Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fritz Lang's "Metropolis"

From the IMDB synopsis:

"In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences."

If you've never seen this 1927 silent movie classic, sign up for Hulu Plus and watch it now. Every single science fiction movie of the last 90 years owes a debt to Metropolis. Indeed, you can see very clear thematic and visual elements of Metropolis in Star Wars, Blade Runner, Frankenstein, Forbidden Planet, a LOT of the original Star Trek episodes, Total Recall, The Time Machine, The Matrix, the list goes on and on.

Previous versions of the film had huge chunks missing footage and the editing of the restorations was mostly guess work. The movie was clearly visionary, but it didn't make a hell of a lot of sense. Kind of like your first (and maybe even second) viewing of Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey".

But in 2008 a complete, 16mm duplicate negative of the film was discovered in Buenos Aires. It included about 25 minutes of "lost footage". About a fifth of the film that had not been seen since it debuted in Berlin in 1927! And the duplicate negative gave a clear picture of the original cut of the film.

So the original editing, the balance between the characters and all of the subplots are now complete and to as great a degree possible, digitally remastered. This new version also has the original film score composed by Gottfried Huppertz and performed by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Frank Strobe. The less said about Giorgio Moroder's 1984, incomplete, colorized, rock-fueled abomination of Metropolis, the better. No, this new, true version of the film is the one you want to see. Here is the trailer. Watch it now.


Average Jane said...

I will say that I *loved* the Giorgio Morodor version at the time. I realize now how silly that was.

Definitely putting this on my "must see" list.

Faith said...

I'm with Average Jane. That's the only version I've seen, and I thought it was the shit, and that I was super-cool for having seen it when I was so young.

But I know now that I definitely need to see this original. Thanks for the tip, XO!

Anonymous said...

XO, remember when I asked you if I could download your picture of The President. As you can see, I've been using it as my avatar. The racists really hate it, which is just bloody wonderful! Thanks again.

The Watchman on politics said...

I think that I'll stroll down to my local Chick fil A shop and have a chicken sandwich for lunch today.