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February 12, 2010 7:13 AM   Subscribe

The Buenos Aires restoration of Metropolis streams today. (French|German) It's said that nearly an hour of footage, long thought to be lost, has been added.
posted by stoneweaver (48 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously.
posted by joedan at 7:23 AM on February 12, 2010


Are we certain that they are streaming the actual movie? My understanding is that they are streaming the premiere event from the Brandenburg Gate, but not the movie itself. Here is the translated text from the French link:

Live from Pariser Platz and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin: Follow live backstage at the projection of the unpublished work "Metropolis" in its restored version!
posted by gimli at 7:25 AM on February 12, 2010


The Mediator between the Head and Hands must be the Heart! Last week I watched the previous best restoration (2002, Murnau) which is already 2 hours long. An amazing and weird film.
posted by lathrop at 7:25 AM on February 12, 2010


The TV station arte will be showing the film on TV at the same time as the airing in Berlin. As far as I can tell the internet stream will only have footage from the event, not the film itself.

One of those few days I wish I actually had TV reception.
posted by _Lasar at 7:33 AM on February 12, 2010


I'm going to see it in a few hours at the Brandenburg Gate. I'm kind of astounded that they are still showing it in subfreezing temperatures, while it's snowing. If I don't make it back, please tell each of my MefiSpouses that it was them I thought of at the end.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 7:37 AM on February 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow. Wow. I wonder what streaming will work from Canada. Not that I'll be available to watch it, but still.
posted by Shepherd at 7:38 AM on February 12, 2010


Don't tell H.G. Wells.
posted by spicynuts at 7:41 AM on February 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Looks like Ebert's Sun-Times site is hosed again (doesn't this happen every time he's linked to on the Blue?). Anyway, if I'm reading what I can see correctly, there are no English subtitles? That's a shame. The chance to see all that presumed-missing footage is pretty exciting, and I'd like to see if H.G. Wells really knew what he was talking about. But narrative in my language would help a lot.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:42 AM on February 12, 2010


D'oh, spicynuts!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:42 AM on February 12, 2010


That's what they all say..they all say "D'oh, spicynuts!"
posted by spicynuts at 7:54 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't know if this will still be the case when the film starts, but out of curiosity I tried viewing the stream and got a nice big blue message in German and French telling me that I cannot view the stream in my country (US) because of rights issues.
posted by hanoixan at 7:54 AM on February 12, 2010


I love silent films, metropolis being one of my favorites. For other goodies from that era, checkout John Barrymore as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it's a wonderful film, or Douglas Fairbanks Sr. as zorro, or Lon Chaney as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, or the General by Buster Keaton or City Lights by Chaplin, or Harold Lloyd Safety Last or Dr. Caligari's Cabinet, or Greed with Von Stroheim.... Oh, man I am so watching so silent movies tonight.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 8:07 AM on February 12, 2010


Okay, I love this movie and everything that came after it but I can't see any way in which adding an hour footage would help. I mean, sure, we'll be able to see the filmmakers' original vision and fix some plot holes &c &c, but holy crap if there is a movie that was made before we figured out how to productively edit it is Metropolis.
posted by griphus at 8:10 AM on February 12, 2010


wow, so H.G. Wells was either the proto-simpsons-comic-book-guy, or the proto-harlan-ellison. maybe both? that review is pretty spectacular.

I'd love to see this. Metropolis has a pretty special place in my heart. despite having fallen asleep the first million times I tried to watch it, it nevertheless stays pretty firmly lodged in my brain as one of the finest pieces of cinema I have tremendous difficulty watching.
posted by shmegegge at 8:11 AM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now it's time to see if my French lessons with Rosetta Stone are paying off.
posted by Malice at 8:18 AM on February 12, 2010


shmegegge You can't forget Moloch!

Saw this film when I was five, had nightmares about Moloch!
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 8:19 AM on February 12, 2010


So is there any description of the new footage? Does it add whole new scenes or just additions to existing ones? Or Both? Does the plot make more sense with the new material?
posted by octothorpe at 8:23 AM on February 12, 2010


Yeah, I can't really believe their going to project the actual movie on a screen draped across the Brandenburg gate... (If it's anything like other 'events' at the BBG, it'll be a crowded, chaotic mess... but definitely worth a look-see, if not to watch the whole thing.)
posted by From Bklyn at 8:36 AM on February 12, 2010


The new footage is mostly just outtakes from the film version of Evita.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:38 AM on February 12, 2010


I tried viewing the stream and got a nice big blue message in German and French telling me that I cannot view the stream in my country (US) because of rights issues.

