Festival to screen reconstructed original print
BERLIN — The Berlin Film Festival will screen Fritz Lang’s original cut of “Metropolis,” which was feared lost but discovered in an Argentine museum last year, at a gala ceremony on Feb. 10, the Berlinale said Thursday.
The cult sci-fi classic, penned by Lang and Thea von Harbou in 1924, was the most expensive film ever made in Germany when it bowed on Jan. 10, 1927.
After it bombed at the box office, the UFA studio re-edited the silent film, cutting about 30 minutes. It re-released it to great acclaim eight months later.
The outtakes were feared lost but a 16mm negative of the original was found in Buenos Aires. The original has since been restored by the Murnau Foundation in cooperation with pubcaster ZDF, Gallic-German cultural web Arte and the Deutsche Kinemathek.
“Just about no other German film has inspired and influenced film history as greatly as Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis,’ ” said Berlinale topper Dieter Kosslick. “We’re especially pleased and honored to be able to present the reconstructed original cut of this legendary and seminal film classic at the festival’s 60th anniversary.”
Lang made the film, considered a classic in part because of its pioneering special effects, at the Babelsberg studios outside Berlin.
Conceived during the heyday of the Weimar Republic, pic is about a futuristic urban dystopia in the year 2026 set against the backdrop of social tension between the working class and capitalist bosses.