Kino International is set to release the new restoration of Fritz Lang’s 1927 science fiction masterpiece Metropolis, now containing 25 minutes of lost footage and the original Gottfried Huppertz score in a national theatrical release commencing on May 7. The film will have it’s first US screening on Sunday, April 25 at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival and today the trailer for the restoration has appeared online at Apple.
This new footage was found back in July of 2008 when Paula Felix-Didier, director of the museum Museo del Cine, discovered a copy of the film that included nearly all of the scenes once thought lost forever totaling some 700 meters, making for 25 minutes of new footage. All of it has been restored, some in ways unimaginable as you can see from the image above. Additional images from the found footage can be seen here as well as watch some of the new footage from the discovered scenes here.
The film is set in the future, in a time when humans are divided into two groups: the thinkers, who make plans (but don’t know how anything works), and the workers, who achieve goals (but don’t have the vision). Completely separate, neither group is complete, but together they make a whole. One man from the “thinkers” dares visit the underground where the workers toil, and is astonished by what he sees.
For anyone that has not seen Lang’s feature I beg you to give it a chance. As of right now only a few cities and dates have been announced, but keep an eye on the official site to find out when it will be coming your way. If you want a little insight into my thoughts on the film click here for an article I wrote about two-and-a-half years ago after seeing it for the first time.
On top of the theatrical release, Kino will be releasing the restored DVD and Blu-ray editions this November and for anyone that has already purchased their Blu-ray releases of The General and/or Battleship Potemkin you know they are taking these classic titles very seriously and I expect more of the same with Metropolis.
So take a peek at the trailer directly below and keep an eye out, this is a film that hasn’t been seen in its entirety since it was first released back in 1927, and even back then the number of people that got to see this much of Lang’s film could not have been too many. The new release totals 147-minutes and when it was first screened in Berlin in 1927 it was an estimated 153 minutes long and by the time it debuted in the states later that year, the film ran approximately 90 minutes. A truly staggering number for anyone that has seen and enjoyed this film.