Must-See Cinema! The great-granddaddy of Science Fiction films!
Seeing Metropolis is a time-bending experience, a way of visiting the past and glimpsing the past’s idea of the future. A masterpiece of art direction, it has influenced our vision of the future ever since, with its imposing white monoliths and starched facades.
In Metropolis, the upper class inhabits the city’s surface, while workers live and work in underground mines, in little better than slave conditions.
Brigitte Helm plays the saintly Maria, who rallies the workers and acts on their behalf. But she is imprisoned by the ruling powers, and a replica robot is sent down to the mines to incite the workers to a self- destructive riot.
Since its premiere, the movie’s unsettling vision has been open to a variety of interpretations. It can be seen as a warning against fascist tyranny, communist oppression or capitalism run amok. Yet the most rewarding way to see it is not as a prescient work, but as a film very much of its time, a missive from an age of anxiety.
– Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Restoration note: Since the last time we played Metropolis in 2007, a new restoration has been completed, using missing footage found at the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires. This new version, at 148 min., includes 25 min. of Lang’s masterpiece that haven’t been on screen since the original 1927 release, plus a new Dolby stereo recording of Gottfried Huppertz’s original score.