Metropolis (Restored Version 1927)

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Yes, I’m cheating here. It’s not 2014 and it’s not January. But, this is my blog and I can write whatever, and whenever, I want. I also really didn’t want to forget what happened in this crazy movie so I’m deciding to write about it now.

Basic premise of Metropolis: In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Sounds pretty interesting, right? Add some purposefully over-exaggerated emotions, some cue cards, a black and white screen and you’ve got yourself a silent film from the 20’s. Metropolisposter

First off, I have to say that I was a bit thrown by this film. It had nothing to do with it being silent or in black and white. This is just a very…different film. In fact, this film is sporadic and insane. But in the best way possible. With the film taking place in the future, I wasn’t necessarily sure what to expect. My brother recommended the film to me, but didn’t really tell me what it was about. So as I watched, I became more and more intrigued, but at the same time, more and more uncomfortable. Brigitte Helm, who plays multiple roles, but is mostly known as Maria, was the character I found to be the most daunting. I did not fully understand her character and the role she played, but what she manages in screen is just what Sci-Fi is asking for; uneasiness. I honestly, didn’t fully understand the movie,  but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. It is extremely well done with unique camera angles and spot on scene development. As far as a Sci-Fi film goes, this is definitely at the top of the list. Visually, this movie is incredible. The sets are large and powerful and the details are masterful.

*Wondering about the restored version? This film was the first of the science fiction genre to feature a full length film. Since it was so long and some critics found the footage questionable (and thus requested plenty of censorship), the film was drastically cut down after its German premiere. Plenty of the footage was also lost over the decades. There were multiple attempts made to restore the film since the 70’s- 80’s. In 2008, a damaged print of Director, Fritz Lang’s, cut of the film was found in an Argentinian Museum and after a drawn out restoration process, the film was 95% restored and shown again on the big screen.*

This is my first review from the Silent Film Challenge


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