Completely restored Metropolis gets Berlin screening
When the lost footage of Metropolis was found in July of 2008 work was begun to restore a complete version of the film immediately, a film that went beyond the previously restored version from 2001, a version that even restored a previously unseen character.
It's amazing to believe that the film is almost ready to be shown, and that it will receive an airing where it was premièred, at the Berlin International Film Festival as part of its sixtieth anniversary.
The newly restored footage includes, for those of you who know the film:
"The newly discovered scenes include the character of Georgy in his "reduced" state, a character named Slim and his transformation into an apocalypse-preaching monk and a car journey through the city of Metropolis."
There's an interesting debate to be had here about whether this now constitutes the director's film or not, despite these scenes being removed from the original shown all those years ago, it was re-cut that was the film that was shown to audiences.
In 1927 the 153 minute film was shown to an audience and it was not received well. Audiences and critics hated it and it was then that it was heavily edited. In 2001 a restored version of the film was still almost a half hour short of the original showing time.
So when the negatives were found in the Museo del Cine Pablo in Buenos Aires, The Wilhelm-Murnau Foundation, together with broadcasters ZDF and art and Berlin film museum the Deutsche Kinemathek, set about restoring them to the original version and bringing the old version back to life, hated at the time or not.
The Hollywood Reporter has the story of the screening and reveal that Conductor Frank Strobel and the Berlin Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra will be playing alongside the screening, adding a depth to it that will rarely be seen.
How do you feel about restoring such classic cinema. Is this the version that Lang would want to be seen despite his heavy re-cutting of the film originally?