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Tonight: The Complete Metropolis

Until this year, Fritz Lang’s epic science fiction fable Metropolis was the most famous film that almost no one alive had seen in its entirety. Its intentions were hugely ambitious: the top German filmmaker of his era, Lang sought a new artistic peak, while his studio, UFA, wanted to raise a challenge to Hollywood domination. The project cost 10 times as much as any contemporary German film. Yet almost immediately after its Berlin premiere the 153 minute Metropolis began to be disassembled for foreign distribution; by the 1980s the chopped, re-structured prints that remained had little to do with Lang’s vision. There have been several attempts to restore it in recent decades, but with the discovery of a 16mm dupe negative in a Buenos Aires museum and new advances in digital restoration technique, a version has been assembled which not only contains all of the original footage (minus a few frames) but restores Lang’s sequencing. Metropolis will be presented on Friday (Sept. 24) at the Market Arcade as an early opening feature for this year’s Buffalo International Film Festival, which takes place October 1-10.
—m. faust

7pm (doors). Market Arcade Film & Arts Center, Market Arcade Film & Arts Center, 639 Main St (855-3022). $10/adult; $8/students, seniors; $12.50/VIP. Visit