At times, the sound is machinelike, at times wild and almost chaotic, at times grand and austere. It remains interesting as music almost all the way through the soundtrack, with only the last two brief sections, entitled "Climax" and "Aftermath," dragging a bit. This long, introspective piece is actually less successful than the Metropolis score, as there are unexpected sounds and shifts in tone that probably made perfect sense in the context of the film, but are jarring to someone who is listening to the soundtrack independently.
Even so, there are some fine moments here and throughout the Metropolis soundtrack. The Club Foot Orchestra sounds excellent here, creating their own music while reflecting moods in scenes written and filmed decades before any of the bandmembers were born.
I was not so politically minded in those days as I am now. You cannot make a social-conscious picture in which you say that the intermediary between the hand and the brain is the heart. I mean, that's a fairy tale—definitely. But I was very interested in machines. Anyway, I didn't like the picture—thought it was silly and stupid—then, when I saw the astronauts: what else are they but part of a machine?
It's very hard to talk about pictures—should I say now that I like Metropolis because something I have seen in my imagination comes true, when I detested it after it was finished? In his profile of Lang, which introduced the interview, Bogdanovich suggested that Lang's distaste for his film also stemmed from the Nazi Party's fascination with it. Von Harbou became a member of the Party in She and Lang divorced the following year.
According to Roger Ebert , " Metropolis is one of the great achievements of the silent era, a work so audacious in its vision and so angry in its message that it is, if anything, more powerful today than when it was made. The website's critical consensus reads, "A visually awe-inspiring science fiction classic from the silent era. Lane Roth in Film Quarterly called it a "seminal film" because of its concerns with "profound impact technological progress has on man's social and spiritual progress" and concluded that "ascendancy of artifact over nature is depicted not as liberating man, but as subjugating and corrupting him".
Exploring the dramatic production background and historical importance of the film's complex political context in The American Conservative , film historian Cristobal Catalan suggests "Metropolis is a passionate call, and equally a passionate caution, for social change". The original premiere cut of Metropolis has been lost, and for decades the film could be seen only in heavily truncated edits that lacked nearly a quarter of the original length.
But over the years, various elements of footage have been rediscovered. Two of these negatives were destroyed when Paramount reedited the film for the US market and the UK market. UFA itself cut the third negative for the August release. Between and , the Staatliches Filmarchiv der DDR , with the help of film archives from around the world, put together a version of Metropolis which restored some scenes and footage, but the effort was hobbled by a lack of a guide, such as an original script, to determine what, exactly, was in the original version.
Moroder's version, which was made in consultation with the Munich Film Archive and their archivist, Enno Patalas ,  was tinted, featured additional special effects, replaced intertitles of character dialogue with subtitles and incorporated a soundtrack featuring songs composed and produced by Moroder and recorded with popular artists such as Freddie Mercury , Bonnie Tyler , Pat Benatar , Adam Ant and Jon Anderson instead of a traditional score.
It was the first serious attempt made at restoring Metropolis to Lang's original vision, and until the restorations in and , it was the most complete version of the film commercially available; the shorter run time was due to the extensive use of subtitles and a faster frame rate than the original.
Moroder's version of Metropolis generally received poor reviews, to which Moroder responded, telling The New York Times "I didn't touch the original because there is no original. In August , after years of the Moroder version being unavailable on video in any format due to music licensing problems, it was announced that Kino International had managed to resolve the situation, and the film was to be released on Blu-ray and DVD in November.
In addition, the film enjoyed a limited theatrical re-release. The moderate commercial success of the Moroder version inspired Enno Patalas, the archivist of the Munich Film Archive, to make an exhaustive attempt to restore the movie in Starting from the version in the Museum of Modern Art collection,  this version took advantage of new acquisitions and newly discovered German censorship records of the original inter-titles, as well as the musical score and other materials from the estate of composer Gottfried Huppertz.
The Munich restoration also utilized newly rediscovered still photographs to represent scenes that were still missing from the film. The Munich version was 9, feet, or minutes long.
In Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung commissioned film preservationist Martin Koerber to create a "definitive" restoration of Metropolis by expanding on the Munich version. Previously unknown sections of the film were discovered in film museums and archives around the world, including a nitrate original camera negative from the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv , as well as nitrate prints from the George Eastman House , the British Film Institute and the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana.
These original film elements, digitally cleaned and repaired to remove defects, were used to assemble the film. Newly written intertitles were used to explain missing scenes.
The restoration premiered on 15 February at the Berlin Film Festival , with a new score by Bernd Schultheis, performed live by the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. The running time is minutes at 24 fps, and it was released internationally on various DVD editions beginning in The safety reduction was intended to safeguard the contents in case the original's flammable nitrate film stock was destroyed.
Under the auspices of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Berlin's Deutsche Kinemathek and Museo del Cine, a group of experts, including Anke Wilkening, Martin Koerber, and Frank Strobel began combining the newly discovered footage with the existing footage from the restoration.
A major problem was that the Argentinian footage was in poor condition and had many scratches, streaks, and changes in brightness. Some of this they were able to overcome with digital technology, which would not have been possible in The reconstruction of the film with the new footage was once again accompanied by the original music score, including Huppertz's handwritten notes, which acted as the key resource in determining the places in which the restored footage would go. Since the Argentinian print was a complete version of the original, some scenes from the restoration were put in different places than previously, and the tempo of the original editing was restored.
Organ discovered that the print contained scenes missing from other copies of the film. After hearing of the discovery of the Argentine print of the film and the restoration project, Organ contacted the German restorers; the New Zealand print contained 11 missing scenes and featured some brief pieces of footage that were used to restore damaged sections of the Argentine print.
It is believed that the New Zealand and Argentine prints were all sourced from the same master. The newly-discovered footage was used in the restoration project. Two short sequences, depicting a monk preaching and a fight between Rotwang and Fredersen, were damaged beyond repair. Title cards describing the action were inserted by the restorers to compensate. The Argentine print revealed new scenes that enriched the film's narrative complexity.
The characters of Josaphat, the Thin Man, and appear throughout the film and the character Hel is reintroduced. The silent film is regarded as a pioneering science-fiction movie, being among the first feature-length movies of that genre. Made in Germany during the Weimar period , Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city master, and Maria, a saintly figure to the workers, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes in their city and bring the workers together with Joh Fredersen, the city master.
Metropolis met a mixed reception upon release. Critics found it pictorially beautiful and visually powerful—the film's art direction by Otto Hunte , Erich Kettelhut and Kurt Vollbrecht draws influence from Bauhaus , Cubist and Futurist design, Template:Sfn along with touches of the Gothic in the scenes in the catacombs , the cathedral and Rotwang's house  —and lauded its complex special effects, but accused its story of naivete.
Template:Sfn H. Wells described the film as "silly", and The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction calls the film's story "trite" and its politics "ludicrously simplistic". The film's extensive running time also came in for criticism, and Metropolis was cut substantially after its German premiere, with a large portion of Lang's original footage removed. Many attempts have been made since the s to restore the film. In , Italian music producer Giorgio Moroder released a truncated version with a soundtrack by rock artists including Freddie Mercury , Loverboy and Adam Ant.
In a new reconstruction of Metropolis was shown at the Berlin Film Festival. In a damaged print of Lang's original cut of the film was found in a museum in Argentina. In the future, in the city of Metropolis, wealthy industrialists and business magnates and their top employees reign from high-rise towers, while underground-dwelling workers toil to operate the great machines that power the city.
Joh Fredersen is the city's master. His son Freder idles away his time at sports and in a pleasure garden, but is interrupted by the arrival of a young woman named Maria, who has brought a group of workers' children to witness the lifestyle of their rich "brothers".
Maria and the children are ushered away, but Freder, fascinated, goes to the lower levels to find her. On the machine levels he witnesses the explosion of a huge machine that kills and injures numerous workers.
