Last night a group of us from work went to see an encore presentation of the 1927 silent movie Metropolis. I had heard it was good, but my expectations regarding an 80-year-old science fiction movie were quite low. I based this on what I knew of fifties an sixties sci-fi. Was I ever in for a surprise.
The film was brilliant. There was a bit of comic overacting that is typical to the times, but the scenery, visual and special effects, and overall design were staggering. In many cases, as good as or better than what would be in movies from the sixties. The format is 4-to-3; it actually predates widescreen. The story was also significantly ahead of its time, I thought.
Then there was the live band. Hats off to these guys, who played for over two hours straight. It wasn't the original score, but it was very appropriate. The music was a much more modern than the movie, but it definitely brought the "sci-fi" feel to it. It was perfectly coordinated with the picture. The band consisted of keyboards (one was a "bass" keyboard), electric guitar, bass clarinet and flute, and percussion. The sound was jazzy-industrial, a great fit.
In conclusion: awesome.
The theatre was packed. Quite literally every seat was taken. The presenter of the movie noted this, pointing out that there is never that kind of attendance or enthusiasm for a modern film. So, they will be doing this kind of thing more often. The next silent film is supposed to be in April.
Later in the evening they showed Re-animator. It was well made, but not my thing.