Checked out a nicely high-quality (if slightly trapezoidal) digital projection of the new edition, pleasingly crowded for a Thursday night. On one hand, Metropolis was plenty long enough, and each scene has always seemed to go on a bit too long (Jimmy didn’t come, saying “I’ve slept through Metropolis enough times, thanks”), but it’s still nice to have more of the film available for study. Half the cut scenes involve “the thin man,” hired by Mr. Frederson to spy on his little raised-consciousness son, who only makes a cameo in the pre-Argentina footage. And it’s easy to tell the footage apart, since the new stuff comes from a scratchy, shrunken 16mm print.
Wrote nothing special in August 2008:
Katy doesn’t want to participate in 2005 Month or in Shocktober, so there’s a semi-theme-multi-month going on with 1920’s Movies instead, beginning with this, one of the most famous and celebrated of the 1920’s Movies.
EDIT DEC 2020: watched a restoration of the Giorgio Moroder version, of all the crazy things. The narrative intertitles remain, but for dialogue they use subtitles over the person speaking, a nice touch. The music is fine… if not for the vocal songs! I didn’t know about these… what a bad idea. But even a bad soundtrack cannot ruin Metropolis, and I guess Moroder’s efforts helped preserve the film, so it’s fine, new wave forever.
Keith Phipps in AV Club:
Where Lang’s film still looks timeless, Moroder’s music remains grounded in the time of Reagan and early MTV. (That’s doubly true of the songs, which sound like castoffs even by the standards of, say, Loverboy.) The film feels quaint in a way other incarnations of Metropolis don’t.