Fritz Lang''s Metropolis belongs to legend as much as to cinema. It''s a milestone of sci-fi and German expressionism. Yet the story makes minimal sense, and the "theme" belongs in a fortune cookie; to experience the film''s pagan power, you have to see the movie. But for decades we couldn''t, not really--not with so many versions, all incomplete, often in public-domain prints like smudged photocopies. This Murnau Foundation restoration changes all that. Some shots, scenes, and subplots may be lost forever, but intertitles indicate how they fit into the original continuity and the characters'' individual trajectories. Most crucially, the images are crisp, vibrant, and three-dimensional instead of murky and flattened. The composite sequences (the Tower of Babel, a sea of lusting eyes) have been restored to their hallucinatory ferocity. And there''s one moment when you can see a bead of sweat roll down a man''s cheek--in medium long-shot. --Richard T. Jameson
Metropolis takes place in 2026, when the populace is divided between workers who must live in the dark underground and the rich who enjoy a futuristic city of splendor. The tense balance of these two societies is realized through images that are among the most famous of the 20th century, many of which presage such sci-fi landmarks as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner. Lavish and spectacular, with elaborate sets and modern science fiction style, Metropolis stands today as the crowning achievement of the German silent cinema. Kino International is proud to announce the DVD and long awaited first time ever Blu-ray release of the new restoration of Fritz Lang''s 1927 science fiction masterpiece METROPOLIS, now with 25 minutes of lost footage and the original Gottfried Huppertz score. This new 147-minute version (being released as THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS), opened theatrically in April 2010 earning over $350,000 at the box office, and since its original restoration, has gone on to earn $1,000,000 in theatrical ticket sales! When it was first screened in Berlin on January 10, 1927, the sci-fi epic ran an estimated 153 minutes. After its premiere engagement, in an effort to maximize the film''s commercial potential, the film''s distributors (UFA in Germany, Paramount in the U.S.) drastically shortened METROPOLIS, which had been a major disappointment at the German box office. By the time it debuted in the United States later that year, the film ran approximately 90 minutes (exact running times are difficult to determine because silent films were not always projected at a standardized speed). METROPOLIS went on to become one of the cornerstones of science fiction cinema foreshadowing BLADE RUNNER and THE MATRIX to name just a few recent examples. Testament to its enduring popularity, the film has undergone restorations in 1984 and again in 1987. The 2001 restoration combined footage from four archives and ran at a triumphant 124 minutes. And at the time was widely beli
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