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 Post subject: 8 / BD 16 Metropolis
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:53 pm
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Metropolis

Image Image Image

One of the biggest film events of the century, a “Holy Grail” among film finds, Fritz Lang’s 1927 sci-fi epic can finally be seen — for the first time in 83 years — as the director originally intended and as seen by German cinema-goers in 1927.

Shortly after that 1927 release, an entire quarter of Lang’s original version was cut by Paramount for the US release, and by Ufa in Germany, an act of butchery very much against the director’s wishes. The excised footage was believed lost, irretrievably so — that is, until one of the most remarkable finds in all of cinema history, as several dusty reels were discovered in a small museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2008. Since then, an expert team of film archivists has been working at the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung in Germany to painstakingly reconstruct and restore Lang’s film. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the spectacular results — as premièred at the prestigious Berlinale in early 2010 and subsequently seen at cinemas throughout the UK & Ireland.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• Limited to 4000 copies worldwide
The Fading Image, a rarely seen behind-the-scenes documentary about Moroder's restoration and scoring of Metropolis
Metropolis Refound - a 2010 documentary by Evangelina Loguercio, Diego Panich, Laura Tusi and Sebastián Yablón exploring the rediscovery of the most complete print of the Fritz Lang masterpiece in an Argentinean film museum.
Giorgio Moroder presents: Metropolis - the 1984 re-imaging of Metropolis featuring a soundtrack by Moroder himself and artists such as Adam Ant, Pat Benatar, Freddie Mercury and many more.
• 150-minute reconstructed and restored 2010 version
• 2010 symphony orchestra studio recording of the original 1927 Gottfried Huppertz score in 5.1
• Optional English subtitles as well as the original German intertitles
• Full-length audio commentary by David Kalat and Jonathan Rosenbaum
Die Reise nach Metropolis (2010, 53 minutes), a documentary about the film
• 2010 re-release trailer
• 56-page booklet featuring archival interviews with Fritz Lang, a 1927 review by Luis Buñuel, articles by Jonathan Rosenbaum and Karen Naundorf, and restoration notes by Martin Koerber and more!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:53 pm
Location: all up in thurr
Subbuteo wrote:
Have just acquired Metropolis. What can one say...SUBLIME!! I have always admired this film from afar and this edition has opened up one huge re-appraisal.

I was enamoured with Michael and now this...if MOC continue to release discs of this quality we cineastes around the world are in for one hell of a renaissance.

This release is destined for end of the year accolades, the design & presentation alone knock spots of 99% of DVD releases.
Nick and the MOC team you have set a new standard, Congratulations!

If you don't have this yet, make it your next purchase


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:24 pm 
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
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Very good review

Quote:
Metropolis was Germany's last ever expressionistic film. In an era that started with a bang in the form of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and ended on a high note with this, it was definitely a time of remembrance. The film is an amazing achievement and a testament to how great Fritz Lang's mind really was but I just can't bring myself to say how unprecedented it is. There was a time when it might have momentarily shone brighter than any film before it, but that time has long since passed and the remains after all these years’ shows a film that now struggles in light of being tampered with. Not only does it show that Fritz Lang was a true visionary but it also shows a side of him that was perhaps never supposed to be seen.

Eureka's DVD presentation is superb, offering the most complete version of the film currently - and most likely ever to be – available. The addition of the German intertitles, a range of subtitles, 28-page booklet and Masters of Cinema series packaging may not be enough to tempt those who already own the previous release, but is now the best way to see Metropolis and a recommended purchase to those yet to take the plunge.

My enjoyment of this film will always be thwarted by the fact that I will perenially be watching an incomplete version of a great work of art. It's really a shame the fate that some films suffer at the hands of idiotic-notioned people that take decisions based on the least art integrity-oriented way possible. Oh, well.

Still, this DVD looks fantastic in every way and we must give thanks firstly to the Murnau Foundation and the hardwork of film historian Enno Patalas and also to the invaluable work of restorer Martin Koerber (a big round of applause to this man!).

