Saturday, May 15, 2010

Metropolis Regained

Fritz Lang's, not Superman's.

The brilliant early science-fiction film, which combines Marxism and sexy robots, has always left us a bit cold. Oh, it's brilliant, all right -- the visual imagery has been copied, but rarely excelled. But it also seemed inscrutable, its storyline difficult to follow, its characters not quite convincing, its ploy somehow ... fragile.

As if something were missing.

Turns out something was. The 153-minute film was cut down to 90 for its American release. That's more than 40% of the story, just hacked out. Over the years, bits and pieces have turned up, and a "restored" version was released in 2005. Then 25 more minutes turned up in Argentina. The film is probably as close to complete as it will ever be.

It's showing at Film Forum, if you live in or near NYC. If not, read the gushing i09 review.

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