Metropolis - 1927

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!


iefgh said...

Too awesome! Metropolis is one of my favorite "classic" movies, but I didn't realize that more of the film had been recovered. Great post!

Dadrocant said...

Another interesting fact about this movie, that most people don't know about, is that the script is an adaptation of the novel Metropolis, and both the book and the script were written by Lang's wife, Thea von Harbou. If you like the movie, do yourself a favor and get a copy of the book, it is definitely worth reading, as it gives you such an amazing insight into the world of the Metropolis.

Matthew MacNish said...

I remember hearing about the discovery of the other reels on NPR a year or so ago. That's awesome that you got to screen the whole thing in such a cool setting.

Julia said...

Dadrocant - yes, I knew that. Also - Lang divorced that wife when she decided to follow Hitler - even though Lang was Jewish.

Julia said...

Matthew - it was amazing! And, the fact that the IU Cinema is in a theater that is Art Deco made it even cooler!

Okie said...

I really love this movie. It's got so much going on.

I think it would be great to see it on a big screen...and in a retro/art-deco theatre would be even more fun.

I picked up the dvd from a thrift store a few months ago and tried to share it with my family...but my kids got bored before the show really got going. I'll have to try again when they're a little older. ;)