In the early 1960’s, on Friday nights I would watch WTTW, the local PBS television station in Chicago. Their offering? Silent movies. The one that struck me the most – ‘Metropolis‘ – the 1927 film by German Director, Fritz Lang with musical ‘soundtrack’ by Gottfried Huppertz.
In this past half-century plus, missing segments of the film have been discovered and the film was eventually restored to its near full original presentation – the Director’s cut – if you will.
Over the years I have witnessed numerous additions and partial restorations including the first semi-full major restoration of the film – including digital applications in 2001. ‘Metropolis’ was once again upgraded in 2010 as additional footage was discovered.
Why does any of this matter? To some – it will not. To others, you will realize that what you are about to watch is an eighty-nine year old depiction of life in the future. Much of it has come to pass.
Oh yes… what you about to see has been modified by a fan, to include the music of Pink Floyd (‘Wish You Were Here‘). It is set set to the pre-2010 version (without the most recently discovered footage).
Today is one of those days that I am not up to publishing new columns on this day.
Let us return – Back – to OUR Future.
Enjoy the beauty of REAL film-making. ~ (J.B.)
~ Review ~
Metropolis is surely one of the greatest films ever made. Its scope, its reach, its magnitude and its message are truly incredible even by today’s standards of film-making. Seen in context of its premier in 1927, Metropolis is a giant of filmdom and film history. Lots of people always ask what makes a movie great, and in particular, Metropolis. A great film is one that stirs the imagination, leaves the viewer with images that will last perhaps forever, forces contemplation of issues dealing with the very essence of life, and achieves a kind of immortality. Metropolis is a film that succeeds with each of these criteria. Metropolis is a film that hailed in a new era of making films with it futuristic settings, hallucinatory scenes, and its breadth of spirit and sheer scope, most clearly exhibited by its cast of epic proportions. There are images that blind the viewer with genius such as the beginning scene of the changing of the workers or the creation of the robot Maria. Metropolis challenges its viewers to think about their relationship with society both as a whole and with each individual, as well as contemplate the rationale of divisions amongst peoples and groups. Lastly, Metropolis has stood the test of time. It is a landmark film and an ignitor for the evolution of the science fiction/fantasy film genre. The story itself is simple, a Biblical allegory, about how people with a vision should share that vision in order to make it happen. The film is anything but simple. It is immense, and a rich legacy that director Fritz Lang has left us.