Secondly, to the MoC team of course for making the original german version available to the english reading public. And lastly, to peerpee (aka Nick Wrigley) for making the best DVD booklets EVER!

(as a small aside and not wanting to sound too pathetic, I noticed in the extras that there are still frames of deleted scenes not included in this restoration. Well, since they (the restorers) went to the extent of including intertitles explaining what went on between two scenes where there wasn't footage available, why couldn't they have put those deleted scenes instead? Just a thought.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:16 pm 
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I think inserting the still frames into the texture of the movie would not have been too successfull, remembering this was done with the 80s restoration of Cukor's A STAR IS BORN for several scenes,. which also had some soundtrack but I frankly find it disuptive of the viewing experience. IMO anyhow


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 7:36 pm 
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One thing I found irritating about both the picture of this Lang film and the other MoC Lang (Spione) is that there is a series of horizontal lines that create interferences, usually with other straight lines in the film. You can see this in just about any scene, but it's most noticeable with the intertitles, where the smooth curves of letters are slightly jagged. You can see the letters jittering on the 3rd (I think) chapter of this disc where the intertitles scroll onto the screen.

I'm surprised no one has noticed this, especially the usually very picky Gary at DVDBeaver. Is this an unavoidable result of a PAL mastering?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 8:29 pm 
not perpee
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It's what happens when you watch an interlaced disc on a progressive display. I presume you're not watching it on a CRT? (if you are, sounds like "not great" PAL > NTSC conversion).

We are attempting wherever possible to do progressive transfers from now on. SPIONE and ASPHALT were our last.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 9:21 pm 
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peerpee wrote:
It's what happens when you watch an interlaced disc on a progressive display. ...
We are attempting wherever possible to do progressive transfers from now on. SPIONE and ASPHALT were our last.


So these are NOT progressive transfers?
Is there a reason why not?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 9:33 pm 
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SPIONE and ASPHALT? - Authoring house didn't seem to understand the difference. We're working with two other authoring houses now.

None of Eureka's DVDs have ever been progressive transfers up until the release of the MoC Teshigahara/Rossellini discs. Fans of those discs can expect more of the same in the future.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 10:04 pm 
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I didn't notice THE HOLY MOUNTAIN having this problem. MICHAEL definitely did have this problem, though I figured it was the "chroma noise" that Gary referred to.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 10:24 pm 
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Chroma noise is nothing really to do with interlacing.

There's also "interlaced transfers" and "interlaced transfers".

The sort of interlacing I'm referring to is also present on titles such as the bfi's recent Kurosawa discs, and Artificial Eye's WEEKEND.

Interlaced transfers look great on CRTs, but slightly problematic on progressive displays. Throw PAL > NTSC display conversion into the mix (at the viewer's end) and it's another kettle of fish. Throw an NTSC > PAL conversion, an interlaced transfer, and a PAL > NTSC display conversion into the mix and you have a few kettles of fish.

Hopefully, what we're doing with the Teshigahara/Rossellini discs is pleasing on every possible configuration. These discs are the result of extensive research into all this...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 12:32 pm 
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Watching "Metropolis" on a CRT screen this past weekend, I was startled by the crispness and clarity of the image on the MoC disc. This is by far the best, and most coherent, of the many versions of this film that I have seen over the years, a pleasure to behold.

The use of expositional intertitles accounting for missing footage is much preferred to the practice of inserting still frames, especially in a film that relies so heavily on precisely timed visual rhythms. The intertitles convey the absent content succinctly, almost subliminally, inasmuch as we are already reading the intertitles for dialogue. Inserting stopped frames into the proceedings would have disrupted the flow and could have blown the whole deal. The newly recorded version of the original score, too, was something of a revelation, reinforcing the spatial and dramatic sweep of the film in a way that no previous score has done.

The booklet is a fine mini-anthology of short pieces about "Metropolis" and this most recent restoration. I found the detailed synopsis of the film that highlights lost passages especially useful. Where was Arnheim’s account of the premiere screening first printed? (And is he still alive? Wikipedia lists him as still living down the road in Ann Arbor, which would make him 101 years old in July.)

