Thursday, July 3, 2008
"Without the heart, there can be no mediator between the hands and the mind."
While we're on the subject of up to 85% of the lost footage from Metropolis being found (note: the Murnau Foundation's English-language press release appears to have been made using a translation program, so there are some dodgy turns of phrase), here's a little more on the subject.
The film's history is a tangled one, with several versions surfacing throughout the years. The most recent restoration, back in 2001, played for several weeks here at the Belcourt, and this news is the kind of boon from the cinematic gods that makes it all worthwhile. There's so much film history out there, squirreled away and waiting for rediscovery.
There's no telling how long it will take to get these materials restored, cleaned up, and on screens throughout the world, but provided we don't wipe each other off the face of the earth in the next four or five years, we could be seeing so very much more of Fritz Lang's Sci-Fi vision of the world we live in... We can't wait.
And while we're on a Metropolitan kick, allow us to show some love for the unfairly maligned 1984 Giorgio Moroder reconstruction. At that time, it was the most complete version of the film available, and if its use of pop stars as vocalists for the soundtrack seems unconventional, it committed no sin graver than any other big-studio film of that time. Moroder's heart and soul went into this version, which deserves its own restoration at this point. Here's some excerpts from that, just to bring a little futuristic robot disco love into the world.
Freddie Mercury's "Love Kills"
Bonnie Tyler's "Here She Comes"
And if these have your appetite whetted for some further Metropolis diffused through our popular culture, check out the videos for "Radio Ga-Ga" by Queen and "Express Yourself" by Madonna.