Asia Premiere For Restored Film Treasure "Metropolis"
HKFA will present a new 35mm version of the reconstructed original cut of Fritz Lang's silent classic "Metropolis"
The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) will present a new 35mm version of the reconstructed original cut of Fritz Lang's silent classic "Metropolis" (1927) as the opening film of the "Restored Treasures" series.
"Metropolis" will be shown at the Film Archive's Cinema at 7.30pm on April 3 and 7.45pm on April 4, with live music accompaniment by German pianist Eunice Martins.
To complement the screenings, the HKFA will hold a "Symposium on Film Restoration" on April 3 from 2pm to 5.30pm at its cinema. Overseas and local conservation specialists, including Martin Koerber from Germany, Tochigi Akira from Japan, and Edward Tse and Koven Lo from Hong Kong, will share their experiences on the restoration of "Metropolis", director Kurosawa Akira's masterpiece "Rashomon", and director Fei Mu's long-lost classic "Confucius" in the first part of the symposium, "The Art of Restoration". Martin Koerber, Tochigi Akira, film scholar Wong Ain-ling and HKFA programmer Sam Ho will discuss "The Cultural and Aesthetic Value of Film Preservation" in the second part of the symposium. The event will be conducted in English. Admission is free on a first-come-first-served basis.
The restoration of "Metropolis" is one of the world's most important film preservation projects. In various restored versions, crucial scenes of the sci-fi classic were missing and considered lost forever. In 2008, a 16mm negative of the film was discovered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with about 30 minutes of the long-lost story recovered. The addition of the lost footage enables the film to be shown in a form close to its original glory.
Fritz Lang was a true visionary and giant of the cinema. The German film master's fantastic visions of a futuristic city, close to a century ago in the 1920s, remain awe-inspiring today. "Metropolis" sets the standard for cinematic art in many ways, from its vivid imagination of the future, to its innovative realisation of architecture and bold experimentations in special effects.
The film involved 37,633 actors and numerous ground-breaking scenes and filmic techniques. Its distinctive employment of settings such as using the harsh outlines of skyscrapers to create a sense of suppression and suffocation was found in many subsequent films, including the "Batman" series and "The Fifth Element".
The programme is presented by the HKFA of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) in collaboration with the Hong Kong International Film Festival and Goethe-Institut Hongkong.
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