10 hours ago
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
'Metropolis' - latest restored version
It was encouraging to see a large cinema about 80% full as early as 11 a.m. today for this showing of the 1926 Fritz Lang film - newly restored at 2 hrs 25 mins to almost original length, following the discovery of a near-complete, but damaged, copy of the film in Buenos Aires. Of course one can nowadays smile at the absurd melodrama, the histrionic gestures (though as it's a silent film, that's understandable) and the simplistic portrayal of 'mad', and see the film as little more than a museum-piece, but visually it really does retain its grandeur - and now with a consistent orchestral soundtrack added, which I found much preferable to that rather odd, though not totally unsympathetic, electronic backing by Giorgio Moroder when a shorter version of the film was released in 1984 (which I actually saw in Munich). But this new version is likely to be the closest we'll ever get to Lang's original conception. It finished this morning to general, well-deserved applause. A rare and memorable cinematic experience. Great stuff!