Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927) (Screening format –not known , 149 mins) Made in Germany during the Weimar period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder (Gustav Frohlich), the wealthy son of the city’s ruler, and Maria (Brigitte Helm), a poor worker, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. Filming took place in 1925 at a cost of approximately five million Reichmarks, making it the most expensive film ever released up to that point. It is regarded as a pioneering work of science fiction and is among the most influential films of all time. Following its world premiere in 1927, half an hour was cut from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and lost to the world. Eighty years later a spectacular discovery was made when the footage was found in a small, dusty museum in Buenos Aires. The film was then painstakingly reconstructed and digitally restored so that at last audiences could see the iconic futuristic fairy tale as Lang had envisioned it. Find out more at silentfilm.org . With recorded Huppertz score. Stockport Plaza, Stockport Link
Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 135mins) Based on two plays by the German author Frank Wedekind, Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895), which Pabst himself had directed for the stage, and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1904), the silent drama follows the tumultuous life of the showgirl Lulu whose unselfconscious sexuality brings about the ruin of all those that fall for her and eventually her own. In a daring move, Pabst chose a little known American actress over the more experienced Marlene Dietrich for the part of Lulu, a decision that made the young Louise Brooks an international star. Her innocent looks paired with her natural erotic allure and sense of movement – Brooks was also a dancer – perfectly matched Pabst’s idea of his heroine as unwitting seductress. Subjected to cuts to eliminate some of its “scandalous” content and unfavourably reviewed by critics at the time, it is now considered one of the boldest and most modern films of the Weimar era highlighting Pabst’s command of camera language and montage. Find out more at silentlondon.co.uk . With live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne and an introduction by Silent London’s Pamela Hutchinson, author of a new BFI Film Classics book on Pandora’s Box. Home, Manchester. Link
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