DIRECTED BY: /(version prepared by Giorgio Moroder)
FEATURING: Gustav Fröhlich, Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
PLOT: Freder, son of the man who rules Metropolis, discovers the plight of the subterranean workers who make the city run when he falls in love with a proletarian female preacher; his new lover is replaced by a robotic imposter who intends to lead the workers to ruin.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is a powerful candidate for the List, but Giorgio Moroder’s Metropolis isn’t. Kino’s 2010 “Complete Metropolis” restoration is now the definitive version of the film; Moroder’s re-imagining, with its synth-pop soundtrack and vocal intrusions by 1980s rock acts like Loverboy, Bonnie Tyler and Pat Benetar, is a curiosity.
COMMENTS: Set in a massive, mostly underground city that’s equal parts Futurist dreamscape and Babylonian pleasure garden, Metropolis is an unqualified, iconic Expressionist masterpiece, and if you want to turn down the sound and watch it while listening to Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga mp3s, that’s not going to destroy its visual splendor. Whatever questionable choices “Flashdance… What a Feeling!” composer Giorgio Moroder may have made with the proto-techno soundtrack that he added to this restoration (more on that score later), this Metropolis looks like it’s been struck from a pristine print, and it’s as feverishly hallucinatory as any other version. The decision to tint most of the scenes works wonderfully (and may even have reflected Lang’s original wishes; tinting was not at all uncommon in 1927). The colorization is tasteful and intelligent, with scenes on the surface bathed in radiant sepia, while the underground sequences utilize shadowy shades of steel blue and grey. This process retains the film’s monochromatic scale, simply shifting the palette towards the blue or the amber spectrum. Moroder added additional color effects for a few scenes; some of the equipment in mad scientist Rotwang’s laboratory glows with electricity, and when he transforms his robot into the image of Maria, the automaton’s eyes shine with an inhuman, metallic blue glint. Because some segments of Metropolis were lost, Moroder also Continue reading CAPSULE: GIORGIO MORODER PRESENTS METROPOLIS (1927/1984)