One of the great things about living in Bloomington is that it’s the cultural mecca of south central Indiana. As far as The Arts go, Indiana University is tops. They bring in (and produce) great stage plays and concerts. The Jacobs School of Music is one of the most respected in the world (I can’t tell you how many now-stars of the opera I've seen when they were just getting started!) They recently reworked a theatrical stage, making it into IU Cinema where they are showing art, classic, current, experimental, documentary - actually, you-name-it - films. Many of which have the directors coming to the university to speak about their art. (Both in a classroom setting, public lectures and Q&A at the showings.)
So, you might be wondering... what does this have to do with a sci-fi / dystopian blog?
Well - this past Sunday I attended a screening of METROPOLIS - the 1927 Fritz Lang masterpiece of sci-fi/dystopian silent films!
The original 157 minute film was cut not long after its release. There were several hatchet jobs done to the film over the years and it has only been recently that original film was recovered in Buenos Aires. The film was painstakingly reconstructed and scenes that had been previously cut, which had made the movie make little to no sense - have been restored. This piece by Roger Ebert is chock-full of great info on the restoration, Lang, and the movie itself.
The Jacobs School of Music and IU Cinema got together to do this silent movie up right. Although METROPOLIS has been screened with a 60-piece orchestra - the IU Event was the world premier of a new score for a 17-piece salon orchestra. I’m here to tell you - it worked - in spades!
And here’s the trailer for the restored version. The thing to remember - the thing that I find most fascinating of all - this was made in 1927! 1927!