Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was one of the seminal movies from the silent era. It’s amazing how powerful some of its images still are. The use of shadows, huge futuristic sets, restless diagonals and crowd scenes still impress. Nowadays we are used to sound that is no less powerful than the visuals on screen. Meanwhile music needs to be about something and as a change from rock’s usual staple of ‘lurve’, why not a story about workers rebelling in an alienating future technocracy? Enter Honey Bird who have written a rock music accompaniment to Metropolis. Their live performance, incorporating the Sedici Corde String Quartet, provided a much-appreciated night’s entertainment last Friday.
The film was made in 1927. By an interesting coincidence, so were two films that have been chosen for the Members Only screenings for next year. These are the famous Australian silent For the Term of His Natural Life and The Jazz Singer, renowned as the first film with audio dialogue.