Friday, 27 August 2010


Last night I attended the UK premiere of the new print of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. The last time I saw the film must have been something like ten years ago, and I have to confess that it didn't do much for me at the time. But last night all of my doubts were blown away. Sure, the ending is still sentimentally simplistic, but it's impossible not to be swept away by the sheer scale and ambition of it all. Even by today's standards it's impressive, but considering it comes from 1927 it's nothing short of monumental. But it's not only the baroque excess that impresses. It's everything. The scene where Rotwang chases Maria around the catacombs by flashlight struck me as especially effective, a masterpiece of tension. Seeing the film with the new footage, one wonders how the film ever worked without it. Perhaps it didn't (it would explain my lukewarm the first time I saw it). But whatever the case, it certainly works now. So whether you've seen Metropolis before or not, if you haven't yet seen the new restoration, well, you haven't yet seen Metropolis. And boy, are you missing out!

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