Brian Jacobson

Metropolis with the Alloy Orchestra

By - Sep 30th, 2010 04:00 am

It really was an amazing way to watch the restored 1927 print of Fritz Lang’s masterpiece — Metropolis. In the glowing shrine to film (also known as the Oriental Theatre’s main hall), the three-man Alloy Orchestra carefully brought added life to the epic story of a utopia in turmoil.

Deep drums, inventive gongs, a synthesizer keyboard and an old-fashioned accordion made the early sci-fi tale move right along. While a modest audience grabbed the premium seats, it was the rarely open balcony section that literally became filled to the rafters.

We were there, with camera and a small video recorder to capture the music—until we were reminded by the film’s guardian that Kino International re-upped the copyright when the lost footage was found in Buenos Aires two years ago and added to the film. Ah, well.

But if you want to see these images move, albeit with a recorded soundtrack, Milwaukee Film Festival is showing it again Friday and Sunday at the North Shore and Ridge Marcus Theaters, respectively.

0 thoughts on “MFF’10: Metropolis with the Alloy Orchestra”

  1. Anonymous says:

    A wonderful wall of sound, larger than I expected. Even covering some effects; metal scraping, a door clicking closed… Delighted, and my first viewing of the film – a real treat to see this in a theatre. Also my first time in the balcony…sat past the refurbished seats, on what appears to be the remaining original chairs: well-worn, but still usable, it added to the ambiance. How appropriate. Loved having this shared experience with so many…

  2. Anonymous says:

    This was an awesome experience! Mrs. M. and I had seats on the main floor, within clear sight of the orchestra. To see this classic motion picture restored to its original 2½-hour long glory in a vintage theater, like Milwaukee’s beautiful Oriental, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, to be sure. Great video montage you guys put together here, by the way!

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