Care and maintenance of the national film heritage is the
most important task of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Foundation.
Thus, the foundation has been pursuing the restoration and
reconstruction of important works in German film history
for many years, among them, as current examples, Ernst Lubitsch’s
BERGKATZE, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnaus TARTÜFF
or Fritz Langs METROPOLIS,
which was added to UNESCOs
Memory of the World Register in June, 2001.
As shown in the case of METROPOLIS,
digital technology is playing an increasingly important
role in restoring films. It is not only possible to effectively
“touch up” running scratches on the images or
soiled joins, it is also possible to rectify unsteady images.
The distribution of the foundation’s films using
new media is one important objective of the Murnau Foundation.
Besides a series of popular film titles that was successfully
introduced and will be distributed via Eureka (Great Britain),
Kino International (USA), MK2 (France) and Divisa (Spain)
on DVD, also 1 - 2 own DVD editions are to be released in
co-operation with well-known institutions and experts. They
will include an extensive amount of additional material
and will satisfy even the most demanding specialist demands.
This edition will be released under the label Transit Classics.
One of the important tasks of the Murnau Foundation is the development and
use of the stocks of historical advertising films and other short documentary
films. For this purpose, the material is recopied onto digital media and restored
if necessary. The co-operation with the Haus
des Dokumentarfilms (House of Documentary Films) in Stuttgart is being extended
and new concepts to improve these films are being developed.
Another project is adding soundtracks to silent films for which the music has
been lost or no longer exists.