6 January 2012

Metropolis has the honour of featuring on one of the cover pages of the FACT brochure this month and for a good reason as well. This 1927 silent classic has been rereleased with an extra 25 minutes of the restored footage only previously shown at its original premiere screening over 80 years ago.

After its premiere, Metropolis was cut down and has only recently been found in the Museum of Cinema in Buenos Aires. The negative found in 2008 not only provided the extra footage, but also a definitive guide to the editing of the film, which had previously been up for contention. This makes this one-off screening at FACT very special indeed as we can finally see Metropolis as director Fritz Lang had intended it. 

This mother of all sci-fi films is set in the futuristic and capitalist megacity of Metropolis where society is divided into two classes, the 'managers' and the 'workers'. The managers live in fantastic skyscrapers whilst the workers must work underground to keep the city's cogs turning. The storylines of destruction, unhappiness and a sexy robot transpire into unity and reform, almost predicting the class divides of the 20th century.

The highlight of the film has to be the fantastic architecture of Metropolis itself, which draws upon the Art Deco, Modernism, and German Expressionist aesthetics of Lang's 1920's Germany.

Metropolis will be shown this Sunday at 4.30pm and you can buy tickets online, in person at the Box Office or by calling 0871 902 5737.  Future films in the Silent Film Season include Safety Last on the 15 January, The General on the 22 January and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans on the 19 January. The Silent Film Season celebrates the release of The Artist today already tipped to be on the best of lists in 2012.