The restored version of Metropolis has been making the rounds, playing in various cities in the U.S. since April and will continue through the U.S. and parts of Canada until October. I was able to catch it today, the last day of a two-weekend engagement here in Detroit at the Detroit Film Theater. Metropolis is a movie I have always really wanted to see in a theater so I was extremely excited to see it and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. It looked absolutely magnificent on the big screen! The newly found footage is far from pristine, but the rest of the footage is absolutely flawless. I’ve never seen that movie look better than it did in the theater.
The showing I was at had a pretty good turn-out. It’s been my experience that the crowds aren’t as big at afternoon screenings as they are at evening screenings, and this seemed closer to what I’d see at an evening show. I was actually surprised at how many kids and pre-teens I saw there. I wasn’t expecting to see kids since it’s a fairly long movie plus it’s not a light, fun, Harold Lloyd-type movie that would easily appeal to children. I was sitting in front of a girl who was maybe 6-8 years old and she genuinely seemed to be excited about the movie. When the movie came back on after intermission, I heard her say how glad she was it was finally back on. Then when it was over, I heard her yell, “Wow!” and clap very hard. It was awesome to see that someone her age could really appreciate a movie like Metropolis. Judging from what I overheard people saying at the intermission, it seemed like people generally liked the restoration. I think several of those people didn’t even see the 2002 restoration and had only seen the truly awful, butchered versions of it. They were amazed at how much more sense the movie made now.
If Metropolis is coming to your neck of the woods, I very highly recommend checking it out. If you’re a fan of the movie, you’re going to love it. The version you see at any of those dates does not feature a live score, it’s the official score that you’ll see on the DVD when it’s released. However if you’d like to see it with a live musical accompaniment, check out the Alloy Orchestra’s tour schedule to see if they’re coming to your area. They’ll be performing their score of Metropolis at many of their tour stops. I’ve never heard the Alloy Orchestra’s score of Metropolis, but I’ve been to their performances of Nosferatu and The Phantom of the Opera and they were fantastic.