When Oskar Matzerath (David Bennent, who was just twelve at the time) receives a tin drum for his third birthday, he vows to stop growing there and then – and woe betide anyone who tries to take his beloved drum away from him, as he has a banshee shriek that can shatter glass. As a result, he retains a permanent child's-eye perspective on the rise of Nazism as experienced through petit-bourgeois life in his native Danzig, the ‘free city' claimed by both Germany and Poland whose invasion in 1939 helped kick-start World War II.
With the help of Luis Buñuel's favourite screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, director Volker Schlöndorff turns Günter Grass's magical-realist masterpiece into a carnivalesque frenzy of bizarre, grotesque yet unnervingly compelling images as Oskar turns his increasingly jaded eye and caustic tongue on the insane follies of the adult world that he refuses to join. The film was joint winner of the Cannes Palme d'Or (with Apocalypse Now, no less) and the Best Foreign Film Oscar, and adapted from one of the major works of postwar German literature, whose author later won the Nobel Prize.
Arrow Films have announced a brand new restoration of Volker Schlöndorff's masterpiece The Tin Drum / Die Blechtrommel in its original theatrical version and the Director's Cut, seen for the first time in the UK after its Cannes Film Festival premiere. The Tin Drum will be released as a dual format package, containing both DVD and Blu-ray, on 9th January 2012 by Arrow Video at the RRP of £29.99.
Featuring a new restoration of both the theatrical version and the brand new Director's Cut, approved by director Volker Schlöndorff, and a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, the release will have the following extras:
- Audio commentary with director/co-screenwriter Volker Schlöndorff;
- Interview with Volker Schlöndorff on the new cut of The Tin Drum (2011) [Blu-ray only];
- Making The Tin Drum, Volker Schlöndorff remembers making the film and his collaborators (2001) [DVD only];
- Original Trailer [DVD only];
- Comprehensive booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by George Lellis and Hans-Bernhard Moeller, authors of Volker Schlondorff's Cinema: Adaptation, Politics and the Movie-appropriate, as well as extracts from Volker Schlöndorff's diary, writing by Jean Claude Carrière and Günter Grass, illustrated with archival stills;
- Artwork presentation packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork and three original posters.