Since there was so much interest in the premiere of the restored version of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis", the French/German TV station arte broadcast it in parallel with the showing at the 60th Berlin Film Festival.

In 2008 an almost complete version of the film was found in an Argentine film musuem. The copy was well-worn, but they have been able to to piece it together and resequence it, as the music score has been preserved in its original length.

The Berlin Symphony orchestra played live in the Friedrichspalast for the showing, and there is some sort of public viewing at the Brandenburg Gate - in the snow. We are sitting in a warm living room, full after a nice dinner and with a nice cold glass of prosecco and are enjoying the film.

Having seen the film many times before - one can pay attention to some details: the editing, the shapes on the doors, the flow of trafic, the traffic lights that only go on while a car is driving under them, the heavy Christian symbolism, the video telephone. Many of the title boards with dialogue are well-known sayings to modern day Germans: "Es muss ein Mensch an der Machine sein", "Vater, Vater, nehmen 10 Stunden nie ein Ende?", "Der Mittler zwischen Hirn und Hände muss das Herz sein".

Some parts actually now make sense - the missing scenes are still horribly scratched, but they give reasons to Freder's actions and reactions. Of course, many of the cut scenes are what passed for sex scenes in 1927, or are extremely critical of Germany at the time. And the bit about the woman between Rotwang and Frederson was cut for the US version, because her name, Hel, sounds like, well, a four-letter word....

And in a way it's like watching the source for many a film quotation (plagiarism?). Bladerunner springs to mind. It was also hard work - being a silent film, you had to concentrate on the screen. No surfing for me during the film! The music was just wonderful - the musicians played for 2 1/2 hours without a break!

A DVD is expected out in December.

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