The historical documentary is somewhat more elliptical in its presentation than I would have liked, but it does a nice job of treating the film’s music and special effects. The brief accounts of the film’s exhibition and re-editing were also most enjoyable. O, for the days when a theatre building was physically made over to reflect the theme of the film playing inside! Interesting to note that a specially designed cornice over the marquee announces “Metropolis” as “ a film by Fritz Lang.”

I have to admit that I disliked the commentary by Enno Patalas, whose elementary descriptions of onscreen action is delivered in a tone that is arch and condescending, as though he is imparting great insight by noting entrances and exits, identifying camera angles (“Here is Froderson in profile.”) and dwelling on other blatantly obvious elements of the narrative. After a bit of this, one soon latches hungrily onto the rare factual tidbit like a starving man pouncing on a Ritz cracker. I suspect that, given his primary role in the restoration, Patalas’s supplements came bundled with the project, as they also appear on the R1 release of this title. I hope that he will not return on the forthcoming discs of “Die Nibelungen I & II.” Could we have David Kalat or Tom Gunning instead, please?

Has anyone read von Harbou’s book, Metropolis? What is it like?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:14 pm 
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I had a chance to make my way through this set yesterday and want to applaud MOC for this effort. I can't imagine this film looking any better. I haven't had a chance to listen to the commentary yet, but the rest of the supplements including the gorgeous booklet are very good. The restoration segment was especially interesting.

It's very exciting to have such an old favorite treated so well. Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:33 pm 
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I feel like an idiot asking this, but...I'm not the only one who's discs' menus are in German, am I? Is that the only way MOC has released this? Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:50 pm 
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Right away there's a choice of five options for the language of the menu. Top option is DEUTSCH, move it down to ENGLISH and select - then the menus are in English :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:12 pm 
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Thanks-I'm in the US dealing with a Toshiba DVD player that's doing the converting from NTSC-PAL, and it was skipping that menu. I'll go fix it right now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:50 pm 
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It's been nearly a year since this forum spoke about the MOC release of Metropolis, one thing I was wondering about it recently (after veiwing the film again), was people's opinions about 1927 orchestral score...

So what do you think about Gottfried Huppertz's score?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:17 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:26 am
This set arrived in the post on Monday morning and I popped it straight in the player. This was the first time I had seen the film in over two years and only the second time in total. It was also the first time I had seen the most complete version available. The previous version I had seen was something of a curiosity. If I recall correctly it was an old VHS copy dated from around 1993. The print was in a variable condition and it contained a really awful synthesiser score and a title sequence that had been altered from white text on a black background to opening immediately on the METROPOLIS title card and then white subtitle style text on the still drawing of the city. The thing that I remember most was the running time - which was something like 128 mins (10 minutes longer than the 2004 restoration!). However it wasn't until I saw the recent cut that I understood why this was.

The old VHS copy I had watched had English language intertitles and each one was displayed for a massive 30 seconds each. I know this because whilst watching the film I timed one of them and in the end began fast forwarding through them. However, with regards to actual film footage, it appears that I only saw around half of the actual film. So it was that when I watched the MoC DVD it was just like watching a whole different film. The first 10 minutes or so was completely new to me as well as various sequences in the middle involving Freder and Josephat. Needless to say, I found this version an absolute delight compared with the previous which was, to me, a bore.

One thing that set this DVD apart from many of the MoC titles is the absolutely pristine print. It really is one of the most beautiful prints I've seen of any film ever. In fact, I'd wager that this film has now been restored to such a degree that it is a lot cleaner than most recent films. An absolute joy to behold.
The newly arranged version of the original score was also magnificent. Compared with what I had heard previously which was, in all honesty, an abosolute mess; this score was a wonder. Working almost exactly with what was on screen, this really amplified the excitement and certainly gives you a sense of what it may have been like at the premiere.

