Film and concert Metropolis

Metropolis © European Film Philharmonic Institute

Tue, 26.09.2017

Katara Opera House, Doha

As part of the Qatar-Germany Year of Culture 2017 and in partnership with Qatar Museums, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the Doha Film Institute have organized a screening of the German timeless classic silent film “Metropolis”.
“Metropolis” was Fritz Lang’s science fiction masterpiece that was released in 1927, and will be screened in its restored version. This will be a part of the film series “A symphony of films” by Doha Film Institute.  The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra will accompany the film with the original scores composed by Gottfried Huppertz. Stefanos Tsialis will be the guest conductor for the evening.

The film

“Metropolis” is a German expressionist epic science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang in 1927. It is regarded as a pioneering work of the science-fiction genre in movies and belongs to the first feature length movies of this genre.

The story takes place in the future in the city of Metropolis. The city is divided into two parts, the rich and powerful in the Upper Town and the slave-like workers who run their machinery in the Lower Town. Johann Fredersen rules over the city, claiming himself as its brain and those in the Lower Town as nothing more than mere ‘hands’ of the machinery. When Johann’s son, Freder, follows Maria, a young woman from Lower Town preaching the values of love and reconciliation, he unsuccessfully pleads his father to improve the inhumane conditions he came to witness. Johann, fearing a revolt, commissions the scientist Rotwang to create a robot version of Maria, which would enable him to influence the workers as he pleased. Rotwang, a long-time rival of Johann’s, develops his own plan to use robot Maria to destroy the city.

The music

The original score has been neglected over a long period of time and parts of it were considered lost. The film was not able to recover its production costs of 5 million Reichsmark at its release and was subjected to several cuts. Only after a lucky find in 2008 in Buenos Aires it was possible to restore the entire film. After the restauration it is now shown it its original length being two hours and twenty-five minutes with the original score by Huppertz.