To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the UFA production company, the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation restores Münchhausen, one of the most famous films of its assets directed by Josef von Báky in 1943. The adventures of the famously lying Baron von Münchhausen was a perfect showcase for the then newly invented Agfacolor process. Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels pushed the high-profile film production to demonstrate the supremacy of German technology.
After the successful collaboration with the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation on the restoration of the two early Agfacolor films Immensee and Opfergang, restoration supervisor Anke Wilkening joined forces again with the researchers from the University of Zurich. And once more, ARRI Media in Munich executed the complex digitization and restoration work.
While the analysis and consulting for Immensee and Opfergang were preformed in the framework of the Swiss research project DIASTOR, the even more demanding color reconstruction for Münchhausen has been supported scientifically within the new interdisciplinary research project FilmColors, funded by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council ERC. One of the most important aims of this projects lies in the invention and development of scientifically advanced methods and workflows for the digitization and restoration of historical color films.
Project manager and principal investigator Prof. Dr. Barbara Flueckiger in collaboration with research scientist Dr. Giorgio Trumpy inspected, analyzed and documented several surviving film elements of Münchhausen.