The Complete Metropolis
With a year-and-a-half-long production and nearly thirty-seven thousand actors employed, Fritz Lang’s dystopian epic was an immense and expensive undertaking that nearly bankrupted UFA. But its blend of romance, adventure, and allegory, set against a vast and sophisticated fantasy world, has resonated throughout film history and made Metropolis one of the most influential films of all time. Set in the year 2026 in a future society divided between a master race of all-powerful capitalists who rule and play atop towering high rises and masses who toll in mechanized unison in sprawling subterranean factories, Lang’s film focuses on the struggle between the pacifist, Lower City activist Maria and her evil double—a sensual robot that incites the worker slaves to self-destructive anarchy. Reputedly inspired by Lang’s view of the New York skyline, Metropolis transforms the social crises of urbanized 1920s Germany into an unforgettable vision of hell on earth. This restored version of Metropolis premiered at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival where more than two-thousand people viewed it at the Brandenburg Gate. It incorporates twenty-five minutes of footage presumed lost since the film’s original 1927 Berlin debut. Sourced from a recently discovered 16mm dupe negative found in an Argentinian film archive, this version of Metropolis comes closest to capturing Lang’s original vision for this most ambitious of films.
Bing Theater | $10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members and Friends of the Goethe-Institut | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.