1927 was a very good year 1


time is not on his sideFritz Lang’s METROPOLIS with 25 minutes of lost footage restored and live accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra: a huge event for cinephiles. It was the penultimate closing-night event of TCM Classic Film Festival.

Everyone loved it. Everyone except arts•meme I found it overwhelming and incomprehensible.

What tickled me, however, was watching the acknowledged German masterpiece dating from 1927 while seated in Grauman’s Chinese Theater, a quintessential piece of L.A. fantasy architecture built half a world away, also in 1927.

What a movie house! Grauman’s Chinese, an elegant grand dame of cinema, whose broad swathe of cheerful rose-colored seats (okay, they’re not original!) slope gently down to a humongous screen, hosted, last weekend, four days of classic cinema. What a dream!

Here’s Los Angeles Times film critic Edwin Schallert writing after opening night of Grauman’s Chinese with DeMille’s KING OF KINGS:

As an event in filmland, the first unfolding of “The King of Kings” on the screen took precedence even over the opening opening of a theater that in itself is a revelation of art and beauty. Grauman’s Chinese Theater is the ultimate word in construction and imagination, and will long be a fascination to beholders of the film creations that are shown within its doors….

… The house is a dream of beauty both in lighting and decorative effects — an Alladin’s wonder palace that will be visited by all who visit Southern California, or dwell here …

Read Schallert’s entire May 1927 review here.

foto credit:davidszondy.com

One comment on “1927 was a very good year

  1. Bruce Posner May 3,2010 12:31 pm

    well it might have helped (maybe) if the film would have been presented with its original 1927 music score that was ALSO faithfully restored in synchronization along with the image. The music score was an important element in the restoration process because it was marked with the on-screen descriptions. Shame on Kino – US distributor reducing it to Alloy Orchestra, all of 3. Oh well. onward.

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