One of the most amazing film finds of all-time happened back in 2008 -- when several reels of film were discovered in a museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The reels contained excised footage from Fritz Lang's Metropolis, footage that was screened in Germany during the title's 1927 release. Not long after that premiere, Paramount and Ufa in Germany ordered the film cut by over 25 minutes -- something that incensed Lang, but couldn't be stopped. The footage was thought to be lost forever until that fateful day in 2008. In the years since, a team of film restorationists have been hard at work cleaning it up and putting it back together. Film fans are about to see the fruit of their labor.
Residents in the UK and Ireland will have several opportunities in the weeks ahead to experience Metropolis exactly as Lang intended (and complete with new subtitles, even) thanks to a series of planned screenings.
The UK premiere is set to take place on August 26th as part of BFI Southbank's Future Human season. Unfortunately, this event is fully booked. If you don't have tickets to that one, don't worry -- the film will screen again on August 29th as a prelude to the Cambridge Film Festival. This sounds like the perfect evening to me -- an open-air sunset screening where guests can arrive via chauffeured punts with lots of booze and warm blankets. Nice.
After that, the film plays the Curzon Midnight Movies on September 3rd, before making its Ireland debut on September 4th at the National Concert Hall -- complete with a "newly adapted music score for salon Orchestra."
The film has two more special screenings, with the September 11th showing at The Roundhouse -- complete with live music provided by the London Contemporary Orchestra.
Metropolis is set to open on 60 screens theatrically on September 10th -- so if you can't make it to one of these special screenings, you can at least see the fully restored director's cut of this classic. You can find locations over here.