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Wildly inventive and effortlessly enchanting, Maurice Tourneur's legendary 1918 fantasy The Blue Bird combines spectacular costumes, lavish sets, ingenious camera effects and disarmingly naturalistic performances in a wholly original American silent film masterpiece. Tourneur's extravagant vision anticipates the spellbinding German Expressionism of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, made the following year, while affectionately evoking the whimsical theatricality of Georges Méliès's pioneering cinematic genius. Based upon Nobel Prize-winner Maurice Maeterlinck's play, The Blue Bird takes two young children on an allegorical voyage that bridges the chasm between the conscious and the unconscious. Joined by magically humanized pets and living household objects, brother and sister Mytyl and Tyltyl travel through a series of dream worlds on a quest for the elusive Blue Bird of Happiness. Beautifully preserved with its original color tints, The Blue Bird was rescued from decomposing nitrate elements by the George Eastman House as part of The National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Park Service's Saving America's Treasures program through the National Film Preservation Foundation. USA 1918 Color-tinted 81 min. Full-frame

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KI1918 Blue Bird DVD (1918/Maurice Tourneur) $29.95 $26.99