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FIlm Review- Metropolis

FIlm Review- Metropolis

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Published by Anim MA
FIlm Review: Metropolis (1927)
FIlm Review: Metropolis (1927)

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Categories:Types, Reviews, Film
Published by: Anim MA on Oct 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/13/2014

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 Metropolis, a Silent Science Fiction German movie released in 1927 byFriedrich Christian Anton Lang, better known as Fritz Lang.Fritz Lang was an Austrian-American filmmaker and screenwriter whosebiggest influence came from Austrian Neurologist Sigmund Freud andGerman philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. It seems that heinfluenced some famous filmmakers later on, for instance Alfred Hitchcock.The film Metropolis was on the most expensive silent films at the time of itsrelease, at a cost of about 1million dollars.It is noticeable that the narrative is straight forward, set in 2026; it takesplace in a futuristic world ruled by Joh Fredersen, where the working class isworking in oppressive conditions to keep the city alive. The son of the citymaster, Freder, fascinated by a young woman called Maria, goes looking for her in the underground. Maria gives talks to workers in the cathedral.Freder soon realises how horrible the workers conditions is, and watches anexplosion, which causes many injured men. The son tries to make a changein the workers life by trying to convince his father but soon his father tells ascientist called rotwang to keep Maria away from his son.Rotwang successfully gave Maria's appearance to his robot and ordered it tomake the workers revolt.The robot leads the workers to the machine halls in order to destroy theheart machine, which will later cause a flood in the city and becomes riskyfor their children's life. While the workers realised the young woman theytrusted has fooled them and they considered her as the cause of their misery, they soon found out that it was the wrong Maria.Meanwhile, the scientist was chasing the real Maria and Freder went torescue her and fight the scientist, who falls to his death from the roof. The
 
two social classes end up shaking each other hands, declaring reconciliation.On first sight, it appears that the film tends to compare both social classesconditions in the future and the ignorance of one another What seems tomake the film stands out is the use of skyscrapers in an Art Deco style,urban infrastructure, machines and technology for wealthy citizens anddepths for poor people as well as using special effects in a period of timewhere cinema was still experimenting with new techniques.
" Although Lang saw his movie as anti-authoritarian, the Nazis liked it enough to offer him control of their film industry (he fled to America instead),"Metropolis" employed vast sets, 25,000 extras and astonishing special effects to create two worlds: The great city of Metropolis, with its stadiums,skyscrapers and expressways in the sky, and the subterranean worker's city,where the clock face shows 10 hours to cram another day into the work week"(Ebert, 2006-2011).
Urban Infrastructure. Special effects.
 
 
 
Depths.Fritz has been shooting the same scenes many times before he is satisfiedwith it. The most amazing aspect of the film is the fact that some visualeffects were created for the film by Eugen Schufftan, for instance theSchufftan process which tends to give the illusion that actors are in a smaller environment. Furthermore, the scientist's robot was sculpted by Walter Shulze-Mittendorff using Maria's plaster cast to obtain her body's shape. Wecan see that the use of effects was successfully done, for instance the shotsof the traffic and the explosion of the machine in which they used modelconstructions.Lang was shooting the same shots many times before he is satisfied with it,it is likely he needed many people during the filming and that it took him awhile to film it considering the film length.
"Metropolis took an astounding 310 days to shoot in 1926, requiring theservices of hundreds of technicians"(French, 2010).
 The tower of Babel appears to be one the most noticeable influences in thefilm as it shows the tension and lack of agreement between the intellectualsand the workers. Even though the film has been and is still considered as onthe great achievements of the silent era, it received critics such as H.GWells, who considered the film as a foolishness and cliche and stated hefound parts of the story based on shelley's Frankenstein, Karel Capeck'srobot stories and his novel The sleeper Awakes.
" In his article about Metropolis, Wells doesn't mince his words. "I haverecently seen the silliest film; I do not believe it is possible to make one sillier.It gives in one eddying concentration almost every possible foolishness,

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