Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Milwaukee Film bringing newly restored Metropolis


Milwaukee Film is bringing Metropolis to their film festival in September.  Not Superman’s Metropolis, but the 1927 movie by Fritz Lang.

But of broadest appeal is sure to be the Milwaukee premiere of the – finally – complete cut of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Those familiar with this 1927 iconic cautionary tale of the future had long since given up on ever seeing Lang’s entire masterwork. Almost immediately after its release, its German distributor, UFA, got cold feet about the film’s length (and possibly breadth) and drastically cut the film from almost two and a half hours to less than 90 minutes, altering both its quality and its meaning. Over time, though, much of the original footage has been slowly discovered, and in 2002 a “definitive” cut was released at 124 minutes.

Then in 2008, in Buenos Aires’ Museo del Cine, a faded 16 mm print was discovered that had been languishing in a private collection since 1928. When matched to the 2002 version, the score fit nearly like a glove to the visual narrative and – in answer to a nearly abandoned dream – Lang’s opus was restored to its original glory.

Having premiered in February 2010 at the 60th annual Berlin Film Festival, Metropolis is now screening in New York City and will make its way across the county this summer and fall, opening locally at the Milwaukee Film Festival. And though clearly excited to share the news, Fackelman was thoroughly modest about the festival’s cinematic victory. “We’re very excited to hold the Milwaukee premiere of the full version of Fritz Lang’s classic.”

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