Friday, July 27, 2012

METROPOLIS / Universum Film - 1927

It's Friday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. Our super classic silent film was directed by the masterful Fritz Lang who utilized many talented craftsmen to help create this awesome spectacle. The budget was 1,300,000 DM, has runtimes from 80-210 minutes and was released on March 13th. For years, all that survived of the METROPOLIS prints were incomplete original negatives and copies of shortened, re-edited prints. Over a quarter of the film was believed totally lost, but, in July 2008 Germany's 'ZEITmagazin' reported the discovery at the Museo del Cine Pablo Ducrós Hicken of a 16mm dupicate negative copy of the original full-length 35mm print, which had been sent to Argentina in 1928!

Lil' Rufus The Gnat has the night off because the music from this copy was so pedestrian that we have no soundclip for it! So, enjoy your time off Rufus, we'll see you back here next Friday! And, buzz-a-buzz buzz to you, too!!

So then, the story goes like this... In the futuristic city of Metropolis, which is divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior that will finally bring all the people together.

The class distinctions are shown in sharp contrast, the working class live underground in an oppressive atmosphere, while the affluent live above ground and frolick in their pleasure gardens, and, who have nothing else to do except chase half naked chicks around a water fountain all day...

The high pressure job of keeping the power running smoothly throughout the city is placed squarely on the shoulders of the workers!

During a tense moment at the power station, the leader's son, Freder, hallucinates this vision of the furnace becoming a giant demon eating the workers!

Joh Fredersen meets with the inventor, Rotwang, who shows him his newest creation, a robot.

I just really love this shot!

The city planners have access to some pretty cool software!

This is an awesome shot of the workers all marching in huge columns!

The robot is changed into an evil living person whose ultimate job is to go underground and divide the workers.

Evil Maria becomes an oversexed icon!

Brigitte Helm plays Death in these great scenes!

Love this, check out evil Maria's posture!

Telephone communication with visual imagery was an idea that was meant to become reality, seemed obvious even in 1927.

Evil Maria causes the entire undergound to flood, forcing all the workers above ground!

This is a photo Eegah!! took of Forry's robot at his place around the turn of the century.


Retro Hound said...

Cool! Now I don't have to watch the movie!

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

One of THE greatest day's of my life!!

Alex Jowski said...

Great write up of what's probably the best silent movie. Wonderful selection of screenshots. Awesome work!

Douglas McEwan said...

Visually amazing movie, but really, really silly script. I watched the restored version last year, and it is a very silly movie, between the lust-ravaged mad scientist and the effemanate hero dashing about in jodphurs, not to mention Robot Maria's screamingly-funny "vamping" that turns the men into drooling pervs. Utterly ridiculous movie, but a hell of a thing to look at.

Douglas McEwan said...

I should add that the restored version does make more plot-sense than the old butchered version, which is ironic since, in either version, it makes no sense at all.

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??