Fritz Lang's newly restored Metropolis (1927) is currently making the rounds and causing no end of enthusiasm among film buffs; it's scheduled to stop in San Francisco over the summer, and I hope to see it then. Metropolis is a fairly well-known film, and it's often credited as the inspiration for many modern-day science fiction spectacles. But how many people know Fritz Lang? In the 1960s, Andrew Sarris included him among the elite "pantheon" in his "The American Cinema," and indeed, he is one of the greatest directors of the 20th century, but he made his last film 50 years ago, and I wonder if he hasn't fallen off the radar. (It doesn't help that a handful of his most crucial films are not available on DVD.) I think part of the reason comes because of Lang's shift from enormous, spectacular films in Germany to smaller, more compact films in America. I imagine that, to this day, many see a huge drop in quality over the arc of his career. I maintain that it was merely a drop in quantity.
categories Cinematical