I’m showing Metropolis to my class next week. I bought the restored authorized edition, and watched it again last night. This is such an incredible movie.
The newest edition is still missing scenes. I don’t think the original can ever be restored. The original version is said to have been 210 minutes long, which is, of course, way too long for most people to tolerate. Unfortunately, it was chopped down pretty drastically, and now about a fourth of the footage is gone forever. This new version is 124 minutes, and some pretty important scenes are still missing. They fill in the gaps with text.
The most fun part of Metropolis is its expressionism. The movie is a work of art. The fact that it is a silent film requires the actors to emote more than usual, and so their facial expressions are also part of the art.
The animation is also pretty breathtaking. Having watched the director’s commentary and the documentary, it really is awe-inspiring to consider the amount of work that was put into the special effects.
The Babel-theme is great too. I think it might be a good springboard to a theology of the city, as there are clear evils to the city, but also great benefits.