In what promises to result in its most lavish compendium to date, high-end US DVD distributor The Criterion Collection has bought US DVD rights Reiner Werner Fassbinder's monumental 939-minute Berlin Alexanderplatz: Remastered.

The film is screening in its entirety today at the Volksbuhne, starting at 10am and finishing at 3am tomorrow morning.

A gala premiere of the first two episodes took place on Saturday night at the Admiralspalast, where the film's iconic stars Barbara Sukowa, Gunter Lamprecht (who played Franz Biberkopf) and Hanna Schuygulla are pictured.

The cast will again reassemble this evening at 7pm at Volksbuhne for an appearance in between screening sessions.

The US deal was brokered for Criterion by Peter Becker, president, and Fumiko Takagi, executive producer, and for Bavaria Film International (BFI) by head Thortsen Schaumann and head of legal affairs Bianca Shcarti.

The film, restored at a cost of 1.4m euros by Bavaria Media and Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, first appeared as a 14-part TV series on ARD in 1980, also appearing in its entirety at the Venice Film Festival that year.

German critics were at first baffled by its longueurs and sexual content, but it quickly developed a reputation as, arguably, Fassbinder's greatest work.

'We are enormously gratified to be part of this landmark effort to bring one of the great lost classics back to audiences around the world,' said Becker. 'The restoration is extraordinary.'