Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum [director’s cut]). 1979. West Germany/Yugoslavia/Poland/France. Directed by Volker Schlöndorff. Screenplay by Schlöndorff, Jean-Claude Carrière, Franz Seitz, based on the novel by Günter Grass. With David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler. In German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Russian; English subtitles. 163 min.
Volker Schlöndorff and Jean-Claude Carrière present the digitally restored director’s cut of their Academy Award– and Cannes Palme d’Or–winning film, which features 30 previously unseen minutes that flesh out several characters and sequences (most notably that of Mazerath, the Nazi sympathizer who has a sudden reversal of conscience; a critical scene with Fajngold, the Treblinka survivor; and an imaginary orgy at the court of St. Petersburg). The Tin Drum is a dance of death, a grotesque vision of lost childhood and the rise of Nazism. Carrière observes, “It is, first of all, a realistic film, deeply rooted in the Danzig lower middle-class, with its pettiness, its fears and, at times, with a certain grandeur. It is also a fantastic, barbarous film, in which shafts of black light suddenly pierce the suburban streets, the small shops, the monotony, and the daily round. This second, ever present dimension, explosive, haunting, rises as prosaic reality from the ground. And it is the story of Oskar, the incredible drummer who beats out his anger, who shouts his existence and who has decided to remain small among ‘the giants.’”
4K digital restoration courtesy Janus Films