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Giorgio Moroder Presents Metropolis (Kino Classics Special Edition)

Kino International's DVD release of the cult classic Giorgio Moroder version of "Metropolis" released in 1984 with a modern rock soundtrack.

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A Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22

  • Aug 19, 2011
Finally coming to DVD thanks to Kino International, this is the most controversial restoration of Fritz Lang's 1927 sci-fi epic Metropolis. Released in 1984, the Moroder Version, as it has come to be known, takes the classic silent film and gives it a new look and sound by making major alterations such as color tinting the film, adding subtitles rather than the traditional intertitles used in silent films, and most radically, by giving the film a modern pop rock soundtrack. Equally reviled and revered by silent film buffs and lovers of '80s music and still a source of controversy and debate among film restorers and historians, the restoration has become rather infamous and for many it was the first introduction to silent films.
As I've not yet seen this version, but have been wanting to for years, it should prove interesting to see what this generation makes of Moroder's Metropolis, especially after Kino has already released two excellent restorations of the film that are faithful to the original version. What's exciting is that it will include the original score and soundtrack (which won a 1985 Razzie Award) featuring songs by Freddie Mercury of Queen, Pat Benetar, and many others.
We shall see how it holds up 27 years later...
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August 20, 2011
Though I admire most of its musical contributors (save Benatar, as I'm a former Jett loyalist), I loathe that score, utterly anachronistic in relation to the film. However, I'm thrilled that Kino's licensed the near-complete edition of the film incorporating the footage discovered in Buenos Aires from the Murnau Foundation. Now that I've seen it publicly, I'm looking forward to watching it in the comfort of my viewing room!
August 20, 2011
Well, if it's the Complete Metropolis experience you want, then you'll want to skip this, the Moroder Version. Not only does it not feature the Buenos Aires newly rediscovered footage, but it's color tinted and shown at a different projection speed. Still, this is a cause for celebration, in part because of the very strange addition of the then contemporary score (which was universally panned by critics who felt that it was out of place with the film), but also because it will mean that three very different restorations of the film will be available on DVD for comparison.
August 23, 2011
Well, I didn't assume that Moroder retroactively scored music for the new restoration! Nonetheless, almost innumerable composers better suited to the task were available and possibly willing to contribute music for this film. Imagine this scored by Glass, Adams or Morricone - or Schnittke, Penderecki...Frank Zappa! Moroder's commission suggests as facile a perspective of Lang's futurism as his music.
August 23, 2011
As far as I know, no one commissioned Moroder to do it. He sought the film out himself and found someone (not sure who) to put forth the financing. As for your list, I would add Carl Orff to the number of composers who would have created a memorably epic score for the film, though, of course, Orff died just over two years before this film was released. And I think Clint Mansell would have been an interesting choice if a modern electronic score was ever to be recorded.
August 24, 2011
Well, I sit corrected, and impressed by Moroder's ambition! I never considered Orff, but that's a great idea. You've likely heard his Trionfi cantatas. His Prometheus opera knocked my socks off when I was a teenager, and I still prefer it to Scriabin and Listzt's (very good) symphonic works on the much-appropriated myth.

To my ears, Mansell's hit-or-miss. His Moon score is a good example of minimalist variation exercises and he's provided some effectively creepy (and undeserved) aural ambience to both retarded sub-cinema actioners and Aronofsky's regurgitations, but I always thought Metropolis worthy of an erudite score, be it symphonic or electronic. I'd class Mansell with the likes of Kawai or Carpenter (in good company, really - despite their periodic missteps, they've all produced memorable movie music), but I don't feel that his style could convey the ethos of Lang's masterwork. Nonetheless, I love to be proven wrong!
 
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Wiki

In 1981, three-time Academy Award-winning composer Giorgio Moroder began a three-year endeavor to restore the science fiction classic, Metropolis. During this process, Moroder made the controversial decision to give the film a new, contemporary score, and added a pop music soundtrack featuring songs from some of the biggest stars of the early MTV era, including Pat Benatar, Billy Squier, Freddie Mercury, Bonnie Tyler, Adam Ant, Jon Anderson and more.

In addition to the new score, missing footage was re-edited into the film, intertitles were removed and replaced with subtitles and sound effects and color tinting were added, creating an all new experience...and an all-new film! But for more than a quarter century, this version of Metropolis has remained out of print - until now.

A new HD transfer was created from one of the few remaining prints available, and Kino Lorber is presenting the film in the best possible quality - just as it was seen in its original release in August 1984.
 

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Details

Director: Fritz Lang
Genre: Classics, Drama, Music, Musical, Sci-Fi
Release Date: August 1984
Screen Writer: Thea von Harbou
Runtime: 90 minutes
Studio: Kino Lorber
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