Saturday, October 30, 2010


Of all the versions of the classic silent film METROPOLIS that have been released over the years (about 40 in my recollection), the KINO INTERNATIONAL 2-disc version releasing November 16 is promoted as being the most complete. They have found over 20 extra minutes to add to their restored version. The film historian and sci-fi/fantasy fan in all of us await its release in eager anticipation.

"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." - FROM AMAZON.COM

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