NZFF Day 11

Cover of "Metropolis (Restored Authorized...
Cover via Amazon

Monday 08 August

Metropolis

The film was better than I remembered; it was amazing seeing it on the big screen. This restoration print included never seen before footage, found in Buenos Aires. The soundtrack was the original from 1927. Hey, that’s what I’m interested in. The soundtrack included references to La Marseillaise and Symphonie Fantastique (I wonder how the 1984 re-release soundtrack would have worked. Y’know, with Queen, Pat Benatar, and Bonnie Tyler. Ha!).

Question: why were people leaving the cinema before the end of the film? Seriously, did they not know how long the film was? Did they not know what the film was about?

 

If you’ve not heard of Metropolis, firstly, shame on you. Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent classic shows the perils of industrialisation. In a futuristic city, workers man machines deep underground. The boss’ son, Freder, plays with his friends in a garden. His hedonistic life is interrupted when he sees and falls in love with Maria. Following her, he discovers the underground machinery. Feeling empathy for the workers, he takes over working one of the machines. His father isn’t happy. The workers have been meeting secretly, to hear Maria preach their rights (I like to think they’re unionising, and she is inciting their rebellion). The local mad scientist convinces the boss to let him send his cyborg/android to break up the Union – by making it look like Maria. Cyborg Maria ruins Maria’s reputation, by dancing in front of men at the Gentlemen’s Club, and showing her bellybutton! Oh The Humanity! Will Freder find the kidnapped Maria and save her reputation and the workers in time?

The restoration print was amazing. It was so great seeing the film on the big screen. Looking forward to the NZSO playing with a further restored print (including recently found footage) in November. 5 out of 5.

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