Fritz Lang’s Metropolis celebrates 90th anniversary, returning to theaters in the UK

With all the modern blockbusters celebrating anniversaries, we often forget about the classic genre films.  Modern science fiction owes the most to a handful of early 20th century films, namely, the early adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, George Méliès’s 1902 film A Trip to the Moon, and Fritz Lang’s 1927 dystopian vision, Metropolis, which turned 90 this year.  To celebrate its 90th anniversary, this weekend Eureka Entertainment is releasing its definitive version of Metropolis for audiences in the UK and Ireland in a Special Edition Boxed Set, containing the 150-minute reconstructed and restored version of the film.  Drawing on–and defining–dystopian sci-fi themes, Metropolis depicts a dark future where society is divided between an underground, browbeaten working class, and the ruling class, which enjoys a decadent life of luxury and leisure.

When Freder (Gustav Fröhlich) ventures into the depths in search of a woman named Maria (Brigitte Helm), plans of rebellion are revealed and a Maria-replica robot is programmed by mad scientist named Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) and the Master of Metropolis Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel) to incite the workers into a self-destructive riot.  With its futuristic cityscape (that cinema would one day translate into the world of Blade Runner and other films) and an attractive female robot (that would inspire the entire lineage of cinema’s robots, borgs, androids, and more), Metropolis is considered among the most famous of all German films.

In addition to the Special Edition Boxed Set, Eureka, which owns the UK and Ireland rights to the film (it’s in the public domain in the U.S.)., is also bringing the 2010 reconstructed and restored Metropolis to the big screen later this year.  Don’t miss the excellent trailer they made for the film below.

Metropolis will be screening at the following venues throughout the remainder of 2017, with more expected to be announced:

Bo’ness, The Hippodrome, 2 September 2017
Halifax, Square Chapel Arts Centre, 17 September 2017
Manchester, Home, 8 October 2017
London, Picturehouse Central, 16 October 2017
London, Ritzy Picturehouse, 16 October 2017

London, Greenwich Picturehouse, 16 October 2017
Edinburgh, Cameo Picturehouse, 16 October 2017
York, City Screen Picturehouse, 16 October 2017
Norwich, Cinema City, 26 October 2017
Brighton, Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, 11 November 2017
Oswestry, Kinokulture, 29 December 2017

Check the local theater for details.  Unfortunately, no U.S. theatrical release has been announced, although the film is easily obtainable, including a special edition available here from Amazon.  Here is the enticing trailer for the film:

It’s going to be hard to beat the Eureka Special Boxed Set, however.  Limited to 2,000 copies only, and illustrated with newly commissioned artwork specially for the “Masters of Cinema” release, the set features two Blu-rays, one DVD and a 100 page book housed in a hardbound slipcase.  It will only be available from the Eureka Store here.   It contains all of the following:

    • 150 minute reconstructed and restored 2010 version (including 25 minutes of footage previously thought lost to the world) on Blu-ray
    • Metropolis Refound – a 2010 documentary by Evangelina Loguerico exploring the rediscovery of the most complete print of the Fritz Lang masterpiece in an Argentinean film museum
    • Giorgio Moroder presents: Metropolis – the 1984 re-imagining of Metropolis featuring a soundtrack by Moroder himself and artists such as Adam Ant, Pat Benatar, Freddie Mercury and many more
    • The Fading Image – Documentary which goes behind the scenes of Giorgio Moroder’s restoration and scoring
      Pristine HD transfers (1080p on the Blu-ray discs)
    • The 2001 restoration that was considered the definitive version of the film before the discovery of the Argentina footage (DVD)

  • 2010 symphony orchestra studio recording of the original 1927 Gottfried Huppertz score in 5.1 (2010 version)
  • Berndt Heller’s arrangement of the Gottfried Huppertz score (2001 version)
  • Optional English subtitles as well as the original German intertitles
  • Full length audio commentary by David Kalat and Jonathan Rosenbaum (2010 version)
  • Full length audio commentary by film historian Enno Patalas (2001 version)
  • Die Reise nach Metropolis (2010, 53 minutes), a documentary about the film
  • 2010 re-release trailer
  • A 100-page book featuring extensive writings on the film; interviews with Fritz Lang and a stunning array of rare archival imagery

C.J. Bunce

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