Saturday, February 13, 2010


Last night, the rediscovered and restored version of Fritz Lang's 1927 expressionist science-fiction film Metropolis was broadcast on TV from the Berlin Film Festival, where it was accompanied by the original score performed live by an orchestra.

In the 1920s, the film had been re-cut and re-edited by American film studios to the point of obscuring the plot completely in order to reduce the 153-minute running time down to 90 minutes and to remove parts that were considered controversial or immoral for audiences in America. As a result, much of the cut parts were lost, and it has taken decades to piece and restore the film back to the version that Lang had conceived.

The choreography and visuals of this silent film are amazing, and the technology that it envisioned for the future are, for the most part, accurate and plausible. It has been inscribed in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register, and is definitely worth seeing.

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