Metropolis Metropolis created by Dir Fritz Lang in 1927 is a great film that comments on society, the bourgeois verses

the common man and questions what could happened if the working class stood up for themselves .The film has a lot of religious references such as the tallest tower being named, the Tower of Babel which foreshadows that this society will eventually fall. The movie also comments on the perception of woman being depicted either as saints like Maria or a worldly Jezebel who seduces men and turns them against each other.

Figure 1. The Metropolis landscape(1927) The landscape shows no sign of nature but is bombarded with tall skyscrapers and flying cars. The rich live above the city and the workers live below, the workers march in sync taking on the characteristics of a machine they appear blank in their expressions. Steven D Greydanus explains that one of the most vivid images in the film is ”the endless columns of workers marching in nightmarish synch to and from their terrible labor”(Greydanus,2010).It is possible that these people are fading into the mechanics slowly, taking on the characteristics of the machines, like being in sync and walking together in this way is dehumanising them making them fade into the background. The Machine that the labourers use is slowly taking away their freedom and in a vision that Freder has he sees the machine not for its façade that the rich depict it as, but as its true form metaphorical form a monster killing the people who maintain it.

Figure 2 The Machine turning into a monster (1927) The strong rigid structures comment on the stern heart of the leader of Metropolis who doesn’t see that he needs to treat his workers better. Robert Ring said that, 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) This view could be likely because Freder is sent to be the heart that joins the head (Joh Fredersen) and the hand (the workers) together(Metropolis,1927). Although Freder is sent to be the peacemaker, there is still a flood that nearly wipes out the children of the workers. Maybe acknowledging that destroying part of the problem doesn’t solve anything.

Figure 3 Maria encouraging the workers (1927) The sets depicted are “impressively seamless for its era” (Ring,2010) This adds to the story feeling real unlike Dr Calagari that is set in a surreal world . The landscape in Metropolis is highly polished and modern but when we enter the scene where we meet Maria encouraging the workers and installing faith into the people. We enter the dwellings under the city of a past generation that once lived in these derelict stone structures. The softer lighting and the surrounding make Maria seem more angelic. The separation between the rich and the poor is not blurred in this society and the biblical references throughout the film points to the fall of this city . The set adds to the story line, “what turns the film into a mad nightmare is Lang's preRiefenstahl, pre-Speer architecture, a massive production design that overpowers the actors on such a scale that they are transformed into moving masses”(Brenner,2012) . The notion that the structures overpower the actors is unlikely, because the grand size of the structures really forces the issue of separation between the classes. The building being so tall that they almost reach into the heavens but that means that it cast a shadow deep with the same city illustrating the differences between heaven and hell in this way. Metropolis is a sci-fi film that addresses so many issues, but I think it will be remembered for its visuals which is why it inspired so many films. For its time it is likely that this film would have been really enjoyable when first screened. Although parts of the film has not been restored as a modern viewer I will never be able to view the film as Lang intended.

Bibliography Brenner,P.(2012)Metropolis Review .At: http://movies.amctv.com/movie/1927/Metropolis (Accessed on 19.10.12) Greydanus,S.(2010)Metropolis 1927 . At: http://www.decentfilms.com/reviews/metropolis1927 (Accessed on 19.10.12) Ring,R. (2010)Silent Science Fiction’s Expressionistic Triumph.At: http://scifiblock.com/reviews/movie/metropolis-1927.htm (Accessed on 19.10.12) Images Figure 1. The Metropolis landscape(1927).From Metropolis. Directed by Dir Fritz Lang[Film still]Germany.At: http://eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/images/stills/metropolis/15.jpg (Accessed on 19.10.12) Figure 2 The Machine turning into a monster (1927). From Metropolis. Directed by Dir Fritz Lang[Film still]Germany.At: http://www.into-the-dark.com/wpcontent/uploads/2012/01/metropolis-molach.jpg (Accessed on 19.10.12) Figure 3 Maria encouraging the workers (1927) . From Metropolis. Directed by Dir Fritz Lang[Film still]Germany.At: http://vigilantcitizen.com/wpcontent/uploads/2010/10/metro30.jpg (Accessed on 19.10.12)