For those of you in the Teaneck, New Jersey area, next weekend brings a special treat. Starting on November 9th, the seventh annual Teaneck International Film Festival will occur. This event started with a small group of dedicated volunteers in 2005 with the first festival being held in November, 2006. The point of this festival is to present feature-length films, short films, and documentaries from a variety of cultures in order to form cross-cultural connections. According to the Teaneck film festival website, this event attracts around 3000 people a year and has increased the amount of possible venues where films can be seen.
This year is of special interest to the German-American community because the festival will be starting with an iconic German film from 1927, Metropolis. Metropolis is a silent film with subtitles set in a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners. To add tension, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences. The New York Times describes Metropolis with immense praise. The film is, “A masterpiece of visionary silent cinema … one of the strangest, most fascinating films ever made, a futuristic nightmare that is both sublime in its grandeur and remarkably intimate in its emotions.” It has also been said that the character of Rotwang, in this film, was the inspiration used for the mad scientist in Dr. Strangelove and was also a major influence on other iconic films, such as Star Wars and Blade Runner.
Metropolis was cut before ever being shown to American audiences. However, the film has been fully restored to its original 140 minute length and the showing of this film will be especially memorable thanks to the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, New York. This is due to the appearance of the much admired German composer Markus Horn who will be accompanying the film with a performance on a baby grand piano. The score will exemplify jazz, pop, and classical music, as well as additional pieces with a futuristic feel, which is very fitting for a film of this caliber.
The film and concert event will take place at Teaneck High School, located at 100 Elizabeth Avenue in Teaneck, New Jersey. Metropolis will begin on Friday, November 9th, at 7:30 pm. Tickets for this opening show are $10.00 per person, or a weekend pass can be bought for $35. For a complete list of films, times, locations, and any pricing changes check out the Teaneck International Film Festival website. For those of you lucky enough to experience this historical event, I hope you enjoy the show.
Source: Teaneck International Film Festival
Photos via IMDb and Wikipedia