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More an illustration of a prolix thesis than a groundbreaking docu, the film takes Siegfried Kracauer’s seminal 1947 study on Weimar cinema and reiterates numerous points found in the book, with little acknowledgment that scholarship, still indebted to Kracauer, has moved on. Missing from Suchsland’s work is any nod to non-German influences, and his complete disregard for Wilhelmine cinema (i.e., before Weimar) ignores significant research of the past 20 years. Still, image quality is strong enough to make a nice DVD.
Kracauer’s thrust, that the themes in Weimar cinema prefigure the rise of Nazism and can be seen as red flags for those trained to recognize them, was revolutionary, especially in 1947. Suchsland situates the great critic/historian in his time, discussing his grounding in the philosophies of the era, specifically Marxism, Nietzsche and Freud. What’s less discussed is his need as an exile from the Third Reich »
- Jay Weissberg
As the spindly figure of Cesare ambles along with a damsel in distress slung over his shoulder, hunted by the law on a pathway that defies all architectural sense, a few things are being born into the popular cinema vernacular. Not only do you realise that this is Expressionism functioning at its highest, but you get the feeling that every psychological thriller, gothic fable and crime noir is being formed in an early, embryonic state, over the course of a mere seventy-seven minutes.
Sitting on a bench, a man by the name of Francis relates a tale to an elderly companion. It’s a tale of woe, of murder, of foreboding horror; cutting back in time to the town of Holstenwall, an ominous new attraction rolls into the annual fair – with an even more ominous figure at the helm. Dr. Caligari presents Cesare the Somnambulist, a sleepwalking near-zombie who can »
- Gary Green
★★★☆☆Fritz Lang is a behemoth entity who encompasses cinema from the Weimar age to playing a director called 'Fritz Lang' in Jean-Luc Godard's Le Mepris (1963). Within this startling career are elements of his disdain for the influence of the powerful and how guilt destroys and enables. Frau im Mond (1929) is the latest instalment of Eureka's Masters of Cinema look at early Lang following on from Metropolis, M, the Mabuse films and Die Nibelungen. After Metropolis in 1927 was there anywhere for Lang to go? He ventured after escape, imagination and the boy's own thrill of space flight. Two years after his operatic yearning for communality he gazed towards the moon - that friend for the lonesome to talk to.
- CineVue UK
Glenn here to discuss a lil something from 1989, but first a divergence to the modern day.
Last night’s MTV Video Music Awards were like stepping into a pop culture gulag. It’s easy to get misty-eyed thinking about Vma ceremonies of years past, when the network actually showed music videos and the form felt truly like art. Despite being aware of last night’s winner, “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus the icky Terry Richardson, I don’t claim to have near enough knowledge of modern music videos to truly complain. It does seem harder to imagine Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, or Pearl Jam winning these days though, doesn’t it? Are there brilliant works that just aren’t being recognized?
It’s been some time since videos were genuine pop culture moments and the internet certainly doesn’t help. Beyoncé appears to be the only one who’s been »
- Glenn Dunks
In 1929, just two years after changing the face of cinematic science fiction with Metropolis, German filmmaker Fritz Lang returned to the genre with the infinitely more grounded and realistic Frau Im Mond (Woman In The Moon).Far less well-known than its predecessor, Frau Im Mond would prove Lang's only other foray into the sci-fi genre, despite numerous attempts to get similarly themed projects off the ground after moving to Hollywood. In this film, Lang strives for a documentary-style authenticity in his tale of rival entrepreneurs battling to be part of mankind's first manned lunar mission. Many of the film's technical details prove incredibly accurate, influential and prescient, with Lang often credited with coining the take-off countdown in this film that would be adopted by space...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Even though the corporate specialty film entity known as Kino Lorber turns five this year, the roots of the firm reach back decades, a fact that’s essential to understanding its tactical methods and strategic goals.
Back in 2009 when the late Donald Krim’s Kino Intl. merged with Richard Lorber’s Lorber Ht Digital, the union was touted in the New York Times as making the combined entity “the biggest of the little guys.”
Krim, a world-class world film aesthete and tireless champion of foreign language and classic cinema, died of cancer in 2011, but the new firm benefitted by having in Lorber a second father with credentials and stamina rooted in the same passions and practical savvy.
Though the firm is centered in New York, Lorber spoke to Variety from his home in Paris, and the tireless film pro has been a familiar and vital face on the international film festival circuit for decades. »
- Steven Gaydos
Directed by Fritz Lang.
