As a silent film fan, you don’t always get the chance indulge the impulse to venture up close to cutting edge of cultural relevance, and so it is with guilty pleasure that I post yet again about that show-stoppingly relevant subject: that one silent film that we always knew could have been more of a masterpiece had it been longer (or shorter). It’s enough to make you want to wax poetic. The silent film revolution will not be televised; but maybe the revolution will be relevant. After all, the first part of WALL-E becomes all the richer when you consider how its path crosses that of the pre-talkies.
Metropolis gets its day in the sun, maybe for the first time. This film has been long recognized as a classic, but it never got much recognition in its day. Many film scholars agree that Metropolis isn’t the best film ever made (even H.G. Wells called it “the silliest of films“), but it remains a major influence. It influenced Star Wars, after all. At least that is what they have to say to justify the costly time spot it is getting in national and international news.
NPR takes a few minutes to interview Paula Felix-Didier, who found the lost Metropolis footage in Buenos Aires.
Another article in The Guardian.
3 Argentine silent films were also recovered with the Metropolis reels, which allows the Argentine silent film archive to grow by a whopping 30%. I’ll see if I can find out more about this in the coming days. How hard should it be to learn more about the sudden flowering of Argentinian film history? How important should Argentinian film history be to an “American?”