DVD Review

Metropolis (2003)

Metropolis | CITY OF THE FUTURE 1927's ''Metropolis,'' paranoid over the android
Image credit: Metropolis: Kobal Collection
CITY OF THE FUTURE 1927's ''Metropolis,'' paranoid over the android

Details Release Date: Feb 18, 2003; DVD Release Date: Feb 18, 2003; Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy; With: Alfred Abel and Brigitte Helm

Fritz Lang's modernist masterpiece Metropolis has suffered all manner of desecrations since its 1927 debut -- not the least of them a color-tinted 1984 version that sets the silent film to songs by Adam Ant and Loverboy. The restored edition at hand offers kicks for both sci-fi fanatics (who will discover the forerunner of ''Blade Runner'''s steep cityscape) and cineasts (who can wonder at Lang's pioneering merger of German expressionism and Hollywood technique).

The story, told in a flow of grandly visionary visuals, is as simple as myth: In 2026, a lackey of the over-class replaces the workers' heroine with a diabolical robot replica. Though the supplemental material -- including a documentary on the production and another on the restoration -- often seems too wonkishly detailed for general consumption, the future has finally arrived, looking powerfully strange.

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Originally posted Feb 25, 2003 Published in issue #698 Feb 28, 2003 Order article reprints

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