Metropolis is an expressionist movie by Fritz Lang, produced in 1927 in a nazi-ideologically-growing Germany.

It tells the story of a city divided in two : the rich and powerful, living in the upper levels, and the workers powering the city in the underground. A young woman from the working class, Maria, if fighting this segregation, and illegally takes some children with her out in the upper level's garden. Though she's taken out by the guards, she immediatly hits the eye of Freder, the city administrator's son. Going down to the other level to find Maria, he witnesses the horrible working conditions there, and decides to talk to his father about it. The father then chooses to use some scientist's Cyborg, giving it Maria's appearence, and to hit two birds with one stone : he'll crush the worker's on-going revolution, and make his son forget about the young woman. But Maria has long-prophesized the arrival of a messiah, that will unite the two classes.

I've used a sound from the District 9 trailer, modified so that it would go from a very deep noise, bearely hearable without a subwoofer, to a much clearer and powerful sound.

Shot in a 4/3 reel, I've cropped every scene in a 16/9 ratio. It allowed me to add more mouvement in these mainly standing still shoots, making them more dynamic, like when the robot, having transformed into Maria, opens it's eyes, which is much more dramatic with a zoom out. Or the beginning of the transformation, where a vertical camera travelling gives a better idea of the machine's powering up.

I also allowed myself two little Lense Flares, in one of the general city scene, and in the shot where many hands reaches out to the Babel tower.

Metropolis being a mute movie, I've had the pleasure of creating a whole new sound track. Having no bases in the movie, I was free to do has I wished. Several subway, highway and airplane sounds have been used in the city-wide shots, mixed in a much more contemporary Stereo. The ending's explosions were carefully selected to fit the action : more air for the geyser, more noise for the flames, and a louder sound with debris for the Monster Machine's explosion. The most difficult sound to find was that of the device changing the cyborg into Maria.

I ended it all with a 3D version of the 1927's logo, with the city reflecting on it. The edges are a bit strange because I had to use some tricks to do the thing...

The purpose of this trailer, wich is totally opposed to the one Kino International did for the release of The Complete Metropolis, is to show that Metropolis is also a dark movie, talking about serious subjects, which is not showed in their's. Their's has a sweet little music, almost cute, which says something like "Oh look, it's sweet, they're trying to do sci-fi with cardboard boxes !" rather than "This movie is a dark tale about social conflict that inspired several generations of film makers.". I think I reached that purpose.

The film has quite a chaotic story. Since it's Berlin premiere in 1927, it has been cut by censors (mainly Nazi), it's reels scattered in private collections, piled into some museum's dark corner, or simply lost or destroyed.

In 1984, some looney decides to release an 80mn version of the movie, with a new soundtrack composed by the period's top artists, though completely inadequate to the movie (Bonnie Tyler......), and don't forget the badly colorized images, with one color filter applied to it.

In reaction to that scandaleous release, the movie was restored. Parts of the movie were gathered from everywhere around the globe, but not always edited the same way. Sometimes, there were only one scene, or one shot, making it impossible to tell where it was supposed to go. In 1995, a 153mn long version of the movie is completed, presented with a new classical score composed especially for this edition. Another one is released in 2001, when the film joins the Memory of the world Register.

The year 2008 finally sees the discovery, in the Buenos Aires's Museum of Cinema, of a complete reel as presented at it's 1927's premiere. Though partially cropped, it unveils the truthful original montage, and is released in 2010 with the 1927's original score, played by a symphonic orchestra during a premiere in Berlin, Frankfurt, and in HD on the joined french/german channel Arte.

With the only exception of a japanese anime freely inspired, no remake has ever been considered. However, the movie is said to be at the origin of two recent classics : Blade Runner and The Matrix.

Trailer : The Complete Metropolis

Trailer : Metropolis 1984 version

Trailer : Metropolis (Animated)