Wednesday Magnificent Obsession

on April 28, 2010 by Steve Simels


And speaking as we were yesterday about that fully restored (25 minutes of rediscovered footage unseen since 1927) version of Fritz Lang's visionary sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis I'm off to see tomorrow, I would like to officially apologize for calling Donna Summer producer Giorgio Moroder's pioneering 1984 restoration "the 80s disco version."

Actually, it's a lot better than that suggests; Moroder did a damn fine job of exposing a new generation to Lang's work, and his synth instrumental score for the film was wonderful. (The soundtrack arena-rock songs, by the likes of Freddie Mercury and Jon Anderson, were another story, but let's move on).

Anyway, I bring it up because Moroder's version has been superseded by the official Kino International restoration and thus will probably never get an official DVD release. And because this bugged a Moroder fan named Gilchrist so much that he's spent a full two years of his life extensively restoring the 1984 film -- bringing it up to the visual standards of the Kino version, but with Moroder's edit and soundtrack -- and prepping it for a DVD that technically is...well, a bootleg.

Say what you will about the ethical and legal implications, but there's something deeply admirable about a guy who would spend so much time, money and effort on making somebody else's work look good simply because he admires it.

In any case, I first wrote about Gilchrist last year, and out of curiosity I checked back in with him this week. Turns out he's still tweaking things. Here, in fact, is his just completed recreation of the film's 1984 theatrical trailer, which is now one hell of an advert for his restoration of the restoration.

Obviously, I'm hoping to see Gilchrist's version someday; for more information on the DVD, he's got a sort of mission statement over here. He also has a blog diary of the project, complete with clips in progress, which he updates on a regular basis and you can check that out here.

Tags: Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Fritz Lang

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