Monday, May 10, 2010

"California! California! Here We Come!"

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J.—By the time you all read this, most likely I will be (picture me wincing while I say this) up in the air, on my way to California for a week around the SoCal area—Los Angeles, principally, but perhaps other areas like San Diego.

I would like to try to update this blog during my venture, in order to give you all a reasonably live peek into what I'm doing/observing over there on a regular basis. We'll see if that pans out.

In the meantime, as a parting gift to you about a clip from Metropolis?

On Saturday, I went to Film Forum in New York to see the new, near-complete restoration of Fritz Lang's 1927 sci-fi epic, and at the very least, it proved to be a thrilling and necessary palate cleanser after sitting through Iron Man 2 the night before. To be fair, Lang's vision of a futuristic society strictly divided into workers and planners is perhaps not much more nuanced than a comic book, in some ways—but man, what obsessive invention and visionary freedom Lang brings to this world compared to Jon Favreau's dull, uninspired image-making! And while some may find Lang's "hand and brain must have the heart as mediator" message to be somewhat cheesy in retrospect, the nutty conviction and sincerity he brings to the material easily outclasses the breezy, if admittedly often funny, snark of Iron Man 2. Metropolis was always a mad, passionate, glorious spectacle; now, thanks to 16mm. footage discovered at the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires, there is more of it to savor (at least, amidst the heavy wear and tear of the new footage). 

See it, if this new version is playing in a theater near you, and remind yourself of what real cinematic daring, unencumbered by Hollywood box-office dictates, looks like.

In the meantime, I'm off to have my own potentially daring adventure on the other side of the States. I'll try to stay out of trouble, I promise!

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