If the country’s financial woes are bringing you down, lighten your spirits by attending Rice Cinema’s screening of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. The 1927 silent sci-fi film is set in 2026, when Republic-like societal divisions keep the exploited masses toiling beneath a magnificently envisioned Art Deco city-state for the sake of the ruling class. When Freder, the son of the city’s leader, falls for labor advocate Maria, he vows to fight for the oppressed workers. His father commissions an exotic-dancing robot resembling Maria to control the imminent uprising, and as with most robot-related schemes, things get out of control. Class war erupts, but after a heartbreaking case of mistaken identity followed by a climactic chase, Freder unites the proletariat and the elite. It may not provide a feasible plan for economic recovery, but Metropolis’s visual grandeur and social commentary still resonate after 80 years. 7 p.m. Rice University, 6100 Main. For information, call 713-348-4853 visit $5 to $6.
Mon., Jan. 12, 7 p.m., 2009

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