von harbou

anonymous asked:

I have been meaning to ask this for a long time. Because I see you talk about it being your favorite movie. Whats Metropolis and is it silent 'cause 1927 was before talking right? What's it about? Can I see it online somewhere?

Oh.

Oh, you didn’t just ask me about Metropolis.

Buckle up, my friend.

Metropolis is only the most brilliant film in the history of film. If you haven’t seen it, you MUST see it. First of all, they have the restored version on Netflix watch instantly. If you don’t have Netflix, here’s part 1 of the restored version on youtube. And part 2. And part 3.

Do try to watch the restored version. A lot of times people prefer the “original” when it comes to things like this, but the restored version is actually restored. Not just “made better for modern audiences” like a lot of this stuff usually is when they say “restored”. 

What happened was when the film first came out in theaters, it was very long because the director Fritz Lang and his wife screenwriter Thea von Harbou (the author of the book the film was based off of) wanted to be true to the text. After pressure from their German peers/audience post-premiere who thought it was much too long, Metropolis was heavily edited and abridged, meaning they took a lot of symbolism and important scenes out of the film. So much so that the plot had quite a few holes and scenes that were very out of place without context. I think they took an entire quarter of the film out or something and it was lost forever when WWII broke out. Quite a few German films were destroyed during the war. 

In the late 2000s (I wanna say 2007 or 2008), they found a copy of Metropolis in what was thought to be its complete form in Buenos Aires, Argentina. UNABRIDGED, if you will. Unfortunately, it was tore up, in really bad condition. (Probably it wasn’t taken care of as it should have been/maybe the war got it before it was taken by some German/maybe Nazi citizen fleeing war-torn Germany to Argentina, like many Germans did after WWII. This is me guessing.) But basically they did the best they could to restore it, using the original version that had been shown for over 80 years and adding in their own Intertitles to summarize missing scenes and to better piece together the plot for viewers. And voila! A restored version which is SO stunning, and so much better. I always say don’t eff with the director’s cut. And usually I have Metropolis in the back of my mind when I say that.

ANYWAYS!

The film is about a futuristic society called Metropolis in which citizens enjoy wealth to the point of waste. This city of brilliant minds, industry, and gluttony is powered by a massive machine buried underneath. And that machine is powered by the underclasses 24/7, men and women who slave all day and night to feed the dystopian machine and make sure those who live in the glorious Metropolis above ground have all of their needs fulfilled. Those who live in Metropolis and those who live and work in the dystopian caverns below it never cross paths.

The spoiled son of the Master of Metropolis follows Maria, a beautiful woman who cares for the children of the underground workers, down into the belly of the caverns that house the machine, where he discovers the horrors and cruelty that exist beneath his city.

It continues from there, and wow if it isn’t the most stunning film. So innovative. So terrifying in parts. And just creepy in other parts. But the message and moral of it is so clear, so universally understandable and relatable…that it has stood the test of time now for over 85 years.

So watch it! I hope you enjoy it! I know hearing that it’s a silent film tends to turn off a lot of modern movie lovers. And you really do have to pay attention. But it is that one singular film that I believe everyone needs to see before they die. More so than any other film. 

It’s just plain magic.

Oh and this bit of madness happens, too:

Robot Maria, you creepy freakin’ bitty. Get outta here.