After 83 years, Fritz Lang’s Sci-Fi classic “Metropolis” has returned to Berlin in its full glory. On Friday night 2,000 fans braved the snowy weather to watch the restored classic at the Brandenburg Gate. It took restorers a year to repair the damage to the newly discovered scenes. They say the original film was much more complex and interesting than just a sci-fi cult classic.
For over eight decades it was just a tantalizing El Dorado for film historians, but on Friday night a restored version of “Metropolis,” Fritz Lang’s silent masterpiece, returned to Berlin. Over 2,000 people turned up on a snowy night in Berlin to watch the film projected onto a screen in front of the Brandenburg Gate, with an orchestra performing the original score in a simultaneous broadcast at a theater across town.
The event was the highlight of this year’s Berlin Film Festival, marking the return of one of Germany’s most influential films to the city where it made its debut 83 years ago. When the sci-fi classic was first shown in 1927 there was huge anticipation about what was then the most expensive German film ever made. But the 150 minutes of idealism and dystopia were a flop with critics and the public alike, despite the ground-breaking techniques and futuristic vision.
Once the US distributors got their hands on “Metropolis” they lobbed off a quarter of the film, making it all but incomprehensible in the process. While that did little to redeem it at the box office in the 1920s, the film went on to become an icon of German cinema and a reference point for many future sci-fi films from “Blade Runner” to “The Fifth Element.” Continue reading