The Tin Drum / Newly Restored Director’s Cut!


Danzig, 1924. Just before the start of WWII, Oskar Matzerath is born with an intellect beyond his infancy. As he witnesses the hypocrisy of adulthood and society, he rejects both, and, at his third birthday, decides to stop growing — and succeeds! — then finds that playing his favorite toy, a tin drum, is useful for tuning out things that annoy him, like his mother’s dallying with their Polish boarder, the Nazi rallies his father attends, or even the advent of war itself. Caught in a state of perpetual childhood, Oskar lashes out at all he surveys with piercing screams that can shatter glass and frantic poundings on his tin drum. The powerfully symbolic drum at the center of this epic and sometimes shocking story has been vigorously debated and interpreted since Danzig native Günter Grass’s debut novel of the same name made him world-famous, and it remains ambiguously multi-layered in Volker Schlöndorff’s stunning adaptation. (Grass had refused a film version of his novel for twenty years, but, after seeing the script by Schlöndorff and Buñuel collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière, not only gave his consent but worked on the dialogue himself.) The first German film ever to win the Best Foreign Film Oscar, this is “one of the best cinematic translations of a major novel ever made” (Newsweek). An unforgettable fantasia of surreal imagery, striking eroticism and unflinching satire, this newly restored version of The Tin Drum includes twenty minutes of footage unseen since the film was trimmed at the insistence of its distributor for the original 1979 release. (Dir. by Volker Schlöndorff, 1979, Germany, in German with subtitles, 163 mins., Rated R) Digital