The Des Moines Film Society is screening the film Metropolis with live music by Alloy Orchestra at Hoyt Sherman Place on September 17.
The non-profit Des Moines Film Society was formed earlier this year with the hope of providing “year-round film programming, education programs, specialty events and filmmaker support services.” Their first effort is to showcase the 1927 German silent film Metropolis, widely regarded as one of the most influential films of all time, with support from Founders Brewing Co.
Metropolis has suffered a turbulent history. Directed by famed Austrian director and screenwriter Fritz Lang, the film premiered in Berlin on January 10, 1927. For the US release, Paramount studios cut the film by a quarter, changed title cards and characters’ names. According to Eureka Entertainment, which played a significant part in bringing the film back to life, the studio took a “butcher’s knife to the original.”
The footage that had been cut out of the film was initially thought to be lost forever. However, thanks to the efforts of many people throughout the decades, most of the nearly forgotten scenes have been found and restored along with the rest of the film in 2010.
The film’s score will be provided by the Boston-based trio Alloy Orchestra. They have been praised by the late film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert, who said they were “the best in the world at accompanying silent films.”
Comprised of members Terry Donahue, Ken Winokur and Roger C. Miller, the group got its start in 1991 when members decided to use “junk metal, found objects and homemade instruments” to create “unusual music and to have some fun.”
Alloy Orchestra scored the film Metropolis for the first time in Brookline, Massachusetts at the Coolidge Corner Theatre that same year. Over the years they have worked on four versions of the film. The event at Hoyt will be showing the newly-restored version of the film, which event organizers say is closer to the version Lang had envisioned.
The group has performed around the world and provided the soundtrack for over 30 feature films.
Hoyt Sherman Place is a historic landmark in Des Moines that was built in 1877. Since then the venue has served as a showcase for art exhibits, business affairs, concerts, tours and weddings. Hoyt Sherman is located at 1501 Woodland Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50309.
Photo Credit: http://metropolis1927.com/#gallery