A child-killer is on the loose. The police can’t seem to track him down and the crime gangs even take the matter into their hands. One man labels the murderer with the letter ‘M’ on his back using chalk, and slowly the culprit is found out…
In the media storm involving Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville, it seems to be the relevant moment to rerelease the incredible thriller M. An unforgettable tale of a child-killer, Hans – labelled by the letter ‘M’ – preys on children using balloons and sweets. His horrific acts are not only investigated by the police but by the victims, gangs and criminals of the town. As part of the Peter Lorre season at the BFI, M is a must-see in the actor’s catalogue as it defined his character in many of his future films, »
- Simon Columb
In an era where special effects are common place, it’s startling to go back and see how filmmakers from a different era built fantastical worlds without so much as a pixel. One of the most staggering examples of using practical effects to bring a new and strange world to life remains Fritz Lang’s landmark and iconic “Metropolis.” In 1984, the synth pioneer Giorgio Moroder used his cultural cachet to produce a controversial new version of Lang’s film. Thanks to the powers of the internet and Open Culture, you can now see this cultural oddity for yourself. Because the original intended frame rate for Lang’s film was unknown, one of the most controversial aspects of the Moroder version of “Metropolis” is that its 24 frames-per-second, and that’s even before you factor in the splashes of color replacing the original black-and-white photography, sound effects and many cut scenes. Cinephiles »
- Cain Rodriguez
First comes a warning.
Everyone has their white whale; that elusive treasure or goal that they fetishise and dare to find and covet. For some it was the lost footage from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. For others it was the mythical buried reels of The Wicker Man, which rather ludicrously had been rumoured for years to be buried in the concrete foundations of an English motorway. For me it was always the deleted scenes of David Lynch’s much maligned Twin Peaks prequel Fire Walk with Me. Even in a pre-internet, pre-dvd extras age, I obsessed over this rumoured material and what possible insights it may offer into Lynch’s labyrinthian mystery. And now, thanks to the Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery Blu-ray set, they are finally here. So how do they stack up? What do they tell us? »
- Michael Parkes
Electronic music maestro Giorgio Moroder is a hit maker, megaproducer and all-around cool guy. An icon of ‘70s disco and dance era, Moroder stepped back in time to the ‘20s when he composed a unique restoration and edit of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in 1984. Moroder’s cut featured color tinting, special effects, subtitles, a faster frame rate and an electronic soundtrack with music by Pat Benatar, Billy Squier, Adam Ant and Freddie Mercury. Website Open Culture recently highlighted the film and you can watch it below if you're curious. Lang’s influential film about a class struggle in a dystopian society has timeless appeal, so while Moroder’s blend of pop and art doesn’t exactly fit perfectly with Lang’s vision, it is a truly...
- Alison Nastasi
Metropolis (entire movie, above), the 1927 silent film directed by Fritz Lang, is regarded as one of the most important and influential films of all time. The world’s first epic science fiction movie, it continues to serve as inspiration for countless films, and forced humanity to look critically at it’s increasingly complex relationship to industrial and technological growth. In cinematic terms, evidence of its influence can be seen everywhere from to Soylent Green to Snowpiercer.
Aesthetically, it's influence is still present in popular culture, with contemporary artists like Guy Maddin and Tim Burton liberally borrowing stylistic elements from Metropolis is also a film that contains serious cultural and political messages. For example, the dystopian society it portrays was direct commentary on the possible result of the industrial revolution. Metropolis has also proved itself to be prophetic, as many of the themes it explored almost a century ago are as relevant, »
- Brandon Engel
We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes first details from Kadence and soon-to-be feature length film, Headless, a new Phantasmagoria poster, a teaser video for Bad Kids Go 2 Hell, a review of The Well, and more:
First Details on Kadence: “Still reeling from the loss of his mother, a damaging and complex relationship with his father, and a relentless battle with his own inner demons, Kadin’s  grip on reality is loosening by the day. Amid this struggle comes an enigmatic and brazen new neighbor, Marissa , who, along with the promise of a budding new friendship gives Kadin an ancient voodoo doll. Her reassurance is seductive and the promise of a brighter future leads Kadin to make a sinister choice.
Kadence, a short film blending psychological horror with a chilling character drama that could »
- Tamika Jones
When I spoke with Bong Joon-ho the week of his Us release for Snowpiercer, we discussed not being able to escape from Fritz Lang's Metropolis, not even Ridley Scott with Blade Runner. I was treated to the visual inspiration behind Tilda Swinton's look in Snowpiercer and a personal story of political protest in Korea in the Eighties that found its way into the aquarium sushi bar scene. We talked about climate weapons, dreams of an eternal engine, re-casting Ah-Sung Ko and Kang-ho Song from The Host and why John Hurt's character relates to Buddha. The catastrophe that turned the world to ice in Snowpiercer's background story, takes place on a date less than a week away.
