Fritz Lang’s sci-fi masterpiece ‘Metropolis’ has been colourised and dubbed
Metropolis, the iconic 1927 German expressionist science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang, has been lauded as one of the most influential films of all time.
Written by German screenwriter Thea von Harbou alongside Lang, Metropolis is a silent feature length film starring the likes of Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel, Rudolf Klein-Rogge and Brigitte Helm.
At the time of filming, between 1925–26, director Fritz Lang was handed a lucrative budget which stretched in excess of five million reichsmarks. In response, Lang and his production team went to work for 17 straight months, filming in Germany during the Weimar period.
This film, which presents a highly stylised futuristic city, tells the story of a cultured utopia existing above a bleak underworld populated by, in large, mistreated workers. Focusing on privileged youth Freder, the character discovers a grim scene under the city and becomes intent on helping the workers which leads to greater conflict.
Until now the film has remained silent and in monochrome but Garrett Guynn and Andrew John Holt, film enthusiasts and sound engineers, has spent months of gruelling work to offer a new look at Lang’s incredible world.
“I am so excited to have been a part of this awesome project,” sound designer Holt said. “Garrett and I worked very closely over Skype and file sharing over many months to produce the film enhancements you see now. Garrett initially sought help through the ‘Reddit Voice Acting Sub’ for one of the voices on his project that he had already been working on an off with over the past five years.
“I voiced Josephat the assistant to the Great Mr Fredersen Senior. Once I had finished the collaboration with Garrett the project blossomed with my words ‘Perhaps we could do more with this’. Garrett was based in Hawaii and I am based in Sydney which made for some interesting time difference work sessions. I would be on my computer after dinner and he would be feeding breakfast to his child and juggling manuscripts. We agonised for so long on inventing dialogue that matched the lips and was relevant to the scene in some way.”
He added: “My favourite scene is where Freda embraces one of his floozies in front of the fountain. The dialogue was seamless with the lips saying ‘Kiss Me’. We also agonised about the ending and the dialogue between Grot the worker, Maria, Freda Junior and Fredersen Senior. It all came out seamlessly in the end. Garrett and I mused about doing another project together, perhaps an old Charlie Chaplin film, but we are still in dialogue as they say in Hollywood.”