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Film 50: History of Cinema: The Cinematic City

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
3:10 p.m. Metropolis
Fritz Lang (Germany, 1926)

Lecture/Marilyn Fabe
Live Music/Judith Rosenberg on piano

Lang’s futuristic super-production is an anxiety dream of urban dystopia expressed as science fiction. Set in the year 2026, Metropolis envisions a repressive techno-oligarchy in which soaring Art Deco towers and overhead freeways mock an underclass of techno slaves ruled by a “supertrustee” (Alfred Abel), who lives with his collaborators in the paradisiacal nightclub of Yoshiwara. Lang even posits a virtual woman, an evil doppelgänger cloned from the people’s hero and spokeswoman Maria (Brigitte Helm), as another principal force in this exquisite ballet of machines and men. Presented in a 35mm print representing the 2002 restoration.

• Written by Lang, Thea von Harbou. Photographed by Karl Freund, Günther Rittau. With Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge. (124 mins, Silent with English intertitles, B&W, 35mm, From Kino Lorber)