Saturday, May 29, 2010

Das Boot in the ass

So tonight I went over to Ben's house to watch the first half of "Das Boot: the original German broadcast" on his big screen tv. I can sum up the experience in two words -- "Kugel Shrieber!"

I have been a huge fan of "Das Boot" since I was 12 and saw it dubbed in English on tv. Of course little did I know then that I was watching an edited for tv version of a German movie. Nor did I know that over the course of my life I would watch this behemoth of a film in so many different versions. Each viewing being greater than the last.

First it was "The Boat" - the American tv edit. Then it was "Das Boot" the 1983 American theatrical cut which was bitching awesome with the original German language and all the stuff too rough for tv. Then in 1997 I got to see the remastered Director's Cut of the American cut at the Avalon theater in DC. This was the supremo super-duper veiwing experience with an extra hour (totaling 4) and totally insane remastered sound.

I didn't think that experience in '97 could be topped. But then I picked up the new DVD release of the original German television broadcast of "Das Boot" with remastered sound and image and every scene intended by Wolfgang Peterson when he filmed it originally back in 1981. This tv version is *gulp* 6 fucking hours of claustrophobic submarine genius. It blows away the '97 theatrical director's cut.

The German TV version has sooooo much more character development of the minor crew members it is astonishing. In addition it makes the "waiting for orders/inactivity" part of the voyage so fucking long and boring - you get totally wrapped up with the crew. That part is almost 2 hours and it is psychologically intense.

I've only finished part 1 of 2 so I can't really comment on the action portion of the flick yet - but god damn those first 3 hours were amazing!

Originally posted on August 10. 2005 on Myspace.

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