Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trailer Trash: Here She Comes

If there is any proof at all that even the best drugs only do so much, it is the quite extraordinary version of the 1927 silent classic Metropolis that disco overlord Giorgio Moroder brought to birth in 1984. Moroder took one of the most visually overwrought and (thanks to generations of ruthless cutting) thematically incoherent films ever made and provided it with an electro-dance soundtrack that matches it in being both entirely overwrought and completely incoherent.

So, of course, I love and revere every hand-tinted, staircase-running, transforming-vamp-roboted, Bonnie-Tylered, Freddie-Mercuryed, for-God's-sake-Loverboyed minute of it. The many hours spent during the summer of '84 watching it repeatedly (at Philadelphia's old TLA, if memory serves) are a treasured part of my 80s experience, and even having seen other, significantly more solemn restorations, I think Moroder may still have done best by Fritz Lang's demented vision.

In Berlin's fabulous Film Museum, a significant amount of space is devoted to all things Metropolis, but I was disappointed to see that they strongly deprecate this unique version of the great work. They don't exactly use words like "abortion" to describe it, but you can tell how they feel. It's a rare lapse on their part, and if they didn't also have a truly heartstopping gallery of Dietrich costumes, I might never have forgiven them.


  1. I was living in Philadelphia that summer, on Spruce Street, a few blocks from that little theater, and I must have seen Metropolis 3 or 4 times, I bought the cassette and wore it out.

  2. the important question is...did they let you try on any of the Dietrich costumes?

  3. Oh darling, how I adore this. The scene where the evil Maria is driving the mens wild with her hootchy kootch is one of the truly great moments in moviedom.