Long considered lost, this German adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic farce was able to be reconstructed when a nitrate print of the North American version was discovered buried under a cellar floor in Oregon in 2010. Shakespeare’s four bewitched lovers populate this fantastic production along with fairies, gnomes, mermaids, and animals of the forest.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Ein Sommernachtstraum) was restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. Laboratory services by Roundabout Entertainment, Inc. and Fotokem. This hybrid restoration reflects choices by the UCLA Film & Television Archive to restore the film to the approximate spirit of the original release. It utilizes the surviving North American version and the previously preserved fragments from the Bundesarchiv The North American release featureed two key changes from the original German release. First, it did not have the film’s lengthy opening sequence. Production stills were used to fill in shots from this lost preluce. Second, the North American release featured English intertitles that attempted to closely follow Shakespeare’s text and were a departure from the German intertitles. Adapting from text in German censorship records, this restoration primarily reflects the German intertitles (translated to English), augmented with a few American titles for continuity.
Special thanks to Oliver Hanley, Henry Esau, Kathleen Grimpe, Bundesarchiv, Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, Deutsche Kinemathek, Filmarchiv Austria, Filmmuseum Potsdam, Austrian Film Museum
Live music by the Sascha Jacobsen Quartet
Bassist Sascha Jacobsen draws on a variety of musical styles from classical to jazz and Argentine Tango. He has performed with Kronos Quartet, theatrical greats Rita Moreno, Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone, musicians Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman, and Raul Jaurena, among many others. Jacobsen is in demand as a performer, composer, and arranger, with commissions by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Berkeley Youth Symphony, and SF Arts Council among others. He is also a dedicated teacher and has coached students at numerous arts and music schools in the Bay Area. Jacobsen is the founder of the Musical Art Quintet, which performs his original compositions, and plays bass in the group. SF Weekly writes, “Classical training and a taste for evocative melodies underpin this sound.” For A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jacobsen will be joined by Seth Asamow on piano, Michele Walther on violin, and Daniel Riera on flute.
Image credit: Pamela Gentile