Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Masterpiece Recovered

In what could very well be the film event of the century, a near-complete print of Fritz Lang's 1927 silent masterpiece Metropolis has been found in the Museo del Cine museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Read the full story from film.com here.

Cinephiles will note that the original print of Metropolis was long thought lost. Now, the world can happily scratch this important title from that list. If we could recover the early works of Ford, Griffith, and Hitchcock, that would be a lucky pan for gold.

How fortunate we movie lovers are that Lang's classic was found in a museum, where help is close at hand. (I'm still trying to figure out how the original print of The Passion of Joan of Arc wound up in the closet of a Norwegian mental hospital prior to its 1985 restoration.) Analogously speaking, one could liken this instance to a missing child being found alive in a hospital. According to reports, the film is badly scratched, but in the hands of well-trained preservationists (I sure hope Martin Scorsese lends his support to this cause), the film will get a gleaming makeover. It would be a bonus if Philip Glass or John Williams could adapt Gottfried Huppertz's original score and subsequently conduct the orchestra of their choice for its re-recording.

If I may sneak a final wish into this post, I hope Criterion buys the distribution rights for the hotly anticipated DVD release. Their dedicated staff of artisans have yet to mistreat a classic.

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