Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wow. Just...Wow.

I don't know if any of you know this, but I watched Giorigo Moroder's 1984 musical version of Metropolis this weekend.

I kept a really low profile about it.
IT WAS AWESOME!!! I can't wait for the DVD to come out. I will buy it, and unlike others in my collection, I will watch the hell out of it. And you should, too. All of you. Yes, you. Especially you.

Here are my random impressions of my evening with Bestest Friend and Precocious Daughter:

I hadn't been to the beautiful Inwood Theater in years. Bestest Friend and I used to go the Inwood and the Granada (RIP) all the time to get our fill of old, foreign, and/or arty films. Hey, did you know that there was a 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma on Saturday night that was felt all over North Texas as well? It hit at 10:53 p.m., which was exactly the same time I got lost driving to the Inwood. It was totally the earthquake's fault for moving the exit I missed because it wasn't there. Thank you, Inwood Theater, for still having your bitching tall marquee light that guided us safely to your parking lot.

Yet another old friend I got to see this weekend.
 The Inwood, as always, featured great people-watching. Everyone from hipsters to goths to poseurs to - gasp!- middle-aged chicks with an 11-year-old in tow. That was us. :) The view from the staircase was extremely entertaining as we waited for the movie to start.

Metropolis was shown in the Screening Lounge, which is now my all-time favorite place in the entire world to watch a movie. There are no movie-theatre seats in the Screening Lounge. Instead there are rows and rows of huge comfy armchairs, loveseats, sofas, ottomans, and beanbag chairs. Bliss. We staked out three oversized club chairs in the middle of the lounge, any one of which could probably have held all three of us if we'd snuggled close enough.

When the movie started, I felt 25 years slide away. I remembered every line of dialogue, every color-tinted frame, every amazingly awesome song. And it was absolutely thrilling to see it all on the big screen. This is why I don't have a Netflix account and still venture out to the overpriced multiplexes when I can: There is nothing to compare to the experience of watching a movie in a well-appointed theatre. Bestest Friend and I couldn't decide if we had ever actually seen Metropolis on the big screen, or if we had discovered it on video. Either way, we had never seen it in a darkened lounge from huge comfy chairs surrounded by freaks, geeks, and bull queens. So there was that.

PDaughter, bless her heart, made it almost through the entire movie without falling asleep. Near the end I looked over at her, and she was curled up in her extremely comfy seat, eyes closed. When she started making tiny little girl-snores, I nudged her awake just in time for the final scene. She loved it. I'm so happy that I took her to her first midnight movie. She'll probably be mortified about that later, but I think she had a great time.

PDaughter also is really eager to see the original restored version now. Even though I've impressed on her that it's more than two hours long and totally silent and doesn't feature a single song by Billy Squier, she wants to see how the Moroder version was created from the 1927 film. My film-geek girl!

I was a little shocked to see the lousy quality of the print from which the Moroder version of Metropolis was made. In 1984 the original film had yet to undergo any of the painstaking restoration that has resulted in the pristine print I own. And there were plenty of places where still pictures and intertitles had to take the place of still-missing footage that has since been discovered. Actually, the 1984 version does a great job of splicing together the plot despite the horrible condition of the print. But now I want to see the musical version re-done based on the film we have now. Because, you know, there should be a kajillion different versions for me to geek out on.

Quick, which version is the giant head of Hel from?
 And the music...I love the music so much. It's so 1980s, in the best possible way. The soundtrack is definitely going back into rotation in the Bug's CD changer. Would it be too much to ask for a reissued version that includes the complete suite of instrumental passages and Pat Benatar's original, slow, beautiful version of "Here's My Heart"? I'm really dorking out now, aren't I?

Of course, the best part of the whole Metropolis experience was seeing it with my two best gal pals, one of whom happens to be my very kick-ass child. I wish you all could have been there with us. We could have snuggled together on sofas and eaten Snickers Peanut Butter Squares bars while watching the movie. But not my Snickers Peanut Butter Squares bar. You'd need to have brought your own. Hands off, man. Seriously.

Anyway, the reissued DVD comes out November 15. I can't recommend it highly enough. Thanks for coming to watch it with me, Bestest Friend!

Now on to Snakes on a Plane...

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