Lang's sci-fi vision gets grand showcases

A newly restored and nearly full-length print of German film giant Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis,” one of silent cinema’s and most influential treasures, unspooled with a splash at the Berlin Film Festival on Friday night.

Playing outdoors on a giant screen near the Brandenberg Gate in the snowy capitol city and for a packed house of cineastes at Friedrichstadtpalast, Lang’s visionary epic had not been seen in anything near the director’s cut since its 1927 premiere.

Thanks to rigorous restoration work led by the Murnau Foundation and due to a miraculous find of 25 minutes of footage thought to be long lost, rapturous auds saw the expressionist sci-fi yarn, which offers up a mix of futurecasting, robotics, Biblical tales, class politics and old-fashioned romance and thrills as the great helmer intended.

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