Saturday, August 20, 2011

Another Metropolis release

Wonderful news - the 1984 Georgio Moroder version of Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis' will be released on dvd and blu-ray later this year! This one provokes a lot of controversy, but I'm going to be out buying a copy as soon as it's available. I still have the VHS tape of the movie, which was one of my first videotape purchases - I bought it when we were living in Washington, DC, right after we were married. It was expensive - about $80 US, and that's when American dollars were worth a lot more than Canadian ones! Of course it's not as clean and sharp as the modern Kino restorations, but you have to take the era into account - this was long before the use of computers to digitally "repair" damaged film. Back in those days, they were pretty much restricted to just cleaning the physical film in a chemical bath, and then transferring it to a more stable medium. This was the very beginning of the movement to restore silent movies - actually, I think the French were the first on the scene with Abel Gance's 'Napoleon' and Mosjoukine's 'Casanova'. Then the Germans took over and drove the development of the hi-tech methods they have today.

I know the music is a bit dated, but for me this doesn't matter - I've never followed development in modern music anyway, so I'm not aware of the trends following each other, the way someone who actually LISTENED to this stuff would be. To me it's just "soundtrack music", and I connect it purely to the movie - if these songs had a life outside Metropolis, I was never aware of it. And even though I have all the modern restored versions with the original Huppertz orchestral score, there are a few scenes that in my mind I still "hear" with the Moroder score. The scene with the Robot first walking down the walkway to meet Joh Fredersen, for example - Huppertz writes a sort of tinkly score for this, rather reminiscent of 'Coppelia'. I like Moroder's version - soft, discordant electric piano chords matching each footfall - it's creepier and more menacing.

There's not too much from this version of the movie available on YouTube, but here's the trailer:


Blogger Jedinovice said...


Regarding Metropolis… I too am a bit of fan Enough actually, to put together my own rendering of the film. No really. Back in 1998 I put in some hardware accelerating video editing gear on my Pentium 133 and took the Moroder version of Metroplis and the 'Eureka' version to get as complete a rendering of the film as possible. Most of the content is from the Modorer rendering but my version does expand a number of scenes.

It's far from perfect. I had to work from copies of copies of video tape and piece it together in 15 minutes chunks and then overlay a soundtrack on glorious mono! So HD quality it is not! But I have managed to get the edit from video tape onto MP4 and it is very watchable! Not super quality but very watchable.

It’s yours to watch if there is a suitable means of my getting a 1.22 MP4 file to you! It was just a hobby thing so it's just a supplement to the commercial releases.

Oh, it was my first piece of video editing. You can see I get better at it as the film goes on and I get better control of colour and frame speed matching! :-)


4:57 pm  
Blogger Jedinovice said...

Sorry, that's a 1.22 GB file!

4:57 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Oh, it sounds very interesting! Hmmm...I've never looked into transferring big files like that, apart from filesharing. Maybe some site like Rapidshare could handle it? I'll look into it and let you know what I find out.

7:24 am  
Blogger Jedinovice said...

I have managed to get an except up on youtube on a private channel to give a taste.

Still not sure how to get the full rendering to you though.

8:56 am  
Blogger Jedinovice said...

I have it!

I know how to send the file. If you have a yahoo account I can simply email as a large attachment now after a software upgrade.

A hotmail account allows me limited file sharing!

Set up a temporary yahoo account and I can email the file!

12:32 pm  

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