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Film fest 2011 - Metropolis


Germany 1927
Director: Fritz Lang
Producer: Erich Pommer
Screenplay: Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou
Photography: Karl Freund, Günther Rittau
Music: Gottfried Huppertz
In German with English subtitles

With: Alfred Abel (Joh Fredersen), Gustav Fröhlich (Freder Fredersen), Brigitte Helm (Maria/The Robot), Rudolf Klein-Rogge (Rotwang), Theodor Loos (Josephat), Heinrich George (Grot, foreman), Fritz Rasp (Slim), Heinrich Gotho (Master of Ceremonies), Erwin Biswanger (Georgi, 11811), Hans Leo Reich (Mafinus), Olaf Storm (Jan)

150 minutes
Censors rating tbc

The latest, and surely the most complete, resurrection we'll ever see of Fritz Lang's colossal 1927 futuristic thriller follows the discovery in Buenos Aires in 2008 of a worn 16mm print, including some 25 minutes thought lost since distributors wielded the axe soon after the film's premiere. This footage has now been cut into the superb 2002 restoration (which covered many of the absent scenes with explanatory title cards), combined with a new recording of the original 1927 orchestral score and transferred to HD for distribution to 21st-century cinemas. (The NZSO will present the film in November with a live performance of the same score.) - BG
"This season's most satisfying sci-fi blockbuster is a crypto-Marxist, proto-Fascist spectacle first released 80 years ago: Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the legendary art deco futuro-fable of industrialist excess, proletarian rebellion, and robot romance, one of the last big-budget exhilarations of the pre-talkie era. Once considered merely hokey and excessive, Lang's hyper-capitalist vision of workers oppressed by mechanical Molochs as their labor sustains a paradise for wealthy technocrats now seems both quaintly steampunk and disjunctively contemporary... Lang's impossibly vast skyscraper-ziggurats& are the blueprint for nearly every science-fiction movie city of the past 30 years... Mixing European avant-garde techniques with Hollywood mass-cult extravagance, Metropolis's staggering architectural scale and syncopated near-musical choreography still seem surprisingly contemporary in an age that has far from tired of seeing the future in harshly dystopic terms." - Ed Halter, Village Voice

"For those familiar with the film it will be a confirmation, for newcomers a revelation." - Philip French, The Observer