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Published by: NadiaYadallee on Oct 26, 2012
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Space and Environment: Film Review

Director: Fritz Lang

Metropolis is a German expressionistic silent film made in 1927 and directed by Fritz Lang. The film is about city where wealthy people own vast tower complexes who oppress workers who live in the depths below. The story follows upon the life of Freder (Gustav Fröhlich) who is the son of the master of the city. He encounters a young woman named Maria (Brigitte Helm) who believes in the equality of the two classes, and believes a meditator will come to unite the two halves of city. However the peace and equality that Maria wants to protest is interfered by a mad scientist whose invention of the machine man jeopardizes corrupts the whole city.

Figure 1

Figure 2

As seen in figure one, the architectural design reflects upon an industrial city but also it has futuristic elements. Lang was said to be influenced by the cityscape of New York.Fritz Lang claimed to have been inspired to make Metropolis by his first glimpse of the New York skyline.’ (bfi, 2012) You can see how he was influenced by New York’s architectural design, in the 1930’s.

Space and Environment: Film Review

Figure 3

Figure 4

The scene of which the machine-man had appeared (shown in figure 3) in was described to be one of the most influential scenes throughout history. “Lang's impossibly vast skyscraper-ziggurats (inspired, it's said, by his first view of the Manhattan skyline) are the blueprint for nearly every science-fiction movie city of the past 30 years.” (Halter, 2007). The human-woman design was said to be a huge influence upon the creation of C3PO. Figure four shows Maria, a character who Lang used to express the idea of equality between workers. In this film, Lang strongly contrasts the rich against the poor workers, he shows the bad treatment and lack of acknowledge of achievement at work that poor workers have. Lang uses the mystery of the machine man to build up mystery and excitement for the audience, however at the end all is chaos. ‘Fritz Lang has an overt message in mind, one that almost becomes didactic, that those in power should treat the lower class with compassion.” (Ring,2010) Lang uses this scene to depict the bad relationship between workers, which could represent the destruction of the city, as represented in his film.

Space and Environment: Film Review


References:  Ring, Robert, 2010, http://scifiblock.com Accessed online on 26th October, 2012 http://scifiblock.com/reviews/movie/metropolis-1927.htm

 Helter, Ed (2007) , http://www.villagevoice.com Accessed online on 26th October, 2012 http://www.villagevoice.com/2007-07-10/film/back-to-the-future/

 British Film Institute, http://explore.bfi.org.uk Accessed online on 26th October, 2012

Space and Environment: Film Review


Images:  http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&sa=N&biw=136 6&bih=589&tbm=isch&tbnid=ZnK22BaoC4_LM:&imgrefurl=http://classicaliconoclast.blogspot.com/2010/09/fritz-lang-metropolis-1927restored.html&docid=byToMWwndrechM&imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.c om/_PgfRBZetNGE/TImFhLiRcgI/AAAAAAAABnU/uv0irDKQYJE/s1600/ metropolis1.jpg&w=1024&h=768&ei=7OyJULLlOefC0QX9vYCABA&zoom= 1&iact=hc&vpx=409&vpy=223&dur=311&hovh=144&hovw=167&tx=181 &ty=149&sig=109379209375079337475&page=1&tbnh=144&tbnw=167 &start=0&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0,i:80  http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.mrgallagherstuden tsites.com/1930s/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/NewYork1930s.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.mrgallagherstudentsites.com/1930s/& h=768&w=1024&sz=147&tbnid=zlmD3JymD8zf7M:&tbnh=90&tbnw=120 &zoom=1&usg=__KrDo_LFImGhzOA4UN3wpbGzre0s=&docid=IwH8YOLZk PWsTM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=AvCJUOeyEuvs0gWi5YHACQ&ved=0CCgQ9QEw Ag

 http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&sa=N&biw=136 6&bih=589&tbm=isch&tbnid=UVkM5WDxkw9pM:&imgrefurl=http://pastpresentfuturelondon.blogspot.com /2010/09/metropolis.html&docid=inO5ttrNTOek7M&imgurl=http://1.bp. blogspot.com/_A3nooaVmGdA/THtrrarqsCI/AAAAAAAAAgQ/V7Lf193tPL Y/s1600/metropolis.jpg&w=641&h=519&ei=MfCJUILAAqKx0QXRj4DICA &zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=553&sig=109379209375079337475&page=1&tb nh=140&tbnw=177&start=0&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:12,s:0,i:171&tx=74 &ty=111

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