Anne-Katrin Titze: July 1, 2014 is coming up fast. Are you at all superstitious? »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Shanks FX’s latest instructional video centers on the in-camera effect of projection mapping. Beginning with the “beam of light ” effect, created by cinematographer and VFX artist Eugen Schüfftan (Metropolis, Eyes Without a Face), Joey Shanks demonstrates how with a camera, a one way mirror, a projector and a computer at the controls, you can create the illusion of a three-dimensional conic light. Shanks also explains how to render a light tunnel on an one-dimensional black board. Good low-budget techniques to keep in your backpocket for sci-fi, dream sequences and the like. »
- Sarah Salovaara
The term “robot” must not have existed when they first proclaimed that a dog is a man’s best friend, at least where cinematic depiction is concerned. While robots in real life are a relatively new phenomenon that rarely do anything other than exactly what they are programmed to do (except perhaps in mechanical failure), robots in movies tend to be very warm and loyal compatriots, good for a chuckle and game for an adventure. There has been a very wide variety of types of robots depicted on the big screen, from the futuristic personal butler to a bloodlusting psychopath to an oversized rock-em sock-em toy. This list will be focused on yet another type- the friendly kind.
- Joe Sippy
Remember just a couple of weeks back, when our favorite Diy special effects guru Joey Shanks shared an introductory crash course into Projection Mapping? His intro video laid out some of the technical groundwork of this effect, including how to use the software, and now, Shanks is back with the follow-up video. In this one, he shows you how to replicate the 100 year old "Beam of Light" effect from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" and more projection mapping illusions that will wow your friends. Check out Shanks' instructional video from PBS Digital Studios below and try it out for yourself: »
- Paula Bernstein
Eureka Entertainment has announced the UK release of Fritz Lang's silent science-fiction epic Frau Im Mond (Woman In The Moon) on dual format Blu-ray and DVD on 25 August. Previously available in the Masters of Cinema series as a DVD-only release, this newly remastered version will join other Lang masterpieces including Metropolis, M, Die Nibelungen and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse on the boutique Blu-ray label. The package will include a new 1080p transfer of the F.W. Murnau-Stiftung restoration, original German intertitles with newly-translated English subtitles and The First Science-Fiction Film - a German documentary on the film from Gabriele Jacobi.From the press release:Frau im Mond. [Woman in the Moon.] is: (a) The first feature-length film to portray space-exploration in a serious manner, paying close attention...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Robots have been a part of cinema since its creation and still make for intriguing on-screen presences. With RoboCop set for a Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook, DVD and Blu-ray release on 9th June 2014 from Studiocanal, we count down the most memorable movie cyborgs to have graced our screens.
Evil Maria – Metropolis (1927)
Fritz Lang’s classic sees an inventor, who has created a robot to resurrect his deceased wife, apply the likeness of a popular female worked named Maria (played by Brigitte Helm) in an attempt to ruin her reputation amongst her peers. Once completed, the robot is an evil incarnation of Maria and wreaks havoc in the dystopian future depicted by Lang.
Not only are these two of the most beloved robots in cinematic history, but one of the most revered fictional filmic double acts to adorn the screen. R2-D2 (played by »
- Phil Wheat
Director: Joon-ho Bong
Release Date: June 27 (select theaters)
Distributor: The Weinstein Company (USA)
I’ve always been of the opinion that “original material” is overrated, especially in Hollywood. Every great movie ever was based on a book—or at least pieces of stories that came before it. If you take some basic science fiction tropes and make a better movie than anybody else, how is it somehow inferior to something that’s “never been done”? I would much rather watch a familiar masterpiece than a revolutionary load of tripe.
Thus with Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, a tale of post-apocalyptic class warfare aboard a massive train, which is not only based on a graphic novel (La Transperceneige) but also draws from a number of classic science fiction stories. The dystopian confinement scenario has been done many times (The Matrix, »
- Holly Interlandi
It’s always fun when we get a chance to see the things that didn’t make it into our favorite movies, be they alternate endings or deleted scenes. Even better is when things assumed lost to time are rediscovered like Clive Barker’s intended version of Night Breed or Fritz Lang’s full Metropolis. Then there are the things that we knew existed, but just assumed we wouldn’t see. An example would be the recently released footage Jean-Claude Van Damme as the Predator. Adding to this last category over the weekend was Rick Baker. The effects master took to his twitter account and provided us with some of his creature work on the Steven Spielberg project Night Skies. That film was ultimately scrapped but some of the pre-production work made its way into E.T.
As requested The Night Skies alien. Not finished, no eyes. Cover the top of »
- Chris Connors
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