On This Day
1927 – Fritz Lang’s futuristic film Metropolis is released in Germany.
Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist science-fiction drama film directed by Fritz Lang, and written by Thea von Harbou in collaboration with Lang from von Harbou’s 1925 novel of the same name. Intentionally written as a treatment, it stars Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, and Brigitte Helm. Erich Pommer produced it in the Babelsberg Studios for Universum Film A.G. (UFA). The silent film is regarded as a pioneering science-fiction movie, being among the first feature-length movies of that genre. Filming took place over 17 months in 1925–26 at a cost of more than five million Reichsmarks, or the equivalent of about €19,000,000 in 2020.
Made in Germany during the Weimar period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city master, and Maria, a saintly figure to the workers, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes in their city and bring the workers together with Joh Fredersen, the city master. The film’s message is encompassed in the final inter-title: “The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the Heart”.
Metropolis met a mixed reception upon release. Critics found it visually beautiful and powerful – the film’s art direction by Otto Hunte, Erich Kettelhut, and Karl Vollbrecht draws influence from opera, Bauhaus, Cubist, and Futurist design, along with touches of the Gothic in the scenes in the catacombs, the cathedral and Rotwang’s house – and lauded its complex special effects, but accused its story of being naive. H. G. Wells described the film as “silly”, and The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction calls the story “trite” and its politics “ludicrously simplistic”. Its alleged Communist message was also criticized.
The film’s long running time also came in for criticism. It was cut substantially after its German premiere. Many attempts have been made since the 1970s to restore the film. In 1984, Italian music producer Giorgio Moroder released a truncated version with a soundtrack by rock artists including Freddie Mercury, Loverboy, and Adam Ant. In 2001, a new reconstruction of Metropolis was shown at the Berlin Film Festival. In 2008, a damaged print of Lang’s original cut of the film was found in a museum in Argentina. Per the opening explanation: “…The material was heavily damaged and, because it had been printed on 16mm film stock, does not have the full-aperture silent picture ratio. …In order to maintain the scale of the restored footage, the missing portion of the frame appears black. Black frames indicate points at which footage is still lost.” After a long restoration process that required additional materials provided by a print from New Zealand, the film was 95% restored and shown on large screens in Berlin and Frankfurt simultaneously on 12 February 2010.
Metropolis is now widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, ranking 35th in Sight & Sound’s 2012 critics’ poll. In 2001, the film was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, the first film thus distinguished.
Born On This Day
1827 – Amanda Cajander, Finnish medical reformer (d. 1871)
Mathilda Fredrika “Amanda” Cajander, née Nygren (10 January 1827 – 23 February 1871), was a Finnish deaconess and a pioneer within medical care in Finland.
Cajander married the doctor Anders Cajander in 1848 and had two children. In 1856, by the age of 29, however, she was widowed and her children had died. After this loss, Cajander moved to train as a deaconess at the Evangelical Deaconess Institute in Saint Petersburg. The wealthy Finnish philanthropist Aurora Karamsin was familiar with the institute and when she decided to open a deaconess institution in Helsinki she invited Cajander to be its first principal. The institute opened in December 1867, during the great Famine of 1866–68. To begin with, the institute was modest – a small hospital with eight beds, an orphanage and an asylum – and aimed to primarily help women and children and to care for the sick.
In 1869 Cajander founded a children’s home in Helsinki.
She is buried in the Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki.
Cajander and Karamsin are considered the first Christian philanthropists in Finland, and are credited with introducing the new idea of women having a vocation to work for the church. The first deaconess educated in Finland became Cecilia Blomqvist. The secular nursing profession for women in Finland did not start until the nursing courses of Anna Broms in the 1880s.
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I doubt there will be a problem finding housing for Tinsley while her (former?) owner is incarcerated for driving drunk. Condolences on the death of the passenger’s dog.
The driver of the vehicle has been charged by Vermont State Police with driving under the influence, with other charges pending. In a press release, officials said 31-year-old Cameron Laundry, who has been identified in media reports as Tinsley’s owner, “was intoxicated and sustained minor injuries.” The passenger suffered “serious injuries,” and his dog — a bulldog — was found dead at the scene.
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