Friday, August 26, 2011

Rotwang Lives!

You know how sometimes your day gets off to a crappy start because your boss gets on your ass for not doing something he didn't actually ever tell you to do? And then you get a piece of good news that totally makes your jerk boss seem about as important as that sad drip of soft-serve ice cream hanging off the nozzle after you dispense yourself a swirly cone and can't quite figure out how to finish it off neatly? DO YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT?

What the hell do I do with this shit?
 Well, this morning I got amazing news from Bestest Friend, who heard it from Perez Hilton. That's iron-clad credibility.

Fair, balanced, and fabulous.
 In a nutshell, the 1984 Georgio Moroder musical version of Fritz Lang's 1927 masterpiece Metropolis is coming out on DVD!

Did you hear me? I said...

OK, look, some of you are fanning yourselves and saying OMG OMG OMG, and some of you are staring blankly at the screen, waiting for my announcement to make any sense whatsoever. Trust me, latter group, this is huge news.

Long story short: Metropolis is a silent movie about a dystopian future where poor people live underground and robots do flapper dances. It's a classic, brilliant film. In 1984, music producer Giorgio Moroder (Flashdance) released an edited version set to music by the likes of Freddy Mercury, Loverboy, Pat Benatar, and Bonnie Tyler. It was amazing. AMAZING. You can still get the soundtrack, which is a slice of 80s heaven, but the movie was only briefly released on VHS  and laserdisc before becoming mired in all sorts of licensing issues with the various record companies involved. It's never been released in non-bootleg form on DVD. Ever. It's one of the Holy Grails of DVD releases, but fans have been told for years that it was as unlikely as a Kardashian eloping quietly.

I can build a hot robot, but I can't get Sony and Capitol
 to talk to each other.
 Until now. (I'm hopping on one foot here. It's hard to type this way.) Because Perez Hilton has announced (and The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed, or maybe it's the other way around, WHO CARES) that the Moroder version of Metropolis is finally being released on DVD on November 15. Holy soaring synth fills!

Let me take a breath here.

That's better. OK, now some film purists consider the Moroder Metropolis to be a heretical piece of commercial crap, partly because it radically cut the sprawling narrative down to 82 minutes and partly because Adam Ant sings in it. Hey, I'll concede the butchery, but leave Adam Ant alone!

But we're really talking about two distinct movie experiences here. As I said, the 1927 Metropolis is an undisputed masterpiece. Here's one of the best discussions of the film I've ever seen - seriously, check it out. It's a very important and influential movie. And awesome.

When you've been aped by Bender, you've made it.
The 1984 Moroder version of Metropolis is a different animal. It's fast and flashy and solves complex problems with three-minute power ballads. In other words, Moroder took a silent German Expressionist film and made it into a quintessential 80s flick. It's like Footloose set in a post-industrial plutocracy.

And you thought I couldn't connect Kevin Bacon
to Fritz Lang. For shame.
It's not the movie Fritz Lang made - although I think he would have liked the Billy Squier tune - but it rocks. It's as much a part of the legacy of 1980s cinema as the original is a legacy of 1920s cinema. And it so needs to be seen by a new generation of movie fans.

And now it will be! Yay!

But there's more! The Moroder Metropolis will get a limited theatrical run prior to its DVD release. The Hollywood Reporter says that Dallas is among the cities that will screen it. I. AM. THERE. Wearing my Metropolis promotional pin that I got because I was working at a video store when the VHS tape originally came out and I later gave to my pre-Beloved Spouse boyfriend who also loved Metropolis but turned out to be a pompous jerk and I totally made him give it back because it meant a lot more to me than he did and anyway he gave me mono.

Another deep breath.
 So thankyouthankyouthankyou, Bestest Friend, for making my day. Seriously, I was about to start another crabby post when I got your e-mail. This will take me into the weekend doing a happy dance. And thanks, Perez Hilton. You're a stone-cold freak with a dubious job, but you really scored big with me this time.

Anyone who wants to join me in Dallas for a Metropolis-watching party, let me know. We'll drink wine coolers and curl our bangs and pretend we can sing like Pat Benatar. Just like we did in the 80s.

As Rotwang would say:


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