"Isn’t it worth the loss of a hand to have created the man of the future, the Machine-Man—?!”
Fritz Lang’s sci-fi classic has really been through the wringer since it’s premiere in 1927. After having been cut nearly in half then reshaped, people have struggled over the decades to restore the 2 ½ hour film to its full glory but to little avail. In 2008, however, a 16mm print of a horribly scratched copy of the nearly full version was found in Buenos Aires and the film was given new life. It’s since been beautifully restored and is a marvel to watch, even with the scratches.
Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we begin our Fritz Lang series with “Metropolis.” We talk about what the film is about, what works in it and what doesn’t, and try to deduce why. We talk about various political directions the story seems to take and how they fit in with the time and place when Lang and his wife/co-writer Thea von Harbou were writing this. We chat about the actors – notably Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel and Rudolf Klein-Rogge – and what they bring to the table. We debate whether Giorgio Moroder’s rock interpretation of the movie in 1984 has any merit. And we marvel at the stunning effects by Eugen Schüfftan, from the miniatures and stop motion, to the video phone, to the creation of the Machine-Man and the rings of light moving around it.
It’s a film that has inspired countless projects since and is clearly an important piece in the history of cinema, and even though the story is riddled with problems and could likely be condensed to get the same thing across, it’s still well worth a watch. So check out this movie then tune in to this week’s show!
- Watch this film: Amazon • Netflix • Hulu
- Original theatrical trailer
- Original poster artwork
- Art of the Title