Metropolis, (still) 1927

Fritz Lang
Metropolis (still)
1927
Digital video, black and white
153 minutes
Courtesy of Films Sans Frontières

Booking information

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Overview

The great future city of Metropolis is sharply divided between the wealthy who live a luxurious life and the working class who are exploited and must work like robots. The son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working-class woman who predicts the coming of a saviour to mediate their differences. Lang’s magnificent set pieces and special effects resulted in memorable images, notably the immense skyscrapers that dominate the skyline of Metropolis.

Praising the film, the British Film Institute commented: ‘Fritz Lang’s epic vision of a futuristic city where workers toil for their domineering overseers has proved an immeasurable influence on science-fiction filmmaking.’
According to American critic Roger Ebert, ‘Metropolis is one of the great achievements of the silent era, a work so audacious in its vision and so angry in its message that it is, if anything, more powerful today than when it was made.’

Since its creation in 1927, Metropolis has undergone numerous technical transformations. In 1994, after extensive research, a remastered black and white version of 153 minutes was born, while the original feature was 3 hours and 30 minutes long. The film also benefitted from a 2001 restoration by the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation which incorporated more than 25 minutes of newly discovered footage. In 2008, a 16mm negative found in Buenos Aires was added to the film, making this version of Metropolis close to Lang’s 1927 masterpiece.

Metropolis has received several awards, including the Saturn Award for Best DVD/Blu-Ray Special Edition Release, from Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA (2018); Saturn Award for Best DVD Classic Film Release, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA (2011); and Restoration of the Year award at Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards (2002).

Screening Information

Metropolis (1927)
Director: Fritz Lang
Germany
Sci-Fi | 153 minutes
Silent with Arabic and English subtitles