Freder has a hallucination that the machine is Moloch and the workers are being fed to it. When the hallucination ends and he sees the dead workers being carried away on stretchers, he hurries to tell his father about the accident; Fredersen asks his assistant, Josaphat, why he learned of the explosion from his son, and not from him. Grot, foreman of the Heart Machine, brings Fredersen secret maps found on the dead workers. Fredersen again asks Josaphat why he did not learn of the maps from him, and fires him.
After seeing his father's cold indifference towards the harsh conditions they face, Freder secretly rebels against him by deciding to help the workers.
He enlists Josaphat's assistance and returns to the machine halls, where he trades places with a worker. Fredersen takes the maps to the inventor Rotwang to learn their meaning. Rotwang had been in love with a woman named Hel, who left him to marry Fredersen and later died giving birth to Freder. Rotwang shows Fredersen a robot he has built to "resurrect" Hel. The maps show a network of catacombs beneath Metropolis, and the two men go to investigate.
They eavesdrop on a gathering of workers, including Freder. Maria addresses them, prophesying the arrival of a mediator who can bring the working and ruling classes together. Freder believes he could fill the role and declares his love for Maria. Fredersen orders Rotwang to give Maria's likeness to the robot so that it can ruin her reputation among the workers to prevent any rebellion. Fredersen is unaware that Rotwang plans to use the robot to kill Freder and take over Metropolis.
Rotwang kidnaps Maria, transfers her likeness to the robot and sends her to Fredersen. Rotwang kidnaps Maria, transfers her likeness to the robot and sends her to Fredersen. Freder finds the two embracing and, believing it is the real Maria, falls into a prolonged delirium. Intercut with his hallucinations, the false Maria unleashes chaos throughout Metropolis, driving men to murder and stirring dissent amongst the workers. Freder recovers and returns to the catacombs.
Finding the false Maria urging the workers to rise up and destroy the machines, Freder accuses her of not being the real Maria. The workers follow the false Maria from their city to the machine rooms, leaving their children behind.
They destroy the Heart Machine, which causes the workers' city below to flood. The real Maria, having escaped from Rotwang's house, rescues the children with the help of Freder. Grot berates the celebrating workers for abandoning their children in the flooded city. Believing their children to be dead, the hysterical workers capture the false Maria and burn her at the stake. A horrified Freder watches, not understanding the deception until the fire reveals her to be a robot.
Rotwang chases the real Maria to the roof of the cathedral, pursued by Freder, and the two men fight as Fredersen and the workers watch from the street. Rotwang falls to his death. Freder fulfills his role as mediator by linking the hands of Fredersen and Grot to bring them together. Script error: No such module "Multiple image". Metropolis features a range of elaborate special effects and set designs, ranging from a huge gothic cathedral to a futuristic cityscape.
In an interview, Fritz Lang reported that "the film was born from my first sight of the skyscrapers in New York in October ". He had visited New York for the first time and remarked "I looked into the streets — the glaring lights and the tall buildings — and there I conceived Metropolis.
Describing his first impressions of the city, Lang said that "the buildings seemed to be a vertical sail, scintillating and very light, a luxurious backdrop, suspended in the dark sky to dazzle, distract and hypnotize". He added "The sight of Neuyork [sic] alone should be enough to turn this beacon of beauty into the center of a film The appearance of the city in Metropolis is strongly informed by the Art Deco movement; however it also incorporates elements from other traditions.
The film drew heavily on biblical sources for several of its key set-pieces. During her first talk to the workers, Maria uses the story of the Tower of Babel to highlight the discord between the intellectuals and the workers. Additionally, a delusional Freder imagines the false-Maria as the Whore of Babylon , riding on the back of a many-headed dragon. The name of the Yoshiwara club alludes to the famous red-light district of Tokyo.
Lang explores the themes of industrialization and mass production in his film; two developments that played a large role in the war. The film's plot originated from a novel of the same title written by Harbou for the sole purpose of being made into a film.
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