Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:19 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
70 Metropolis 
Author Message
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
“Metropolis”, a German expressionist silent sci-fi film, is the first silent film I’ve seen. Director Fritz Lang has constructed a sprawling city of 100 years in the future (2026) where workers toil underground while planners and managers and their children recreate in the ‘Eternal Gardens’. In the gardens, the city founder’s son sees a girl and children from the underground and, smitten, follows her to the depths of the city and of the machinery where the workers toil. There, he witnesses an accident that claims several workers and has a vision of the workers being ‘fed’ to the machine. He then embarks to change the structure of his society, peacefully. Meanwhile, a scientist/inventor who has created a man-machine has also begun a process to change this society, using a more nefarious and violent means.
This film is challenging, exhausting and fulfilling all at once. It presents Orwellian social ordering with Shakespearian intellectual plotting in a Vonnegut-like cityscape. ‘Silent’ is a bit of a misnomer here, as the film does have an orchestral score covering the entire length of its 124 minute running time. The score is brilliant and carries with it the magnitude and weight of each scene, light at times, pulsing at others. Lang understood that a silent film must primarily stand on its visuals. He was a true visionary who appeared to have been deposited in the 1920’s from some distant future and moved to make a movie using and advancing the best technology of the time.
Having researched the various versions/releases/restorations of “Metropolis” prior to my viewing, I selected the 2001 “restored, authorized” edition. With nearly ¼ of the original film ‘lost’ to corrosion, it has been filled with unobtrusive text-screens of exposition, thereby filling in the missing gaps. This version is the most complete restoration (frame-by-frame) available and uses the original score, which has been orchestrally re-recorded by modern methods. As of today’s date, this is the version I would own. Apparently a full (153 minute) version was found in an archive in Argentina in 2008 and is currently undergoing restoration that will make it the next, most-desired version available.
Should this movie ever appear in a theater, I will be there.
If you want to challenge and treat yourself to watching a silent film and if (big 'if') you’re open to the experience, this one will leave you awe-inspired.


Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:50 pm
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
My college is running the full 153 minute version on the big screen with a live orchestra on the 1st of October. I'm more excited than a human being ever logically should be about a movie.


Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:09 pm
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
Um, where is your college? Cause if I start now I may be able to walk there :D


Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:18 pm
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
It's in St. Louis. If you're close the screening is open to the general public for $6. I will for seriously watch it with you, Josh.


Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:18 pm
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
Zeppelin wrote:
It's in St. Louis. If you're close the screening is open to the general public for $6. I will for seriously watch it with you, Josh.


I would for seriously watch it with you too, sadly I am not in that good of shape :( I will, however, be grabbing this film on Blu-Ray. I do wish they had more classic films showed with an orchestra in my area :cry: I won't be able to get myself a hold of the 150-minute version of the film until its release on November 16, but you wanna return to it then once I've watched it? :)


Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:36 pm
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
I had the pleasure to watch a TV broadcast of the premiere of the 2008 restored version accompanied by a live orchestra at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. (cf. viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2167&p=43297&hilit=metropolis#p43297) It truly is a magnificent movie, although the central message is so simplistic that it borders on plain dumb - if we're all nice to each other, we (capitalists and workers) can get along much better. I guess Metropolis must be considered in the light of then contemporary social issues in Weimar republic Germany.

Overall, the newly restored footage doesn’t add all that much to the most recent (2001) restoration. Some subplots become clearer and, inexplicably, a rather decent action scene had been missing (Freder Fredersen helping to save the children from the rising flood).


Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:52 am
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
I had the pleasure of seeing the restored version here at the Gasteig in Munich with a live orchestra.

One of the cinematic highlights of my life.


Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:58 am
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
MM

Just freaking wow.

JJ. Coincidentally, my birthday is the 16th of Nov...


Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:42 pm
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1531
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
TCM is airing the restored cut on Sunday.


Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Profile
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
I'll not be able to watch the Sunday eve broadcast debut of the full film, but will be on que for purchase of the DVD.


Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:45 pm
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
So, last night I and a friend watched Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" at the university campus as part of their 'campus film series'. The version that we saw was the 149 minute, 2010 restoration. There were several segments of the film that had been damaged beyond a point of repair, and it was easy to see those pop in from time to time. -rather than try to re-create what was no longer there, they just included/showed the damaged segments as found. There was at least one subplot that had been re-incorporated (or at least fleshed out) with this restoration, and the re-recorded orchestral score was FANTASTIC. I received this DVD for Christmas, but seeing it on a big screen with theater sound was worth the late night. There was only one other person in the theater besides us and he left around the intermezzo.
This is an incredibly complex story to be told in a silent format. The sets had to be the most elaborate of the day.
Amazing. Just amazing.


Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:41 am
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
Awfy, we should be discussing this very soon (maybe even today) for the Movie Club. I hope you join in.


Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:35 pm
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
ed_metal_head wrote:
Awfy, we should be discussing this very soon (maybe even today) for the Movie Club. I hope you join in.


Right! It's right here: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=3881

Not the complete essay but a start nonetheless. I'm hoping it's not just me and ed talking Metropolis. If that ends up being the case than that's okay, naturally.

You guys realize that ed's avatar is taken directly from the movie, right?


Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:38 am
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:17 pm
Posts: 525
Post Re: 70 Metropolis
Unke wrote:
I had the pleasure to watch a TV broadcast of the premiere of the 2008 restored version accompanied by a live orchestra at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. (cf. viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2167&p=43297&hilit=metropolis#p43297) It truly is a magnificent movie, although the central message is so simplistic that it borders on plain dumb - if we're all nice to each other, we (capitalists and workers) can get along much better. I guess Metropolis must be considered in the light of then contemporary social issues in Weimar republic Germany.


I just watched the 2 hour version that had the text for missing scenes. You've basically hit the nail on the head; I was ready to give it 4/4 in the first half hour, but then the started to matter, and it is dumb. Apparently, Lang hated Metropolis when he was done with it. One reason was that he knew it was naive, and the other was that the Nazis loved it. Also, critics of the time criticized it for the same reason. The over-acting is ridiculous. It's really too bad that the whole "mediator between head and hand" was all that came out of it. I think I would have liked it better if Rotwang's philosophy had won out; then it would be a cynical tragedy.

Story elements aside, Metropolis is astounding. This is the definition of meaningful special effects. Everything from the art direction to the cinematography - this is why the film has endured the test of time. 3.5/4


Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:10 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr