For the Berlinale Classics section of the 74th Berlin International Film Festival, Rainer Rother and his team have gathered a spectrum of film genres ranging from early sound film experiments to sober and distanced black-and-white dramas, to colorful, artful exploitations. All the restorations will be world premieres.
In its 70th anniversary year, Ishirō Honda’s Gojira (Godzilla) returns to the big screen with a 4K restoration commissioned by the TOHO Archive; while Paramount’s 4K restoration of John Schlesinger’s The Day of the Locust pays tribute to the film’s striking production values. The restoration is presented by Park Circus.
Set at the start of a nuclear apocalypse, Andrei Tarkovsky’s drama Offret (The Sacrifice, 1986) is a powerful pictorial parable of human (mis)behaviour in the face of war and environmental destruction. The 4K restoration is by the Svenska Filminstitutet.
Germany is represented with Reifezeit (Time of Maturity) by director Sohrab Shahid Saless. The 1976 film is a black-and-white drama of everyday life in a Berlin’s working-class district. The restoration was done as part of a transnational project by the Shahid Saless Archive, with the goal of making the entire oeuvre of the Iranian director, who worked in Germany from 1974 to 1992, available.
Berlinale Classics will also showcase Ernst Lubitsch’s silent film Kohlhiesels Töchter (Kohlhiesel’s Daughters), featuring new music composed by Leopold Hurt that will be performed by members of the Berlin Philharmonic; and Lubitsch’s first talkie The Love Parade, a romance that had a defining influence on the genre of film operettas. The 4K restoration was done by Universal Pictures in partnership with The Film Foundation.
Deprisa, deprisa by Carlos Saura returns to the Berlinale in a new 4K restoration by Spanish production company Video Mercury Films.
One highlight of the section is the digital restoration of 1985’s After Hours, screening in honor of this year’s Honorary Golden Bear recipient Martin Scorsese. Criterion Collection and Warner Bros., in cooperation with Park Circus, used 35 mm source material from the director’s collection. Scorsese worked with editor Thelma Schoonmaker on the color correction.
The Berlinale Classics section is also presenting two specials: the new 4K restoration of Carlos Reygadas’ Batalla en el cielo (Battle in Heaven) and Tsai Ming-liang’s Tian bian yi duo yun (The Wayward Cloud), both from 2005. The restoration of Batalla, initiated by the Coproduction Office, was done under the supervision of Reygadas. Tsai Ming-liang’s love story Tian bian yi duo yun was restored by Homegreen Films, in cooperation with Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute.