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Old September 9 2013, 04:12 PM   #668
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Location: Georgia, USA
Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

So, no discussion about "Metropolis"?

I finally got to see "Metropolis" last Friday after readings about it for close to 40 years. TCM aired the latest "reconstruction" which restored many missing shots from a 16 mm print discovered in South America just a couple of years ago. As it now stands, there is only one scene still "missing", a physical confrontation between Frederson, the leader of Metropolis and Rotwang (which I discovered today should be pronounced something akin to "Rot-Vahng"), the creator of "Futura", the "machine man" (with a pectoral region and hips like that?!) eventually disguised to replace Maria, the heroine of the piece. I also discovered that Brigitte Helm not only played Maria and her doppelganger, but she supposedly insisted upon wearing the robot costume for the scene in which ir rises from a chair and walk several steps.

I've seen clips over the years, but never the whole film, in whatever form was available at a given time. One can actually see the newest cut on YouTube, but it's the version with German text and I didn't see a button to display English subtitles. The latest inserts from that 16 millimeter print are very substandard, blurred and scratched compared to the rest of the footage, but they are relatively few. Most were just single shots in a given scene. The rest of the film is in fantastic condition, good enough to take advantage of a reasonably large HD monitor. I also noticed Fritz Lang employed some shooting techniques tat many filmmakers would not attempt for decades, such as a few handheld shots. Those appeared during a scene when Rotwang pursues Maria through some catacombs, giving us a POV of the scientist. A single spotlight, Rotwang's flashlight, erratically flashed across Maria; the rest of the area was totally black. Forgive me, but the first thing that came to mind was "The Blair Witch Project" with its personal camcorder approach.

Anyway, it made for an interesting evening of cinema.


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