Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Metropolis (1927) Review

Metropolis (1927)
Directed by: Fritz Lang

I had already heard rumours and mentions of Metropolis, from film documentaries, to a television program I watched ages ago called “Best Robots in History” and if I recall correctly Metropolis won; so this movie had a lot of expectations for me, and it did meet these expectations.

From watching The Cabinet of Dr Caligari I began to understand how silent movies work towards the audience, but this one had its own methods it seems, I noticed that in comparison Metropolis only used text for speaking if it was absolutely need for the most dire of situations, which must have been a challenge for actors because they of course would need to portray moods, fears, emotion and words within their body language; this definitely kept me entertained throughout.

Like I have previously stated, my latest project is based on environments, and Metropolis has a very vivid one to say the least, we are presented with a range from huge skyscrapers with hundreds of cars and planes flying in-between buildings (which was all created with miniatures) to the slaves working quarters, where every button and leveller seems to be two times the size that it should be, with some representation methods such as the explosion of one machine, then it slowly morphing into a temple with men whipping others (in a slave worker style), and finally a Indiana jones disco club room where everyone is having a ball, Metropolis definitely has its contrasts when considering environments.
The city of the slaves wasn't in ruins as you could imagine anywhere for a slave being, but instead it was almost like 'the best a slave could get' within the ability to make sure they dont enjoy their home as well, its a strange setting.

Of course this movie is well dated, but doesn’t mean it doesn’t also come without influencing other film makers…

“Filmmaker Fritz Lang gives us a shockingly prophetic view of armies of downtrodden workers, all clad in the same baggy uniform, their capped heads bent, shuffling in perfect choreography as they descend to the depths of their workaday hell. It is a dizzying precursor to all those Orwellian scenes in our collective cinematic consciousness, with a goodly dose of Joe Versus the Volcano on the side.”
“Frankenstein, Blade Runner, and even Madonna’s 1989 video “Express Yourself” are heavily indebted to the incredible production design of Metropolis,”

“Like "Blade Runner," which borrowed from it, "Metropolis" is a futuristic spectacle about class divisions in a glittering high-rise city. But whereas "Blade Runner" was believably gritty, "Metropolis" is an artifact of abstract expressionism, steeped in the theatrics of Wagnerian opera.”

“Supposedly George Lucas' C-3PO was created in homage to the robot woman played by Brigitte Helm”

Even character design from the robot of Metropolis is rumored to have sparked CP30 from one of the most famous sci-fi films ever created.

I do know a lot of my friends who hate the idea of watching silent films, which is a great shame, I did not like the aspect either until I became older, and actually understood that a lot of the famous and influential movies that surround use to date, are only as good as their original inspirations, I hope some of the quotes I have provided concrete this idea.

No comments:

Post a Comment