“Metropolis” film screening to explore Utopian society
By Hannah Zedaker
The College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication invites the public to take a journey into a futuristic, Utopian society with a free screening of the classic film “Metropolis.”
Directed by Fritz Lang in 1927, “Metropolis” is a fictional city set in the year 2026, in which the gap between the working class and the city planners is constantly widening. However, when the son of a government official falls in love with a working class prophet, the two worlds collide and the exploitation of the lower class disturbs the peace of utopia.
Like most silent films, what the movie lacks in dialogue is made up with by a beautiful score composed by Gottfried Huppertz. Although the film is nearly 90 years old, it received attention in 2010 when some of the original footage was first discovered in Argentina and used to complete the formerly distorted film.
“‘Metropolis’ was an international hit and the most expensive German production of all time, with elaborate sets and special effects to depict a future dystopia,” Mass Communication Professor Grant Wiedenfeld said. “The recent 2010 restoration includes long-lost footage from a print discovered in Argentina to recover the brilliance of the original masterpiece.”
The German film will be presented at Huntsville’s Old Town Theatre as part of an ongoing collaboration between the College and the non-profit organization, Friends of Old Town Theatre. Wiedenfeld and German Foreign Language Professor Ervin Malakaj will introduce the silent film and facilitate a brief discussion afterward.
“The year depicted in ‘Metropolis’ is 2026, exactly ten years from our current time… and I do indeed think that Fritz Lang’s film is imagining our own present,” Malakaj said. “The film shows consumerist life driven to its limits in a soulless world in need of rescue from its own technological and other advances. If Americans today can’t see themselves reflected in this masterpiece of modernist art, then no one ever could.”
The silent film screening of “Metropolis” will take place Jan. 29 at 6:00 p.m. at Huntsville’s Old Town Theatre located at 1023 12th St. The event is FREE and open to the public.