Fritz Lang’s Metropolis

While I was on leave over the Christmas break I watched a brilliant film: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

metropolis (2)I used to have it on video back in my university days. It was part of a film course I did.

But the version I saw a week or two ago was “reconstructed and restored” to its original two and a half hours. From memory the previous version I’d seen was about half of that and therefore seemed disjointed and hard to follow.

The story of Metropolis (Reconstructed & Restored) flowed very well and was easy to understand. It also included the original orchestral score written for the film.

My previous version had the typical jangly piano attached to a lot of silent films.

Of course being a “silent” film the acting wasn’t subtle – but I started to see it like a dance performance and that approach worked for me.

Even Gloria watched the whole lot – and usually that kind of film would NOT be her “cup of tea”.

The story was powerful and very topical, about the oppression of the poor workers by the rich elites.

There was also a strong current of biblical allusion throughout, something that increased its appeal to me.

I was aware of the film long before I saw the shorter version at university. It has been proclaimed as a classic, early science fiction film. As well as its futurist cityscapes and portrayal of oppressive industrialisation, it also features one of (if not the) first on-screen robot, credited with inspiring many that followed in later decades, such as Star Wars’ C3PO.

Previously, whenever anyone has asked me to name my favourite film I never had an answer – I think for now I could say Metropolis.

 

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