Thursday, December 22, 2011

Here's my heart

A week for finding treasures: Giorgio Moroder's restored version of the silent film "Metropolis," originally released in 1927, available again. Morodor released his version in 1984, with a different, contemporary soundtrack. I first saw it with a bunch of my high school friends in someone's dark rec room and have been looking for it since. When I got my first DVD player I ordered the film online and was disappointed to discover it wasn't the one with the Pat Benatar soundtrack. (Also features Freddie Mercury, Bonnie Tyler, Loverboy, et al.) Like I told my (one) film student: It's weird, but it works. This is why I think it does: The 1980s and the 1920s have stylistic and economic parallels. Art deco design, big rhinestone jewelry, etc. The overmade actors in the silent Metropolis resemble 80s glam rockers. Their exaggerated expressions wouldn't seem out of place in the early years of MTV, and, in fact, this is what the film plays like -- an extended music video, complete with Devo-like workmen on "the machine." The story is a commentary on the decadence of the rich and exploitation of the working class (cough, cough). It's Working Girl meets Mr. Roboto. The crazy inventor looks a little like Judd Nelson. I'd go on, but I'm gonna go watch it again.

1 comment:

Colleen Sutherland, storyteller said...

The film is available on Netflix. I am currently watching it. Brilliant!