A highly influential expressionistic classic, Fritz Langs Destiny returns to the theaters in a stunning 4k restoration. The restoration premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival earlier this year, accompanied by a live orchestral performance of the new original score by composer Cornelius Schwehr. The influence of Langs use of effects and unconventional story structure stretches throughout film history, said to have influenced Luis Brunel and Alfred Hitchcock at a young age.
The story, part legend, part dark fairytale, is primarily a dream-vision of a young woman, searching for her missing lover. The dream consists of three elaborately conceived episodes spanning fantastical scenes in history, involving the young lovers as they try to elude the murderous designs of a cruel tyrant, who is always aided by the Angel of Death.
The restoration was made possible with the support of Bertelsmann and with funds from the digitization initiative of Germanys Commissioner for Culture and the Media, as well as backing from the Freunde und Förderer des deutschen Filmerbes e.V. (Friends and Associates of German Film Heritage). The restoration process is fascinating. The surviving source materials are mere shadows of what existed in 1921; all available prints are in black and white, but the original release employed tinting and toning through coloration of the photographic emulsion base. The restoration revives Langs desired aesthetics, bringing the story and proper style to the big screen for the first time since its original release.
Luis Buñuel on the film:
When I saw Destiny, I suddenly knew that I wanted to make movies. It wasnt the three stories themselves that moved me so much, but the main episode the arrival of the man in the black hat (whom I instantly recognised as Death) in the Flemish village and the scene in the cemetery. Something about this film spoke to something deep in me; it clarified my life and my vision of the world.
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