Exciting news for Fritz Lang fans! Two of his genre films, Spies and Woman in the Moon, are about to be released on Bluray in North America with sparkling 2K transfers! Both discs will be available for sale on February 23, 2016 but I got an early peek and I’m sharing the experience with you.
As always, a huge thanks to Kino Lorber for the review copies.
While Metropolis is Fritz Lang’s most famous silent film and probably tied with A Trip to the Moon for the title of Most Famous Silent Sci-Fi, it was not our intrepid director’s only foray into science fiction. 1929’s Woman in the Moon is smaller in scale but praised for its more sciencey sci-fi.
Spies is a real treat, a nimble and ruthless espionage adventure from a director who, frankly, likes to take his sweet time. There’s plenty of technical virtuosity but it has a wonderful playfulness to it.
Both films were shortened for American release but have since been restored to something resembling their original Teutonic length. Spies clocks in at 150 minutes while Woman in the Moon is 169 minutes.
Both films look fantastic, considering their age and the crisp new transfers make for an enjoyable viewing experience. The films are from the same restored sources as Kino’s 2004 DVD releases so there’s no new footage or anything like that but the higher resolution transfers are definitely worth a look.
The films retain their original German intertitles with optional English subtitles.
A Woman in the Moon is accompanied by a moody piano score performed by Javier Perez de Aspeitia and Spies gets a rousing piano score from Neil Brand.
On a side note, the 2004 Kino DVD releases of these films featured excellent scores from Donald Sosin (Spies) and Jon Mirsalis (Woman in the Moon). If you enjoy shaking things up with more than one choice of silent film accompaniment, I recommend checking these scores out. You can never go wrong with too much good music.
Woman in the Moon includes a short making-of documentary and Spies includes a feature-length documentary, as well as the original German theatrical trailer.
Both Bluray releases are up to the usual quality of the F.W. Murnau-Stiftung and are recommended to Fritz Lang fans looking to upgrade their collections.
Availability: Both films are Region A Blurays and have a February 23, 2016 release date but are available for pre-order.