculous. Edit Details Country: Germany. Sound Mix: Silent.