by Fritz Lang; Thea von Harbou; Gottfried Huppertz; Marco Jovic; Frank Strobel; Alfred Abel; Brigitte Helm; Gustav Fröhlich; Rudolf Klein-Rogge; Karl Freund; Günther Rittau; Paula Felix-Didier; Artem Demenok; UFA (Firm); Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen.; Arte (Firm); Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung.; Südwestrundfunk (Germany); Berliner Rundfunk. Sinfonie-Orchester.; Rundfunkchor Berlin.; Transit Film.; Parufamet (Firm); Kino International Corporation.; DVD video : NTSC color broadcast system  |  Two-disc special ed
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Twilight of the Gods: Metropolis Redux   (2012-02-13)
Of all the great silent films, few approach the curiously hip appeal of Metropolis, director Fritz Lang’s 1927 futuristic German classic. It was the Cleopatra or Heaven’s Gate of its day, nearly bankrupting the studio—Ufa—that produced it. Yet its influence, principally in Lang’s extraordinary visual design, has been monumental. More than 80 years after its release, Metropolis remains the Citizen Kane of the science-fiction film.
Despite its influence on such movies as disparate as Blade Runner, Dr. Strangelove and Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, some present-day audiences may yet agree with the famed British author H.G. Wells, who called it a “most foolish film.” Its campy, ponderous absurdities are no less apparent in a historic new edition, which adds 25 minutes to the extant two-hour version first released in 2002.
Like too many cinematic milestones, Metropolis has suffered a long and torturous post-production history. Originally 2 1/2 hours at its Berlin premiere, it was almost immediately hacked down by its American studio backers (principally Paramount) to 90 minutes for international release. But like any good Hollywood monster, the film refused to die. It’s been resurrected several times, most notoriously in a 1984 pop version by music producer Giorgio Moroder. The latest reincarnation comes amazingly by way of Buenos Aires, where archivists in 2008 unearthed a scratchy 16mm print that’s as close to Lang’s original as exists. That print, digitally cleaned up and married to an existing 35mm master by Germany’s Murnau Foundation, has produced a 147-minute Metropolis, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2010....
[Full review now playing at Deeper Into Movies -- The Current (and Classic) Cinema (http://deepintomovies.blogspot.com/2010/07/film-review-metropolis-1927.html) and on Facebook.]
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