Odd, I checked the German link and the video section tells me: "The live begins 02/12/2010 at 04:44 in 02:07:08, 7, 6" (counting down as we speak)

Maybe I'll be back in 2 hours to see if it indeed works, or I'll check for *aherm* alternate sourses *aherm* tonight.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:38 AM on February 12, 2010


So is there any description of the new footage? Does it add whole new scenes or just additions to existing ones? Or Both? Does the plot make more sense with the new material?

From the Zeit Online article that was linked previously:
At the time it was the most expensive German film ever made. It was intended to be a major offensive against Hollywood. However the film flopped with critics and audiences alike. Representatives of the American firm Paramount considerably shortened and re-edited the film. They oversimplified the plot, even cutting key scenes. The original version could only be seen in Berlin until May 1927 – from then on it was considered to have been lost forever. Those recently viewing a restored version of the film first read the following insert: “More than a quarter of the film is believed to be lost forever.”
It seems we've been watching the Hollywood Edit for decades.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:42 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. They found a whole hour of lost footage?

I'm getting chills down my back. This is so damn cool.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:45 AM on February 12, 2010


Anyone know any good proxies in FR/DE? Hopefully someone is saving the stream and will share later...
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:07 AM on February 12, 2010


Still not convinced they'll stream the actual movie -- on Tuesday, ARTE said it wasn't happening:
Thank you for your interest in the European culture channel ARTE.

The film "Metropolis" is broadcast only on 12.02.2010 on ARTE and unfortunately will not be available online.

Should a repeat be held at a later date at ARTE, we will notify you in writing.

Sincerely,

Olivia Hanschke
ARTE spectators Service
(Towards the bottom of this page.)

I seem to remember the SPIEGEL said this new version was 30 minutes longer.
posted by muckster at 9:14 AM on February 12, 2010


I mean, sure, we'll be able to see the filmmakers' original vision and fix some plot holes &c &c, but holy crap if there is a movie that was made before we figured out how to productively edit it is Metropolis.

This sounds to me a bit like saying "If there ever was a novel which was written before we learned how to productively edit, it was Les Miserables." Having read both the short and long versions of the novel, I know personally that it is the long version with all the digressions which has the most impact for me. YMMV.
posted by hippybear at 9:17 AM on February 12, 2010


Has anyone downloaded the Zattoo software Ebert mentions and located a proxy which will get around the streaming rights issues? Is that something that can be posted to the Blue? If not, MeMail me.
posted by hippybear at 9:19 AM on February 12, 2010


[Does anyone else find it odd that the German website has its countdown message in English? It's obvious that they've IP-sniffed my location... But surely if it were not available here, it would be a "not available" message... and if it were generically available without worrying about location, surely it would be in German...]
posted by hippybear at 9:22 AM on February 12, 2010


Wow a whole other hour of weird half-dreams as I try not to sleep through what everyone seems to agree is the Most Wonderful Movie!
posted by gurple at 9:22 AM on February 12, 2010


wow, so H.G. Wells was either the proto-simpsons-comic-book-guy, or the proto-harlan-ellison. maybe both? that review is pretty spectacular.

More than that he was also the inventor of the tabletop (or floor-top) wargame. Really an amazing man.
posted by JHarris at 10:06 AM on February 12, 2010


...but holy crap if there is a movie that was made before we figured out how to productively edit it is Metropolis.

Metropolis was filmed after 30 years of experimentation with cinematography and had state-of-the-art effects for its time, mostly done in-camera. It also is the product of 3,000 years of development of Western dramatic storytelling, so it's pretty clear that Lang knew what he was doing.

The discovered cut of Metropolis (210 minutes) is only slightly longer than Titanic (197 minutes) and Schindler's List (195 minutes). It doesn't even come close to the great behemoths of film history.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:54 AM on February 12, 2010


...but holy crap if there is a movie that was made before we figured out how to productively edit it is Metropolis.

The film Matrjoschka is 95 hours longs. And was made in 2006.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:59 AM on February 12, 2010


The German stream is playing fine for me right now. It's all just lead-in to the film at the moment, so we'll see if the actual movie plays later or not.
posted by hippybear at 11:03 AM on February 12, 2010


Jeez, and that's nothing compared to Cinematon, which runs 150 hours.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:04 AM on February 12, 2010


Among other things, Lang's Moloch plays a pivotal role in Ginsburg's Howl, Part II. I have the urge to get a copy of it and mix my own soundtrack including the Kronos Quartet performance of Howl set to music by Lee Hyla.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:21 AM on February 12, 2010


Oh, look, it's a live shot of a bunch of people milling around a far-away screen showing a documentary about Metropolis.

