Metropolis

September 4th, 2010

One of the most important sci-fiction films ever made, is the 1927 Fritz Lang classic, Metropolis. I happened to be looking through the Gutenberg library for free books to read on my iPod and I found Metropolis was available. As a science fiction fan, I’ve always been interested in Metropolis, but my only memory of it was a confused 1984 version with a pop music soundtrack by Giorgio Moroder.  As I started to read this literary version, I discovered that the versions most North Americans are familiar with is not what was originally shown in Berlin.  That version was considered too controversial.  Sadly, for many years, it was believed that the original version was lost.  Amazingly, in 2004 a version was found in the archives of a film museum in Argentina, and it had more complete footage than any other version still in existence.  So, just as I am reading the original text, I have discovered that this newly restored, complete version of the film is going to be release NEXT MONTH! What a coincidence!

While I have enjoyed reading Metropolis, the antiquated writing style and melodramatic characters makes it more of a curiosity than a great piece of literature.  Nonetheless, it is the original cautionary tale about de-humanizing technology, and as such is worth re-visiting.

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