One poster commented earlier that their enjoyment when watching this film is always slightly skewed as they know that they are watching an incomplete work. For me, this was something that added to the experience. When watching this print, you realise what exactly is missing, which isn't a great deal. However with the new print you can imagine what it may have been like as you are told virtually everything that happens in the missing footage. This is much more interesting for me as it allows you to play these parts of the story in your head and this can sometimes be more interesting than what you probably would have seen on screen depending on how you want to interpret or imagine it.

That said, most of the missing footage sounds rather interesting. In particular I would have loved to have seen the scenes involving The Thin Man a.k.a. Slim and this will always be something that I'll long to be in the film but never will be. But like I said, with the text descriptions and still on the 2nd disc, you can imagine how the scenes may have played. Even in its incomplete form though, the film is still a masterpiece.

With regards to the bonus features this is an enjoyable, rather than remarkable set. The commentary by Enno Patalas is only really worth a single listen and then you are likely to never want to hear it again. He does occasionally offer a few bits of trivia but mainly it is descriptions of the on screen action with long pauses in between. Also, this disc contains an English audio translation of the commentary - something which I've never seen on any other disc before - and the for the Patalas narrated documentary. Useful if you don't feel like reading subtitles (and is it just me or is that the guy that does the Audio Descriptive tracks?).

The documentarys on the whole are fairly interesting but they felt lacking to me in some way.
The stills too were a nice addition, as they are on most DVDs.
The short piece on the restoration of the film is probably the most interesting of the extras as it provides a real insight into how this print of the film was created. Fascinating to say the least.

For the print of the film alone this disc is an essential purchase. Anyone who claims to care about film should have this in their collection.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:44 am 
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Very glad you liked it so much. You haven't mentioned the MoC booklet, -- did you receive one okay with your copy? There's a lot of interesting stuff in there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:46 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:26 am
Yeah, I received one ok but so far I've only had time to flick through. Although you are right - I do keep forgetting to mention the booklets. They are part of the overall package overall and integral to the MoC discs. This reminds me, you should get on to Total Film and Empire as they keep scoring the MoC discs pretty low on the extras front and they're apparantly not counting the booklets - which in my opinion are pretty generous extras!

Hopefully I'll be able to sit down and read through the Metropolis and Michael booklets at the weekend. I'm very much looking forward to your essay Nick. I took a quick peek at it last night but I didn't read too much as I wanted it to remain fresh when I read it all the way through.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:20 pm 
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Peerpee, the booklets on all the MoC releases (that I own) are absolutely wonderful. So much information, beautifully designed, and "truly interactive" -- I mean, you can actually take them with you, and read them on the train, or at a coffee shop, or any other place you might find yourself :wink:

Seriously, if you look at the DVD industry, there are very few companies that bother with creating booklets, and it is even more rare that it is done with the level of quality and consistency as MoC. In that way (in my opinion) the booklets are the most precisous extra that you offer. Really the icing on the cake.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:44 pm 
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> Blush < - Many thanks! Very glad you like them so much.

The booklets for FANTASTIC PLANET, FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES, and SHOESHINE are all hefty, and being finished at the moment. Very happy with the content in all three of those.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:56 pm 
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Scharphedin2 wrote:
Seriously, if you look at the DVD industry, there are very few companies that bother with creating booklets, and it is even more rare that it is done with the level of quality and consistency as MoC. In that way (in my opinion) the booklets are the most precisous extra that you offer. Really the icing on the cake.

I would second this both Masters of Cinema and Criterion produce beautiful booklets and with all the hot weather recently making it difficult to justify staying in and watching films I've found they're handy to take out into the garden to read!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:05 pm 
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i'd just like to chime in with more praise for MOC booklets. i'm not an "extra" guy on dvds in general, i almost never listen to commentaries, skim interviews or deleted scenes or featurettes for interesting content -- the only extras i truly love most of the time are related shorts, and MOC-style booklets. great stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:59 am 
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Please, I need help about the extras of Metroplois. Are there Spanish subtitles for them? or only for the film?

Thank you


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Netherlands
The extras also have Spanish subs.


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