Friday, February 27, 2015


   A while ago I bought a cheap three feature DVD of silent horror films. Nosferatu, The Phantom of the Opera, and Metropolis. I was enthralled by the art deco futuristic imagery and crazy things that happened. The film was made in 1927 and Joh Fredersen makes a video call! And of course there is the robot.
   I got the book, read it and loved it. There were a lot of scenes and plotlines in the book that were missing in the movie. Then I found out there was a “complete” Metropolis. So I bought that. Most of the missing stuff is included in this amazing restored version that includes lost footage that was recovered from a vault in Argentina. Joh Fredersen’s mother is still missing, but that’s okay, I guess. Can’t have everything.
   This version really helps clear things up, especially Maria’s dance scene. The first time I watched it, I was confused. Then it made sense when I read the book. The book is full of really beautiful language and the movie is full of beautiful imagery. And sound.
   The best part about the “Complete” version is the original score by Gottfried Hubbertz. The other version had some nice classical music tacked on that didn’t always fit the mood. Now the flood scene is much more dramatic and the music for Yoshiwara and the dance is far more atmospheric (gives us a little jazz age vibe). The score was instrumental in piecing the “Complete” version together since there are no screenplays of the original Metropolis as it opened in Berlin before being chopped up by Paramount. The score was used as a guide to put the footage back in the order it was first arranged in, with the help of some notes written on the score by Herr Hubbertz.
   The end result is amazing. There are two short spots where footage was lost for good and titles explain what’s going on, but they are very brief.
   Anyway, I’m in love with this movie. It is awesome.
   Check out the Gottfried Hubbertz score:

   Now for some Metropolis inspired art!
   This is a watercolor and pen mixed media type piece. I was going for a kind of 20s style poster look with maybe a little propaganda poster vibe. And I added a Zeppelin because I love Zeppelins. Something went terribly wrong with my biplane...both wings ended up on top somehow.

And here's a sketch I did prior to the painting above as a practice. It's face is more true to the movie, the painting is after the original poster where it had that weird forehead piece.

 The maschinemensch is obviously an ancestor to C-3PO. My brother and I did a drawing contest where we pulled subjects out of a hat. The subject we got this time (we both put subjects in the hat, this one was mine) was a female version of C-3PO (I think the wording was more like: C-3PO post sex change operation). Here are our drawings:
Bh'Tane's pen (?) drawing

My color pencil drawing

   We never decided on a winner.

   Until next time...adieu!

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