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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Grumpy in Sussex

Wednesday, August 3rd., Royal Victoria Hotel, St. Leonards, East Sussex.

We arrived here last Thursday, from Easton Glebe. On Friday I spent time on Winchelsea beach, lying on the pebbles and reading H. M. Tomlinson's "Gallions Reach", which is not good. The rest of the family arrived later in bits. Great trouble over the tent - Too flimsy. I went off and read more Tomlinson. Dorothy has been working on a scenario of "Lord Raingo".

Went to see the "Metropolis" film at the Elite Theatre. Sickening sentimentality. Many good effects, spectacular, spoilt by over-insistence. A footling story. No understanding of psychology of either employers or workmen. "Adapted by Channing Pollock." Good God! What captions. Enough to make you give up the ghost. The theatre was very nearly empty.

Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist epic science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang. The film was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou, and starred Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel and Rudolf Klein-Rogge. A silent film, it was produced in the Babelsberg Studios by UFA. Metropolis is regarded as a pioneer work of science fiction movies, being the first feature length movie of the genre. 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's ruler, and Maria, whose background is not fully explained in the film, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classist nature of their city. Metropolis was filmed in 1925, at a cost of approximately five million Reichsmarks. Thus, it was the most expensive film ever released up to that point. The film was met with a mixed response upon its initial release, with many critics praising its technical achievements and allegorical social metaphors with some deriding its "simplistic and naïve" presentation. Channing Pollock's chop job on the original Metropolis removed entire characters, trashing Von Harbou's complex pattern of interlocking relationships and themes. Channing's simplified story is about a mad inventor who almost destroys Metropolis with a demonic robot. Neither the inventor nor any of the other characters make the slightest bit of sense. Audiences remember some sensational visuals, an inspired performance (the magical, electric Brigitte Helm) and a sappy ending of capital-labour reconciliation.

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