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Metropolis (1927)
#1
The 1927 Fritz Lang/Murneau masterpiece Metropolis was recently shown on television in Britain, enabling it to be recorded on DVD* and viewed by a wide audience. This is the once-lost movie treasure that was found in various parts in Argentina, and lovingly restored, remade and reworked, using sections of the actual footage spliced into the film. The result is a 2 1/2 hour epic of futuristic message-through-allegory, which rightly stunned audiences of its time. Everyone with slightly more than a passing interest in film as an arts medium should see this once in their lives, but it's likely that only more dedicated "film buffs" and certain sociologists will want to see it more than once.
Metropolis bears comparison with D.W. Griffiths' Intolerance, also a political allegory, but which is also much more watchable than Metropolis.
For anyone unaware, Metropolis is a stark and threatening view of a future "city state" centred on an all-providing and all-consuming Machine, with armies of uniformed workers marching to and from their labours in shifts, virtually oblivious to their very being. A love interest story is attempted, involving the rebellious son of the Machine's custodian and a heroic woman, but it fades into the background.
And that background is painted in unconvincing and unrealistic scenery , and unlike Griffith, there are few real structures, mostly illusion.
"Futuristic" movies need to have a sense of the future, and this movie is quite literally still in the steam age. Water and steam figure strongly in much of the movie, which was made at a time when the future of steam power was clearly doomed. Throughout Europe and the USA, trains, tramcars and industries were increasingly becoming electrified; but this is not the point of the movie.
It's hardly fair to judge photography on restored and reconstructed footage, but this movie lacks the potential of zoom and pan to any extent and its fame depends on the spectacle and allegory. It would have achieved as much at half the duration, and may have conveyed its message more powerfully and more succinctly. But we are lucky to have it at all, and grateful to those who worked so hard to enable us to see it. Not to be missed, but may disappoint those who love CGM techniques. This is how it used to be done - in the extreme.

* PM The Judge for more details.
 
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#2
Here's a link to a restored version which I guess is okay to post here since it is online. Hope this helps you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGgon2YeISw
 
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#3
Thanks BN.
 
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#4
I'm downloading this and will watch it for sure.. I love that 10 hr clock as the movie starts lol
 
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