Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Crime and Punishment|
Actor: Robert Wiene
Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
The 1923 expressionist masterpiece from the director of ""The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari"".
Absolutely avoid this DVD version of an important early film
calicodrum | New York | 05/01/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The Alpha Home Entertainment version of this Wiene film is utterly unwatchable. There is nothing redeeming about it. The musical sound track is atrocious, the image quality is worse than fifth or sixth generation VHS transfered to DVD. I've rarely come across a decent Alpha DVD but this is as bad as I've ever had the misfortune to purchase. Never again. How do they keep getting away with it?"
Silent film version of Russian classic
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 01/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This 1923 silent film of Dostoyevsky's best known novel, "Crime and Punishment" tells a psychologically dramatic story in the German Expressionist style to which such heavy themes are well suited. In the 1920s, Germany became famous for its unique cinema style, using strong light and shadow contrasts, distorted angles and images, and intense emotive acting to convey emotions in a visual art form. One of the best known films of this style is the 1919 classic, "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari", directed by Robert Wiene, who also directed this film a few years later. There are certain similarities such as odd-shaped windows, strangely-slanting walls and doors, and the horrific theme of murder which is somehow very realistic even though not a single scene of the actual killing is shown. The main character is a disturbed man who is driven by his circumstances to believe that he is justified in ridding the world of an old female pawnbroker and her sister who intrudes just after the first murder. His mental anguish is expressed very well in the ensuing action as he feels the police investigations closing in on him, and the actor has a suitable face for the character he portrays so convincingly.
These positive aspects of the film might outweigh the rather poor picture quality which often results in faces and hands appearing like white blurs except on close-ups, as well as the overall framing of the film causing the intertitles to be incomplete and difficult to read. Letters are missing on both sides, leaving the viewer to do a little guessing and puzzle work, but not so much that the overall meaning or plot would be lost. At least the classical music soundtrack accompanying this film is rather good, and does not detract too much from the essence of the story and the Expressionist style. This is a DVD perhaps best recommended only to silent cinema enthusiasts who appreciate the Expressionist style, at least until a restored and visually much improved version becomes available.