The end of the classic movie is near. The important movie theaters in the world are equipped with digital projectors. Film strips flickering in the light are being replaced by bitstreams flowing from magnetic disk storages. The production sector is not spared from this development either. The digital scopes for design are too tempting and the economic advantages should not be neglected. Witnessing the end of an era it is our duty to erect a memorial in the honor of the analogue film which will soon not exist an more.

I have the idea of an art project which might seem to be a little bit fantastic but still would be a splendid finale for the film strip in the camera.



How could one possibly transform a classic movie adequately into an object of art? By presenting it as a succession of all its single pictures in a considerably larger format. Assuming that each single picture of the movie Metropolis would have the size of 1000x750mm instead of the original size of 24x18mm. If now all the single pictures of the renewed film were strung together this would amount to incredible 208.900 meters considered that the movie has 145 minutes and 24 pictures per second. An object of art like that has never been seen before anywhere and it would definitely delight movie and art fans all over the world. The marvelling viewer would discern what a movie really is: a kilometer long succession of photos. This is very important because film is going to lose its materiality in favor of bits and bytes.  What do we want to show to people interested in movies in the future, big hard disks?

208.800 original photos would be exhibited in a huge open-air gallery. Except for the intertitels no photo is equal to the other. Since this piece of art does not fit into any museum it would make sense to present it to as many people interested in fine arts as possible. This can be realized by selling the single photos after the exhibition. They could be framed between two glass plates and thus the unique materiality, the transparacy would survive. This is a characteristic which is absolutely essential for a motion picture. It would be possible to buy a piece of a movie as a numbered original and to exhibit it apart from the others.

This gigantic piece of art could bridge between the analogue past and the digital future. The rescue of motion pictures would not have been possible without powerful computers. The small analogue picture from the movie becomes a large digital print with high resolution.

The pictures could also be means of communication. A community will be created which defines itself by the movie as a community can come up while watching a movie together or it can be formed by buying a part of the movie.

It would be possible to get to know those people in a social network who have the neighbouring pictures and whose pictures belong to that special part of the film, of which one owns a picture himself. Each owner could be obliged to publish his identity to the community and to inform about the whereabouts of his photo.

Why Metropolis?


The art of the 20th century has an outstanding importance. Those interested in fine arts focus on paintings and sculptures of this period. Unjustly, cinematic art plays only a subordinate role in the public attention and yet, movies like „The cabinet of Dr. Caligary“ or „Metropolis“ are equivalent masterpieces. But for the spectator or collector they only stay passing silhouets which he may have as DVD or film poster. This could change now. The movie „Metropolis“, which predicted the future in its pictures, has burst all dimensions again and again ever since it was produced by director Fritz Lang. 600 kilometers of film were exposed,36,000 extras played, 500 models of sky scrapers of up to 70 floors were constructed. Lang needed 370 days of shooting to produce this film which was the most expensive German film of all time. The film company Ufa went bankrupt.

The film was a flop at its first performance, it was destroyed and renewed – all this is a monumental drama just like the film itself. The movie became a part of the UNESCO World Heritage as first cinematic piece of art ever. Its story has continued ever since and you can find its ideas in many Hollywood blockbusters till today.

The Exhibition


The city of Berlin would be the best place for this project. Metropolis´ place of birth is close and Berlin has become one of the creative centers of the world. It also has the space which is neccessary for the exhibition of the film strip with its lenth of more than 200 kilometers. Tempelhof airport (which is closed) would be a suitable place for the exhibition having a width of 1,500 m. 140 rows of 1.5 kilometers each would be necessary to exhibit the film strip. The area needed would have to be 1500 x 1400 meters if a space of 10 meters will be left between the rows. This amounts to an area of 210 ha. The airport Tempelhof has a total area of 386 ha. Events like the presentation of the movie „Metropolis“ as well as other movies, concerts and events of different kinds could take place accompanying the exhibition. In a worldwide auction people could bid for the desired single photo of the film.