Metropolis – Dmytro Morykit – Review
by David Roberts
Back in 1927 when the world was black and white, less people knew who Hitler was, most people could remember Oscar Wilde dying and films were starting to gain traction as a popular art form. A standard had been realised and experimentation had begun both with plot and with cinematography. A German film maker called Fritz Lang had had so much success with Metropolis that he had been hand picked by Hitler to spear head his propaganda campaigns (which he declined while running away to France understandably). Metropolis is rumoured to be Hitlers favourite film, it could be of course because of the amount of control and the leader in this film had over the public. The lead actress, Brigitte Helm, didn’t like to be associated with the film, but when you’re Hitler’s favourite actress from about 1938 onwards you’ll probably not want to brag about that.
Fritz Lang decided to Metropolis and it was ground breaking achievement. Now it’s hard to understand why this film was so important if you watch it after the matrix for example or some more up to date reference, but I’ve been watching nothing but silent movies for the past month, so I was very excited to it as it is said to be the world’s first feature length sci-fi film.
Metropolis is based in a dystopian future, and within seconds of its first scene it has Orwell, Aushwitz and Bioshock plastered all over it which is odd since these things all happened a long time afterwards. The film, which I’ll get to, is only half the reason I was in the crescent art centre this evening. The main half is a man who has decided for whatever reason to write and arrange an incredible new soundtrack for the film. Coming in at approx 2 hours Dmytro Morykit brings the film to life in a haunting and engaging fashion. Despite sitting perfectly lit and only feet from the cinema screen Dmytro Morykit somehow blends into the background while still lifting you and leading you through the sinister Metropolis that gave the film its name. Many people have done versions of this including Adam and and Freddy Mercury and this relatively modest musician has written a beautiful work that sits comfortably amongst gods. If you are in the future reading this and Dmytro has become a multi billionaire and is now living in the moon I suggest you get the dvd and Spotify this one. Press play at the same time on both just like with the dark side of the moon and the wizard of Oz you crazy stoners. Assuming you can still get Spotify and it hasn’t been replaced by something else. Like your favourite albums being released in healthy gluten free food or something.
Despite the hiccups and technical difficulties at the beginning the first half of the film before the intermission was very interesting, really capturing the mood and somehow the feeling of the future through the eyes of people in the past. For me the Tango Tease is one of the best things that Dmytro did, and the particular night I saw him the second half, he was for want of a better phrase, on fire. Even now listening back to the music I enjoyed that night it is perfectly listenable and beautifully played but on the night I forgot where I was and was just floating on a cloud, and I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to watch a silent movie but most of them don’t as much grab your attention as they are a visual lullaby that was probably awesome at the time. A lot of the tracks are reimaginings of his own early compositions that have now found a home in Metropolis and some were freshly written for this project and it is incredible start to finish.
Dmytro is playing in the Waterside Theatre on the 20th January 2015 and then he is back to London.