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May 07, 2010

Next Friday May14: Movie Night- Metropolis at Strand Theater in Zelienople

I've recently blogged about the impressively redeveloped Strand Theater in Zelienople, off I-79 just north of Pittsburgh. From time to time I'd like to point out upcoming events because it's an awesome moviehouse and I support Indy playhouses.

Next Friday, May 14th: Metropolis at the Strand, with piano accompaniment and two short features.

From Wikipedia: Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist film in the science-fiction genre directed by Fritz Lang. Produced in Germany during a stable period of the Weimar Republic, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and makes use of the science fiction context to explore a political theme of the day: the social crisis between workers and owners in capitalism.

Click here for a plot synopsis, which might be useful before seeing the movie. Friday's presentation at The Strand will include live piano accompanying the silent film, as it was originally presented.

Here's an article from this week's New York Times about the recently restored version of Metropolis, which is what will be shown at the Strand. This version restores the movie to it's original footage. From the NYTimes:

Some of the newly inserted material consists of brief reaction shots, just a few seconds long, which establish or accentuate a character’s mood. But there are also several much longer scenes, including one lasting more than seven minutes, that restore subplots completely eliminated from the Paramount version.

For example, the “Thin Man,” who in the standard version appears to be a glorified butler to the city’s all-powerful founder, turns out instead to be a much more sinister figure, a combination of spy and detective. The founder’s personal assistant, who is fired in an early scene, also plays a greater role, helping the founder’s idealistic son navigate his way through the proletarian underworld.

The cumulative result is a version of “Metropolis” whose tone and focus have been changed. “It’s no longer a science-fiction film,” said Martin Koerber, a German film archivist and historian who supervised the latest restoration and the earlier one in 2001. “The balance of the story has been given back. It’s now a film that encompasses many genres, an epic about conflicts that are ages old."

Metropolis is one of the essential movies and presents a snapshot of labor-capital issues from the 1930. Both the Matrix series and Blade Runner are footnotes to it.

"The heart must mediate between the head and the hand".
(very high synecdoche ratio in that sentence, btw.)

Strand Theater, 724.742.0400, May14 7:30pm


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