Der müde Tod
This new restoration of Fritz Lang’s “Destiny (Der müde Tod)” is a dizzying blend of German Romanticism, Orientalism, and Expressionism. The film marked a bold step for Lang, away from conventional melodrama and into the kind of high-concept filmmaking that would culminate in such über-stylized works as “Die Nibelungen” and “Metropolis.” In the film, a young woman (Lil Dagover) confronts the personification of Death (Bernhard Goetzke) in an effort to save the life of her fiancé (Walter Janssen). Death weaves three romantic tragedies, offering to unite the girl with her fiancé if she can prevent the death of the lovers in at least one of the episodes. The great surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel once enthused: “When I saw ‘Destiny,’ I suddenly knew that I wanted to make movies. Something about this film spoke to something deep in me; it clarified my life and my vision of the world.” SLIFF’s favorite band, the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra, provides an original score and live accompaniment.