Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Film Review: Metroplolis (1927) Dir. Fritz Lang

Alfred Abel                    As...     Joh Fredersen
Gustav Fröhlich              As...     Freder, Joh Fredersen's son
Rudolf Klein-Rogge        As...     C. A. Rotwang, the inventor
Fritz Rasp                       As...     The Thin Man
Theodor Loos                As...     Josaphat
Erwin Biswanger             As...     11811 - Georgy
Heinrich George             As...     Grot, the guardian of the Heart Machine
Brigitte Helm                  As...     Maria / The Robot

This is the third time I've watched Fritz Lang's Metropolis and each viewing has captivating as the first!

The review:

The far reaching impact of the groundbreaking film Metropolis is astounding, influencing films over eighty years ahead of it. Paul Brenner in his review for said "The film's influence can be felt in practically every science fiction film made since -- if you have any doubts, check out the City of Zion in The Matrix Reloaded or the Los Angeles of Blade Runner. Metropolis has become part of the great mass film unconscious." it is not hard to see why it has been so influencial when looking at the futuristic world that is portrayed. The amazing use of miniatures to show the advanced technology of Metropolis in great detail.

Hover car to H4... Aha! Checkmate!

The architecture shown in Metropolis is also amazing, the affluent utopian society living above the dystopian working population below creates an extrordinary dichotomy in both finish and style in the architecture. These two quotes, one from Film4 "The logic and politics of Metropolis, however, have proved secondary in importance to the incredible visuals of the film - the multi-layered architecture, the city airways filled with flying machines," and this quote from Nev Pierce in a review for the BBC "With its immense sets and stark lighting, the workers' city is a credible image of hell, while the overground landscapes were a seminal influence on all subsequent science fiction." highlight the fact that the imagery on display far outweighs the storyline and emphasises the way the scenery and portrayal of the futuristic world adds to the drama and captivates the mind of the audience and film makers alike.

New Babel, The seat of power in Metropolis

The hellish machines that the workers fuel with their own flesh (Actually a vision, the machine is much less Aztec)

The main point that the film drives at is of a mediator between head and hands, the ruling class and the working class. The tower in which the ruler, Joh Frederson lives is alikened to the Tower Of Babel but with a different spin on why it was created. Basically changing the biblical story of Babel from an act of human unity in language and will to an idealistic dictator commanding the work without sharing the vision with the workers. This reflects in the architecture as there is no inbetween, no mediation in the way things are designed. The workers quarters are built to be purely efficient and practical, way down at the bottom of the city as close to the entrace to the workshops and power generators whereas the upper level is decorated, spacious and light. When Joh is talking to the foreman of the workers (the only worker who can talk to Joh directly) in his office the windows are shuttered so that no natural light is seen by the foreman. The design of the automatic shutters and other technology in Joh's office also shows where the ruling power is.

I seem to have run out of ideas on this one...


"This metal lifts and separates."  ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment