National Sawdust is screening Fritz Lang’s groundbreaking science-fiction classic Metropolis (1927) Tuesday night with a live original score by composer Ricardo Romaneiro, performed by Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra Metropolis Ensemble plus an electro-acoustic jazz trio. Romaneiro and sound designer Leo Leite are collaborating, using the newly installed audio system at National Sawdust to create an immersive sound experience worthy of the epic film.
Metropolis is set in an urban dystopia in which the wealthy reign from high-rises while the impoverished dwell underground, where they operate the machines that power the city. (A little like Parasite, no?) When the son of one of the city’s masters witnesses the abject and unsafe working conditions, he decides to go against the business interests of his father and help the workers. The film is known for its pioneering special effects, and endures at least in part because of its (unfortunate) ever-relevant message about class and workers’ rights.