(Rintaro, Japan, 2001, 113 min, in Japanese with English subtitles)
** Unstreamable’s Jas Keimig and Chase Burns will introduce the opening night screening, Sep. 1 at 7pm! **
Love, AI, and rebellion in a future dominated by robotic technology. This anime masterpiece from the creators of Astro Boy and Akira is rarely available in the United States!
A young detective and a mysterious robot girl explore every layer of a bustling, high-tech city called Metropolis, uncovering its dark secrets of exploitation and artificial intelligence. Loosely inspired by the German silent film, Metropolis is an epic that pulsates with neon-lit nostalgia and sets reminiscent of Blade Runner. Originally written as a manga in the late 1940s by the “God of manga” Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy), Japanese animation studio Madhouse hired director Rintaro (Galaxy Express 999) and writer Katsuhiro Ôtomo (Akira) to build this ambitious film in partnership with Tezuka Productions. It’s a movie that deserves to be as well-known as other Madhouse classics like Perfect Blue and Paprika.
Metropolis took five years to create and cost around $9 million, making it the most expensive anime ever when it premiered, passing Akira‘s budget. Audiences loved it when it debuted, with Roger Ebert calling it one of the best animated films he’d ever seen. But likely due to a licensing issue with the use of Ray Charles’s song “I Can’t Stop Loving You” on the film’s New Orleans-style soundtrack, it’s long been unstreamable in the US. We’re proud to present it on a big screen this September, during PAX West 2023 and Nintendo Live weekend, in both subbed and dubbed versions.