The Tin Drum is a challenging film that defies easy interpretation. It depicts a world in chaos, a world where traditional values have lost their meaning, and if there are any new ones they aren't working. It is that world where that famous beast has already slouched toward Bethlehem and been born. Schlödorff presents an insane vision of that insane world, a nightmarish vision that is shocking in its visceral accuracy.
Besides the trailer, this new Criterion Collection set includes an illuminating hour-long interview with Schlöndorff filmed in 2012, a recording of Grass reading the passage from the novel describing Oskar's disruption of the Nazi rally illustrated by the scene in the film, and a number of early French television interviews with Schlödorff, Carrière and a few of the actors, most notably David Bennent who plays Oskar. The accompanying booklet has an essay, "Bang the Drum Loudly," by critic Geoffrey Macnab and some comments from Grass about the adaptation. It does not include the documentary Banned in Oklahoma which was included as bonus material in Criterion's 2004 release.