Darren Nemeth wrote:
By a fortunate accident, I'm in Buenos Aires.
If you read English language news report you will find incomplete information.
The film is going to be exhibited in more than an hour from now and I'm about to leave to see it.
post what you saw in detail!
I just came from the exhibition an hour ago, and except for my wife and one or two other people, who spoke spoke English, everybody in that auditorium spoke Spanish.
In total there are 23 minutes of the film that were recovered. You will see everything on video shortly because there were a lot of cameras (video and photo) everywhere.
There are bits here and there (you can say, this take is in the actual print, this one is not), but the exhibition consisted of only 4 sequences.
The first sequence is the one in which the worker with whom Frederer exchanges clothes gets into his car and gets lost in Yoshiwara, the street of sin.
The second one is brief and it shows a newspaper stand in which also appears the guy who have to follow Frederer on orders from his father.
The third one is the one in which the false Maria is introduced in Yoshiwara. Along with alternate takes and the appearance of a preacher just before the introduction of the seven capital sins. This scene features titles in Spanish (like the entire print) reportedly written by director Leopoldo Torres Ríos, and Paula Félix-Didier (of the Museo del Cine Pablo Ducrós Hicken) said that he gave a tango lyric kind of feel to them.
The last sequence was the longest: it includes the complete scenes of Frederer meeting with the real Maria and trying to rescue the children, including takes that are present in the actual prints plus others that are not. You can see more of the drowning, the actual ceiling of Metropolis where the water enters, intertitles in Spanish, and the children locked on bars trying to escape the flood until Frederer manage to release it and the kids began to escape.
It was really a miracle to be in that audience that featured almost only journalists!!!!!
The copyright of the film belongs to the F-W-Murnau-Stitfung and for that reason now German and the Buenos Aires city will have to negotiate a purchase of a copy the print, since they are not going to sell it.
The reason why this film survived is because the film was released by a company called "Cinematográfica Terra", owned by Adolfo Wilson, that brought to Argentina the complete version of the film, and not the edited version distributed by Paramount in the United States. The intertitles are all in Spanish and reportedly they were translated or adapted by Leopoldo Torres Ríos in a tango mood (he was also a lyricist).
A print of the film was purchased by film historian and critic Manuel Peña Rodríguez and, in the seventies, the 35mm nitrate print was reduced to 16mm for preservation in the seventies after bein purchased, along with the entire Peña Rodríguez collection by a State institution. In 1992, the collection was donated to the Museo del Cine Pablo Ducrós Hicken, and for years they tried in vain to have people in Germany to know about this version. They didn't care until film historian and collector Fernando Martín Peña, called Luciano Berratúa in Spain after looking for his phone in a guide. He did see the images and he himself contacted Ennos Patalas who finally gave the OK.
Argentina have a long tradition of Cine Clubs that goes back to 1929. So... I guess many people will have to learn Spanish.