Restored METROPOLIS really coming to DVD

Richard Carnahan

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Jun 24, 2001
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From alt.movies.silent:
Ok this must be the worst kept "secret" around but YES Kino IS
releasing the resored METROPOLIS. It will open in THEATERS first,
begining
at the Film Forum in New York on July 28. We hope to play all major
cities in the summer & Fall. Ironically this will be the first really
commercial re-release of silent film since the Moroder "Metropolis" in
87. And while I hate to annoy the purist out there the film will run
at 24 frames as there are virtually NO commercial theaters that could
run anything else and the print has the original 1927 Orchestral score
on the sound track. Running time is AROUND 118 but as they are just
finishing the Engish titles I can't be more accurate

As for DVD & Video, that will come out in EARLY 2003 and will
be somewhere around 20 frames, in any event it is supposed to run
148 minutes. There will also be a one hour documentary on the
restoration of the film produced by Enno Patalas

and before the Moroder guy asks NO WE ARE NOT OFFERING ANY ALTERNATE
VERSIONS

See some of you in Columbus this weekend

Jessica
 

JohnAD

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Kewl, although it would be nice to have a copy of the Moroder version as well.

John.
 

Patrick McCart

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This is great!

Kino, along with Blackhawk, has released THE best silent DVDs. Plus, I think they have exclusive rights to the Transit Films library (which Metropolis is part of) for DVD.

I can't wait to see how the new digitally restored version looks...the screen grabs on Alpha-Omega's website look fantastic.

Kewl, although it would be nice to have a copy of the Moroder version as well.
Sadly, this version isn't really what was intended. First, Moroder hacked the film to bits to suit his music. Also, it's 24 fps...Metropolis should be shown 20 fps.

It's like all those indie tapes and DVDs of Nosferatu...most are made just to show off the score, not the movie! (With an exception to the existing Blackhawk and upcoming Kino editions)
 

Larry Sutliff

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Wonderful news! I have a nice S-VHS copy of the French DVD, but I would love to have a DVD of this, and there isn't any company that treats Silent films better than Kino.
 

Jean-Michel

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This is great news. I thought the Moroder version had its moments but I'll take the "original" (or as close to original as possible) cut any day of the week.
 

Mark Zimmer

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Moroder's version did have the merit of incorporating footage that is not part of the Museum of Modern Art print (the basis of the Madacy disc and the version usually seen in the US). Whether that footage is in the Munich restoration, I haven't been able to determine, but I know that the fellow who owns it wasn't contacted by them so it may not be there.

It's so sad that this work was so badly truncated---it's still missing well over half an hour of its running time, even in the restored version, and that's probably lost forever. The restoration does do a nice job of filling in the subplots that were cut out and help makes some sense of Rotwang's motivations. At least the censor approval records still exist so we know what the original intertitles were and can get an idea of what was supposed to be present.
 

Jeff Adkins

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And while I hate to annoy the purist out there the film will run at 24 frames as there are virtually NO commercial theaters that could run anything else and the print has the original 1927 Orchestral score on the sound track.
Certainly, the Silent Movie Theater here in LA could run it at the correct speed. I'm sure the crowds would be huge for such a small venue, but I still would rather see it at the correct speed.
Jeff
 

Jason Seaver

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Similarly, the Harvard Film Archive here in Cambridge can - indeed, during their recent Lang program, they adjusted the film speed on Spione between shows - but it's not a commercial theater. This would probably play at the Brattle Theater, and I don't know what the rear-projection equipment there is capable of.

I suppose it would be possible to make prints where every fifth frame was doubled up so that it could be projected with typical equipment, but I imagine that might look even worse than everyone moving too fast.
 

Rich Malloy

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I'm having a real hard time working up any excitement for the theatrical release, though I'm certainly ecstatic for the DVD.

24fps will ruin the effect of this film. 24fps is at least 20% faster than "Metropolis" should be projected (either 18 or 20fps, I forget). This speed-up destroys every aspect of the film far more than panning/scanning and other cinematic defacements. And I'm not speaking subjectively, as in "For me, running the film at 24fps will ruin the effect..."; I'm saying that no one who sees this film projected at that speed can say they've truly seen it. It'll fly by all those quick-edited sections far too fast for them to be effective, and the overall effect will be, all-too-often, simply comical.

There are theaters equipped to show this film correctly. Not only the Silent Film Theater in L.A., but also most museums around the country. While I'm all for exposing as many people as possible to great movies, a screwed up projection that will strike most as being akin to a Benny Hill romp and will reinforce the notion that silent films, however grave or fantastic the subject matter, all look like herky-jerky, sped-up silly symphonies - this is not desireable IMO.
 

Claes Ljunghorn

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Whether that footage is in the Munich restoration, I haven't been able to determine, but I know that the fellow who owns it wasn't contacted by them so it may not be there
They had access to the Moroder version, so I'm sure all the footage will be there.

Maybe these same scenes were also in the original nitrate camera negativ or nitrate positive prints that they used for the restoration and there was no reason to call for that particular print?

I don't think they would miss something like that!
 

JohnAD

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Patrick:

All of the versions/prints that I have seen have been butchered in some way or another. It would be nice to have both a restored version and the Moroder version, to see what was changed. I agree with you that Kino rules. Now if we could only get OAR versions of Juzo Itami's films on DVD...

John.
 

David Tolsky

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Sep 3, 1999
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638
I have to admit that I am a fan of the Moroder version but I will certainly buy the Kino dvd when it is ready. After seeing the awful job on the low budget release and subsequently taking it back, I need a good looking (and sounding) print of this important work.

I think it's a longshot to see the Moroder on dvd.
 

Chuck L

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Feb 12, 2001
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Not a big fan of the musical version, though I love Pat Benatar's "Here's My Heart."

When this comes as a pre-order it will be one that I won't even need a second to think about. The film was way ahead of it's time and remains a beautiful testament of the early days of cinema.
 

Gavin_L

Second Unit
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Aug 24, 2001
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266
saw the version with the 80's music...........

should be cool to see this and buy this on dvd when it is restored
 

Mark Zimmer

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Heck, Metropolis just played here at the Madison Civic Center at 20 fps (which is perfect--not too draggy, and the exciting parts are slightly fast). So there are theaters that can do it. I think it's more a desire to be able to use the canned soundtrack, which requires a projector that runs 24 fps. Simple as that.
 

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