85 Years of Fritz Lang's Metropolis

85 years ago today, Frith Lang’s cinematographic masterpiece Metropolis was relased. It has since become a cult classic with a following around the word. Its visual effects, scenery, the story it relates have since become iconic. Metropolis has lost none ofits appeal through the decades and the message: A society can only survive if the rich learn to share the power with the poor and oppression of the masses can only lead to revolt is more in line with current times than ever.

Maschinenmensch Statue

The Maschinenmensch at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2009

Interestingly, for all the the praise and following the movie has today, it was not a success when it was first released. The original version was cut and reedited, which changed the rigininal story quite significantly.

Notables such as H.G. Wells ripped it appart in their reviews and in the end it flopped.

Metropolis vanished into near-obscurity for a while but returned with a vengeance in the new millenium. In 2001 it was inscribed into the UNESCO Memory of the World Register and in 2008 a copy of the film containing 30 minutes of never before seen material was discovered in Argentina. This version was restored and released in 2010 to universal acclaim:

It remains a pillar of Dieselpunk cinematography and some of us face the poster of the Maschinenmensch when we pray (the latter is sheer speculation!).