In NERVES (NERVEN), writer-director-producer Robert Reinert tried to capture the "nervous epidemic," that seemingly drives people to madness as a result of war, misery and social unrest. This unique portrait of life in 1919 Germany, filmed on location in Munich, describes the cases of different people from all levels of society: Factory owner Roloff, who loses his mind as a result of catastrophes and social disturbances; teacher John, who is the hero of the masses; and Marja, who turns into a radical revolutionary. Using different fragments, the Munich Film Museum was able to reconstruct this forgotten German classic that is a significant cultural and historic document; one that clearly anticipates the elements of the Expressionist cinema of the 1920s.
“Having a more complete version of NERVEN available is a wonderful contribution to our understanding of film history. The standard version was known to very few students of cinema, and though it was impressive, it was somewhat incoherent. We are still lacking a lot of footage, as Stefan Drössler points out ... but he and his team have added what they could and arranged the sequences into a more intelligible order. The quality of the restoration, moreover, makes the film's visual style even more vivid and unsettling.
Released shortly before THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, NERVEN ought to have entered the Expressionist canon. Its themes echo the movement's post-Romantic attack on capitalism and the modern conception of the anguished soul. Its narrative plays out the implications of such icons of Expressionist art as convulsive crowds and men's homicidal urges toward women. Just as important, the film's pictorial design finds an original way to convey the tale's emotional tenor, the sense of nervous anxiety strung ever tighter. Significantly, Reinert achieves a unique look without recourse to the painted sets of CALIGARI, but through a unique use of other cinematic resources.”
— David Bordwell
This DVD presents the Munich Film Museum’s 2008 restoration of NERVES (NERVEN), along with side-by-side restoration comparisons, for three scenes, detailing the various versions and fragments used. NERVES (NERVEN) features German intertitles with optional English & French subtitles; and a new piano score, by Joachim Bärenz, also optional. Bonus features include two newsreels documenting the Munich uprisings in 1919 and the short-lived Münchner Räterepublik; a digital portfolio of original posters, stills, and lobby cards - including the work of Expressionist artist Josef Fenneker; and a 16-page, bilingual booklet with essays by scholars David Bordwell, Jan-Christopher Horak, and Stefan Drössler.
Format: DVD-PAL / Region 0
(No Regional Code)
Director: Robert Reinert
Screenplay: Robert Reinert
Cinematographer: Helmar Lerski
Producer: Monumentalfilm Robert Reinert, Munich
Cast: Eduard von Winterstein, Lya Borée, Erna Morena, Paul Bender, Lili Dominici & Rio Ellbon
Reconstruction: Filmmuseum München (2008)
Editor: Stefan Drössler
• 110 minutes
• B&W, Tinted & Toned
PICTURES FROM THE MUNICH UPRISING (BILDER VON DER VOLKSBEWEGNUNG IN MÜNCHEN)
• 3 minutes
MUNICH BECOMES A SOVIET REPUBLIC (MÜNCHEN IM ZEICHEN DER RÄTEREPUBLIK)
• 9 minutes
Side-by-Side Restoration Comparisons:
MARJA’S WEDDING PREPARATIONS
• 5 minutes
AT THE NERVE SPECIALIST’S.
• 8 minutes
• 6 minutes
• Posters, stills and lobby cards.
Total Running Time: 02:20:50
Language: German intertitles, English & French subtitles
Musical Score: Joachim Bärenz
Booklet Text: Jan-Christopher Horak, Stefan Drössler & David Bordwell (German & English)
Published By: Edition Filmmuseum
Institutional Price: $250 (plus shipping).
To order call: 212.280.8654 or click here for information on ordering by fax, e-mail or post.