The early decades of science fiction film and music included non-talking versions of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and The Lost World. But they were expensive and difficult to make, special effects were creative but the visions were too epic for the technology. And music was what we’d call needle drop today: fitting existing music to the picture. Pop songs and light classical. People loved them, but the films had a short life.

We jump forward in time from 1902 to 1927 to get the next big breakthrough: Metropolis. Fritz Lang created an amazing team to make this film, that still looks visionary today. Including a score for large orchestra by Gottfried Huppertz. The music was played live at each screening, and fit the film perfectly. Just the first minute shows you how far the art has advanced in emotion, storytelling, and spectacular sound and picture.

The version to get is the newly restored one from 2010, that includes scenes lost for 83 years, and a great live performance that hits over a thousand cues. The film was far ahead of its time.

The music is operatic, in the tradition of Strauss. Could also work in a fantasy drama. It’s great film music, but is there anything that says science fiction?