I hope that's not all we're going to get.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:22 AM on February 12, 2010


Oh, sorry, now it's a live shot of a bunch of people milling around a far-away screen showing a documentary about Metropolis while the message "Battery Near End" is displaying.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:35 AM on February 12, 2010


...and, as such things happen... the battery in the camera for the German feed just went dead.
posted by hippybear at 11:36 AM on February 12, 2010


The German stream is oddly meta. I wonder if this is what it's going to be -- a long shot across the crowd showing the screen, so it's me watching a crowd watch a movie.
posted by hippybear at 11:52 AM on February 12, 2010


well, so we get a wide shot of people at Pariser Platz looking at a screen where it's playing? I think I'll wait for the blu ray.
posted by muckster at 11:53 AM on February 12, 2010


So freakin' cool! The original thread on this was one of the things that finally prodded me to become a member here. I wish I had time to see the stream, but presumably there will be a DVD with English intertitles at some point. Definitely going to get that.

"Okay, I love this movie and everything that came after it but I can't see any way in which adding an hour footage would help. I mean, sure, we'll be able to see the filmmakers' original vision and fix some plot holes &c &c, but holy crap if there is a movie that was made before we figured out how to productively edit it is Metropolis."

The thing about Metropolis that makes watching it so fascinating is that the movie changes dramatically depending upon which version you see. I first saw the 1984 version with the pop soundtrack, and didn't like it much. Then I saw the 2002 restoration with the original score and loved it. That version also has different takes of many scenes, with better acting by the cast, which makes for a more involving story. It's crazy, but apparently the version(s) of Metropolis we're most familiar with are the heavily edited ones, that contain a lot of takes Lang didn't put in his original. Later editors trimmed the hell out of the film and put in a bunch of footage from his cutting room floor to fill in the gaps. So with each restoration we get closer to Lang's original intention, and the film becomes better.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:53 AM on February 12, 2010


Okay, I cannot watch 3 hours of this. It's a great idea, and I'm glad they're running it in various forms in various places... But this simply is not a satisfying viewing experience.

I'll look for an alternate source perhaps from German television in a day or two... Or the DVD later this year.
posted by hippybear at 11:56 AM on February 12, 2010


Here's a screenshot from the live stream taken a moment ago (~1:10pm PST), to give you an idea of what the video stream was displaying if you can't get the video, or check this thread after the fact.

At that distance, it's only interesting for serious fans of the movie, because no one else would really notice what's going on in the film. It is akin to showing a sports event on TV, but shooting from up in the bleachers. You might get a better sense of context, but most people are watching for the action.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:14 PM on February 12, 2010


Looks cold.
posted by Rashomon at 2:09 PM on February 12, 2010


"The German stream is oddly meta. I wonder if this is what it's going to be -- a long shot across the crowd showing the screen, so it's me watching a crowd watch a movie."

So...Any bets on whether Eli Roth starts firing a machine gun into the crowd?
posted by Toby Dammit X at 2:31 PM on February 12, 2010


so it's me
watching a crowd
watching a movie
and it's you
watching me
watching the crowd

and who, my dear, is watching you?
our days of watching will soon be through,
and we'll say we only watched
what we were allowed
we'll say we only watched
what we were allowed
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:01 PM on February 12, 2010


The Independent gives it a great review.
posted by bingo at 9:05 PM on February 12, 2010


One thing that surprises me about film being found throughout the world is how connected everything was, some 80 years ago. I didn't realize the world was completely spanned by oceanic telegraph cables in 1901, and I kept imagining that South America and Australia didn't have the hubs of activity that they actually had. I mention all that because there were early versions of Metropolis in Australia and New Zealand, and one/some of them have survived.

I think there is general confusion around the runtimes of the many versions of Metropolis. The Independent states that the extra footage only adds 30 minutes to the film (up from the 90 minute length that was shown in theaters, apparently), while the IMDb page of alternate versions lists the original runtime was "approximately 3½ hours." Meanwhile, The Local(.de) talks of "Lang's two-and-half-hour vision", matching with what is currently available on a certain cove of corsairs (listing a runtime of 2h 32m 10s).

An interesting bit from The Local:
Frank Strobel, conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, said providing music for silent films was a lost art from a bygone era. In 1927 Berlin alone had more than 30 film theatres with 50-strong orchestras.

"There is no technical help, I don't have a clock on my monitor ... It is the film that gives me the rhythm, the film gives me the tempo, how the actors move in the picture, how they turn around, how a door closes," he said.
I wonder if this televised live with the television broadcast.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:06 PM on February 13, 2010


I wonder if this televised live with the television broadcast.

The music? It did and was the only thing that made me consider staying to watch - the screen was back lit by the Brn. Gate and it was snowy and cold... Well, exactly like the live feed.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:48 PM on February 13, 2010


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