Metropolis with Murcof

▸ Live at Cinémathèque ▸ 19:00 ▸ restored version

A screening of one of the classic films of the 20th century accompanied by an avant-garde electronic music score is the tempting cinematic treat in store on 11 May. Fritz Lang’s hugely influential and highly regarded Metropolis was the first film to be registered in Unesco’s “Memory of the World” register. Generally regarded as one of the finest films ever made, Metropolis tells the story of a utopian future (it is set in 2027, 100 years after it was made) in which a rich elite lords it over a mistreated underclass that works in subterranean machine halls.

But it is the film’s pioneering visuals, its iconic imagery, and Lang’s brilliant vision for which Metropolis is universally admired. “Lang avoids as many intertitles as possible, and depends on images of startling originality,” wrote the great critic Roger Ebert in his appraisal of the restored version of the film. “The result was astonishing for its time.”

The screening is accompanied by a score by contemporary composer-musician Murcof, of which pianist Vanessa Wagner said: “I was immediately fascinated by its rich, sensual textures, by the mystery, the magic that it emanated…”