METROPLIS is a masterpiece. It
stands out among silent films and holds it own against sound pictures. It has inspired various films like BLADE RUNNER
and even a music video by Madonna. The film was originally released in 1927 only to run afoul of recutting two months
after being released. This shorter version was an hour shorter and it is the version that many people saw for decades
and then a few different cuts were put together to make a longer version, but still critical scenes were missing. Curiosity versions
like the Moorder version in the 1980s set to modern pop music also came out. I like
METROPOLIS despite the overdramatic acting seen in silent films. It is a visual masterpiece with amazing production
design that still holds up after all this time.
Then an almost complete 16 mm film
print was found in 2008 in Argentina.
There were suspicions that the print existed for 18 years and stories circulated this cut was viewed in Argentina
up until 1959. This 16 mm cut features more than 25 minutes of footage never seen by many since the original release
of METROPOLIS. The 16 mm print was a copy made from the unstable 35 mm nitrate print due to nitrate films
being dangerous if not stored correctly and the archive that held it couldn't afford a transfer to 35 mm positive film. The
transfer was poorly done and lots of damage was done to the print. Move forward to now and some of the damage has been
repaired to be less noticeable and cut into the better film elements that survive of METROPOLIS.
VOYAGE TO METROPOLIS is a 50 minute
documentary on the making of the film, the various attempts to restore the film, and the new restoration. It is a very
complete account of the how the film was edited and then put back together. It captures how the film was made, it's
impact, how it got lost, edited, and finally restored. It is worthwhile viewing.
The interview with Paula Felix-Didier,
curator of the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires (Argentina), details how the history of the only surviving mostly complete print
of the film and how it came to be found (and restored). Also on the second disc is the 2010 theatrical re-release trailer.
FINAL ANALYSIS: METROPOLIS
is a classic and masterpiece. It is worth seeing alone for the production design and fans of this film will enjoy THE
COMPLETE METROPOLIS (which is the complete film minus two scenes that may be lost to time forever).
this DVD review is (c)12-6-2010 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments