Metropolis@CineSci6: Sunday 11 September, 3pm
Our new CineSci6 season of films at the Clapham Picture House starts with arguably the mother of all sci-fi films, Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent epic Metropolis.
The film’s visually spectacular depiction of a futuristic city as a dystopian nightmare created the blueprint for almost every sci-fi movie skyline, from Blade Runner to The Fifth Element, its imagery has influenced popular musicians from Pink Floyd to Madonna. It is said that Metropolis was Adolf Hitler’s favourite film, its political message interpreted by the Nazi party to be in support of their ideas.
Metropolis tells the tale of a fantastical mega-city with Art Deco skyscrapers, elevated train tracks and wealthy, carefree residents, built on the toil of an army of underground, oppressed workers, and a robot created by a mad scientist to destroy it by spreading discord among the workforce. Taking two years to shoot and bankrupting its producers (with a budget of $200m in today’s money), the film deals with issues of class and labour that still persist to this day.
We’ll be showing the restored, full-length “director’s version” of the movie, and we’re especially delighted that after the screening the novelist and science writer Simon Ings will discuss some of the main themes explored in Metropolis, such as the pull between utopia and dystopia, and the ideas from industrial psychology that informed the discussions of the time. So, come and enjoy a classic vision of the urban future in one of the most iconic films of all time.