Metropolis


Directed by: Fritz Lang


1927 | Germany | 153 minutes



Concert

Friday, November 17, 2017, 7pm

Symposium

Saturday, November 18, 2017, 3pm

Screening

Saturday, November 18, 2017, 6pm

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The Metropolis Multi-Media Event is a joint collaboration by UCR’s Departments of Comparative Literature/German Program, Music, History of Art and ARTSblock. The event brings together faculty and students from CHASS and the downtown community of Riverside. It does so by utilizing the varied resources and competences of the institutions involved, and thus seeks to strengthen both interdepartmental and communal corporation. Subject of the event is Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent movie masterpiece “Metropolis” whose 90th anniversary it commemorates.


Although a silent film by the standards of its time, “Metropolis” is one of the most remarkable modern attempts to recreate the age-old idea of a total artwork that can combine all existing media into one. Incorporating visual means of film, dramatic art and stagecraft, as well as a strong literary element, present in the intertitles/title cards spread across the film, “Metropolis” was, and is, not least a musical enterprise. Not only is Lang’s film arranged in structural units borrowed from music (prelude, intermezzo, furioso) – music, and sound in general, are also among its preeminent topics: from musical and dance interludes to the frenetic soundscapes of the modern city. And music used to be played along with the first screenings of the film, a practice revived today in audio-visual recordings of “Metropolis”, which restore the original music of the film.


The Metropolis Multi-Media Event follows the inspiration of Lang’s large-sized ‘marriage of the arts’ while rediscovering the historical roots from which it arose – the interplay of filmic art and live performance. Hence, it will result in a two-day presentation of Lang’s film combined with student and guest artist performances dedicated to the film. These audiovisual performances will be short, standalone performances that respond to and vary themes of “Metropolis” – the movie and its eponymous subject (see list below) – implementing electronic music and piano performed live.


The event will further be accompanied by a display of books and other materials from UCR’s famous Eaton Collection, available for viewing on the two days of the event, illuminating the legacy of “Metropolis” in 20th century science fiction culture.


A symposium at the second day serves as a stage for short presentations from the organizers of the event and from UCR students who are going to explore vital aspects of Lang’s masterpiece from a variety of perspectives, illuminating, among other things, its cinematographic, choreographic, iconographic and literary facets. 


Call of Works


We are looking for audiovisual works that engage with subjects and themes from Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”. The visual composition should use excerpts and visual material from the original movie but also additional visual materials. The music composition should be conceived for electronic music or electronic music alone or electronic music & live piano performance. We welcome proposals from UCR students, faculty and any interested artist from any country. The pianist Gary Barnett will perform the pieces.


Possible Themes


The audiovisual composition should engage with, but is not limited to, themes from the following list:


• Mother of Cities/Cityscape
• Moloch
• Machine Man/Android
• Brain, Hand & Heart/Future Man
• Frankenstein & Prometheus 
• Ambiguity of Technology
• Tower of Babel
• Deluge/the Flood
• Whore of Babylon
• The Seven Deadly Sins
• Dances of Seduction
• Fathers and Sons
• Hubris
• Utopia & Dystopia
• Sounds of Silence
• Prelude, Intermezzo, Furioso


Proposal submission: We are looking for a proposal with a short description of your project, short bio, audiovisual materials, and eventually the score for piano. The project can be submitted via google drive, dropbox, youtube, Vimeo, etc. until Friday, October 6, 2017. Email proposals to nikolay.maslov@ucr.edu


Length: The duration of the audiovisual work is 6 minutes or less.


Selection: A committee will review the proposals and select the ones that will be presented at the Metropolis Multi-Media Event at the Culver Center, Riverside.


Deadline: The final audiovisual work, including score, should be submitted by Friday, October 6, 2017.


Organizers


Paulo Chagas, Department of Music, UC Riverside

Johannes Endres, German Program, UC Riverside 

Sue Hertzog, German Program, UC Riverside

JJ Jacobson, UCR Library/Eaton Collection, UC Riverside

John Namjun Kim, German Program, UC Riverside

Nikolay Maslov, ARTSblock, UC Riverside

Sabine Thürwächter, German Program, UC Riverside



UC Riverside Departments of Comparative Literature/German & Music, ARTSblock, Eaton Collection