Fritz Lang's 1927 expressionist science-fiction epic Metropolis is so big, so spectacular that even in the f/x-savvy world of the 21st century it leaves audiences a bit stunned.
Library patrons can see for themselves when Metropolis screens on Sunday, May 19, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St. as the final offering in the 2012-13 Movies That Matter film series.
Introductory and closing remarks are provided by Robert W. Butler, for more than 40 years film critic of The Kansas City Star and now a member of the Library's public affairs staff.
Set in the future (or at least what filmmakers in 1926 thought the future might look like), Metropolis depicts a towering modern city. The privileged few party and cavort; the real work is done by thousands of drone-like workers who live and toil underground, rarely venturing into the sunlight.
But when the son of Metropolis' industrialist leader falls for Maria (Brigitte Helm), the virginal saint of the slums, things quickly spin out of control. Especially when a mad scientist fashions a voluptuous robot in Maria's image and sends it out to make mischief.
Metropolis' visual effects continue to astound and delight, while the film's plot seems more relevant with every passing year. (The wealthy one percent? The vanishing middle class? It's all here.)
Major funding for programs at the Kansas City Public Library is provided by a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org  or call 816.701.3407.