ANTIQUE FUTURE: A few weeks back, we took a tour of Seattle's lovely Paramount Theatre. During that tour, we learned that in March, the theater would be showing some silent films, including Metropolis, the first full-length feature sci-fi film.
Of course, we simply had to go! And so, during rush hour yesterday, we set out for the confluence of Capitol Hill and downtown. Did I mention it was rush hour? Amazingly, traffic was downright light. I have no idea why, but we were amazed and overjoyed. :)
The theater holds about 2,800 people, and it looked to be a pretty darn full house! I only saw one other kid there, though. I don't understand why more families wouldn't turn out to see "Metropolis" with a live orchestra. ... But I digress.
As previously mentioned, "Metropolis," filmed in 1927 and set in 2026, is a silent movie. Over the years, multiple, varied soundtracks have accompanied the film. For last night's performance, we had the good fortune of hearing Degenerate Art Ensemble (DAE), a Seattle based performance company. DAE composed an original score for the film, which featured everything from lush, orchestral melodies to pounding, industrial riffs to super synth effects. The 17-piece ensemble's music was spot-on and captivating. I had to keep reminding myself that a live orchestra was performing, it was so seamlessly integrated.
Here's Annabelle's review:
On March 2, 2015, I went to go see a presentation of Metropolis. Metropolis is a German silent film made in 1927. The film was actually broken apart and had to be salvaged over many years, but they have finally produced an almost complete version of the film, save a couple scenes.
The movie is about a city in the future that has a very lovely and livable above-ground section. Deep below the ground, however, there lies the Worker's City, a place where thousands of people are sent to feed the machines that run the city. One day, a privileged young man named Freder, the son of the mayor, Frederson, finds out about the poor working class and goes on a mission to help them be treated better. Along the way he meets a woman who tells the workers they will soon find a mediator that will allow them to be known as equal to the 'brains' of the city. He soon finds out he is the mediator, while his father sends a search for him. The father finds out about the woman encouraging the workers and asks an inventor named Rotwang to use a machine he has invented to create chaos between the workers and the woman. Little does Frederson know of the inventor's plan to overthrow him.
The movie is filled with suspense and action. It has a good story line and characters, and I personally find it amazing they were able to restore so much. The special effects were also great for its time. I would definitely recommend watching it.CJ also had some thoughts to share:
Metropolis is a 1927 silent film directed by Fritz Lang, which was the most expensive silent film at the time. However, Metropolis was a box office bomb that lost 5,025,000 Reichsmark upon it's release in 1927. Since its original release, over a quarter of the film had been lost, with the most complete copy currently known missing 5 minutes of footage.
In 2026, Freder Fredersen, a wealthy man in the high class of Metropolis, discovers the Worker's City of Metropolis, which he had been previously unaware of, and the workers in the city being forced to perform hard manual labor with little to no pay.
After this, Freder finds a worker who he agrees to trade lives with, curious about what it is like being a worker in the Worker's City. It is a clock-like machine designed with two long boards that Freder has to turn to match up with certain lights.
The film is quite long, and you can probably find it on YouTube (make sure it's the 2010 restoration made from a copy recovered in Argentina) and in the end, Metropolis is a very interesting film.
You can read all about the newest release of the best to-date restoration of Metropolis on the official Web site: http://fwm-stiftung.de/projekt-metropolis. OK, so the page is in German, but that's what Google Translate is for. :)
Now here's something CJ and Annabelle didn't write about ... the evening was 'presented' by Trader Joe's. Upon entering the theater, we were all given brown paper bags (think what you'd stick a loaf of French bread in) stuffed with TJ goodies. There was a bag of kettle corn, several individually wrapped chocolates, some trail mix, a fig bar. All good stuff BUT all stuffed individually factory wrapped, and sealed up by machines that apparently like vexing humans. Now, think about having 3,000 biggish, brown paper bags filled with multiple, hard-to-open items in foil-y type wrap, and pair that with a silent movie. AAAAAAAAAARGH. I honestly don't even like going to a regular (couple hundred seat) theater because people are so da*& loud eating regular popcorn out of a tub. Honestly, the sounds last night from people opening food and rustling their bags was SO LOUD. It sounded like hard rainfall, I kid you not.
And don't get me started on the guy to my left who took off his boots. And then his SOCKS, as well. People ... sigh.
CHARACTERS: The kids are now taking a movie making class once a week, on Friday afternoons. Their homework from last week was to develop characters for themselves that they would like to play in the film the class cooperatively makes over the next three months or so.
Here's what Annabelle came up with for herself. ...
CJ fleshed out a character, as well. Annabelle's cartoon helps bring "Jonathan" to life.
While we're all doing our thing down here on Earth, Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) continues to toil away on the Red Planet. Check out this cool photo it took of itself, shortly after. It's a raw color view from its Mastcam, right after it finished drilling at Telegraph Peak on Feb. 24.
However, on Feb. 27, MSL has had a little hiccough, it seems. A fault-protected action occurred while transferring the sample it drilled, and now the roving lab is on a bit of a break while scientists back on Earth do a little troubleshooting.