Monday, November 1, 2010

Film Review - Metropolis 1927


Fritz Lang’s 1927 black and white silent film is the most famous silent German film of all time. Metropolis is a landmark in the history of films and it said that the films influence can be felt in other science fiction films made since. Metropolis has become part of the great mass film unconscious.”

The story of Metropolis takes place in the future where people have been divided into two different groups according to their wealth. Below the city of Metropolis the poor workers work ten hour swifts tending the machines that control the city above. Meanwhile the upper class themselves live in an earthly paradise high above in the skyscrapers that the workers are working hard to maintain power to. “It’s a morality tale, of course, of evil rulers, mindless mobs, anarchistic revolt, a love story, a demented inventor, and a genuinely dramatic rooftop struggle.”



Joh Fredersen the owner of the city lives high in the Tower of Babel were he overseas his creation. But what he doesn’t know is that an underground plot is being developed to bring him and his empire to justice. His young son Freder decides to discover what is below the city so he ventures beneath Metropolis where he becomes one of the Workers himself. He meets Maria who sees the suffering that the workers have to go through and who is the leader of the revolt against the city of Metropolis. Deeply moved of what he has seen when he was down there he return to the tower city and confronts his father. Knowing of the plot to destroy his empires he allies himself with a ruthless scientist Rotwang. Having created a humanoid robot Rotwang kidnaps Maria and transfers her features to the robot having following orders form Joh Fredersen. They send the robot to the underground city to stir up a revolt to turn the workers against Maria herself and end her plot to bring down him and his empire.


The film is widely regarded as the peak of German Expressionist used in films. “a massive production design that overpowers the actors on such a scale that they are transformed into moving masses of architecture themselves.” The thing that enjoyed about this film was the set designs they seem so futuristic to the era the film was made. I think that this is what made this film seem decades before it time.


The film itself can be said to be influenced by what was happening around the time that this film was made. It could be said to be influenced by the growing industrial revolution which can be seen in revolt of the workers against the city. But there could be many influences that Fritz Lang could have used that happen in 1920’s. “The film-with-a-message exhibits the influence of historical events occurring during its time”



Throughout the film there are many themes and several other meanings that a viewer can see. “The film's central theme of workers revolting against domination by exploitative management, their soulless machines, and new technologies”. This is seen in Maria’s plot to bring Joh Fredersen and his empire to justice to give the workers the justice they deserve.

Metropolis is an amazing film that was decades ahead of its time with its futuristic set deigns and the themes within the film. All of which has mad it a landmark in the film history.  

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