The first major science fiction film, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was released in 1927. Though parts of the film had been missing for decades, a complete (though somewhat damaged) and original cut of the film was found in a museum in Argentina in 2008. The film was restored and the completed version released in 2010. Lucky for us, it played with a live orchestra this October at the Centro Sinfónico Nacional in La Paz.
The modest old theater sits about two blocks down the hill from Plaza Murillo. When we entered and took our 50 boliviano seats we noticed there was no screen to be found. I was nervous I had dragged people to watch an orchestra perform the soundtrack of the movie, with no movie itself. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded, and the film was projected on both sides of the wall.
Watching Metropolis with a live orchestra reminded me of these 100 year old Russian photos rendered in color. It was a dynamic look into the past, appropriately set in an old theater, set in the old part of the city.