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Saturday 29th April 2017
The first great sci-fi film, Metropolis fixed for the rest of the century the image of a futuristic city as a hell of scientific progress and human despair. From this film descended Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, Escape From LA, Gattaca and Batman’s Gotham City and the laboratory of its evil genius created the visual look of mad scientists for decades to come. The Herne Hill Free Film Festival cannot control its excitement to be screening Fritz Lang’s classic, accompanied by Gottfried Huppertz’s original score, at All Saints’ Church – a truly spectacular local venue – on 29 April at 7:30pm. Aaarrrgghhh. So excited!
Metropolis employed vast sets, 25,000 extras and astonishing special effects decades ahead of its time to create a world of two parts, each ignorant of the other. Both are run by the businessman-dictator Joh Fredersen: the great city of Metropolis, with its stadiums, skyscrapers and expressways in the sky is starkly contrasted with the subterranean workers’ city, where the clock face shows 10 hours to cram another day into the work week. Joh’s son Freder is in the Pleasure Gardens one day when Maria, a woman from the subterranean city, brings a group of workers’ children to the surface. Struck by Maria’s beauty and astonished to learn of the life led by the workers, Freder seeks out the demented genius Rotwang, who knows the secrets of the lower world.
We know you’ve heard of Metropolis – hey, it’s one of the most influential films ever made – but we also know you’ve probably never had the opportunity to see it in a setting as spectacular as All Saints Church. Lang filmed for nearly a year, driven by obsession, often cruel to his colleagues, a perfectionist madman. All we’re asking for is one evening. It’d be rude not to come along on 29 April at 7:30pm!
Click here to see the trailer.