Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 23 July 2010 13:24

The marvelous restoration of Metropolis

The marvelous restoration of Metropolis
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

Initially released in 1927, Metropolis is among the most iconic and influential films ever. Way ahead of his time, Viennese-born director Fritz Lang presented a socially powerful critique of the exploitation of masses of workers by the hedonistic upper class. With astonishing contrasts between Gothic and futuristic architecture, a dichotomous world exists. Within the depths of the title city, masses sweat and toil in long shifts that literally sap their life's blood. Above ground, in Edenic gardens, the elite play and party. There Freder, son of the heartless capitalist ruler, accidentally encounters and is stunned by an angelic Maria.

She preaches the film's mantra: there can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator. But an evil twin, a robot Maria, leads all to their doom, encouraging self-destructive rebellion. This plot summary is much too simplistic for the mad scientist Rotwang, the 25,000 extras herded as workers and chaotic in rebellion, hundreds of workers' children threatened by flooded chambers, a catacomb chase, statues of seven deadly sins that come to life, a gargantuan church, and more. Lang and his wife/writer Thea von Harbou borrow Freudian ideas and critique Fascist elements. Lang wields German Expressionist style with forceful precision, interpreted by extremely dramatic acting. Some special effects, still impressive today, were executed on the set with miniatures and mirrors while expert cinematographer Karl Freund created others in camera.

Previously, Metropolis has existed in incomplete and, therefore, often confusing versions, especially because so many ideas are in play. But in 2008 the most complete print ever was discovered in Buenos Aires, including footage of an entire subplot involving Freder's mother Hel. With an additional 25 minutes of footage and its original soundtrack, this science-fiction milestone, now 2½ hours, reasserts Lang's brilliant conceits. As an important footnote, Lang fled Nazi Germany in 1933, refusing Goebbels offer to head the German Cinema Institute. Besides the fact that Lang hated what they stood for, he knew the Nazis had not yet discovered that his mother was Jewish. In mid-1934 he came to the US and worked here for the next 20 years. The fully restored, brilliant Metropolis is showing at Landmark's Tivoli Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


The Mound City Slickers

Mon August 4

The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven-man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. "Don't Hide" is full of high-energy jams and groovy improvisations that give the band's music a good-time vibe. Download their…

KDHX Recommends

August
Friday
22

TOCO Family Festival

TOCO hosts its annual Family Festival at Jellystone Park in Eureka, featuring camping, live music, contests, family activities, art, food, vendors and much more. tocofestival.com


August
Saturday
23

Amelia White with Sergio Webb at Harvest Sessions 2014

Amelia White with Sergio Webb at Harvest Sessions 2014 Nashville, Tennessee-based songwriter Amelia White with guitarist Sergio Webb are this week's featured artists for Harvest Sessions. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market,...


August
Friday
29

Small Black, Scarlet Tanager

KDHX welcomes Small Black to the Ready Room, with Scarlet Tanager. This event is all ages.


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

5 users and 11747 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook