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Metropolis (1927) Genre: Science Fiction/ German Expressionism Director Writers %inematograp & *is$a( E++ects /$sic 1o Fre)ersen

Fre)er- 1o Fre)ersen3s son %.2. 4ot5ang 1osap at /aria Fritz Lang T ea !on "ar#o$ Fritz Lang 'ar( Fre$n) E$gen Sc ,++tan- et.a(. 0tto "arzner 2(+re) 2#e( G$sta! Fro (ic 4$)o(+ '(ein64ogge T eo)or Loos 7rigitte "e(m

German Expressionism and Fritz Langs Metropolis research paper by mark robinson Fritz Lang8s si(ent +i(m /etropo(is- pro)$ce) in 1927 in German&- paints a pict$re o+ a orri#(& po(arize) +$t$re societ& in 5 ic t e 5or9ers toi( (i9e cogs in a mac ine 5 i(e t e ric (i!e a (a!is (i+est&(e in t eir to5ers ig a#o!e t e o!erpop$(ate) cit&. T e +i(m itse(+ is steepe) in expressionist imager& 5 ic emp asizes t e emotiona( :$a(it& o+ t e p(ot t at )e!e(ops. 2s a 5 o(e- t e +i(m ser!es to re+(ect Lang8s !ision o+ a tec no(ogica((& )epen)ent societ& an) in t$rn comments $pon t e in)$stria(ization o+ is ome(an). /an& German +i(ms pro)$ce) )$ring t e ear(& 2;t cent$r& 5ere in+($ence) #& expressionismmost nota#(& 4o#ert Wiene8s 192; +i(m T e %a#inet o+ Dr. %a(igari. W i(e /etropo(is ma& not carr& as m$c o!ert expressionistic imager& as ear(& +i(ms (i9e %a(igari- its t emes are m$c more simi(ar to t e spirit o+ expressionism (1). T at is not to sa& t at /etropo(is (ac9s expressionist imager& 66 in +act- man& scenes- s$c as t e opening se:$ence o+ t e +i(m- are ea!& in expressionist imager&. The Plot Fritz Lang8s /etropo(is ta9es p(ace in t e )&stopian +$t$re o+ t e t e &ear 2;2< (a )istant 1;; &ears a+ter t e +i(m8s creation in 192<67). T e cit& itse(+ as #een )e!i)e) into t5o parts 66 t e $pper cit&a#ite) #& t e 5ea(t & r$(ing c(ass- an) t e (o5er ($n)ergro$n)) cit&- pop$(ate) #& t e poor 5or9ing c(ass. T e (o5er c(ass spen) m$c o+ t eir )a& toi(ing on t e enormo$s mac ines t at 9eep t e cit& r$nning- (i!ing a most(& )isma( existance. 0ne )a&- a &o$ng man name) Fre)er (son o+ 1o Fre)ersen- r$(er o+ t e cit& /etropo(is) (oses is 5a& c asing a+ter a gir( an) en)s $p in one o+ t e mac ine rooms o+ t e (o5er cit&. "e 5itnesses an aci)ent at one o+ t e (arge mac ines an) en!isions it as a )emonic #east (at one point- e exc(aims =/o(oc >= in orror). 2+ter 5itnessing t is acci)ent- e ret$rns to t e $pper cit& to te(( is +at er a#o$t 5 at e as seen. 1o is- o+ co$rse- prett& m$c in)i++erent to is son8s emotiona( reaction to 5 at as appene). Fre)er no5 +ee(s a sense o+ o#(igation to e(p t e 5or9ers o+ t e (o5er cit& an) ret$rns to t e mac ine rooms. "e o++ers to ta9e t e p(ace o+ one o+ t e (a#orers at one o+ t e mac ines an) s$#se:$ent(& str$gg(es to 9eep $p 5it t e +renetic pace o+ t e mac ine. /ean5 i(e- 1o Fre)ersen as a meeting 5it t e ma) scientist 4ot5ang. T ere e sees 4ot5ang8s (atest in!ention- a ro#ot t at 5i(( some )a& rep(ace t e 5or9ers in t e mac ine rooms. Later- 4ot5ang ta9es Fre)ersen to o#ser!e one o+ t e 5or9ers8 secret meetings ($n#e9no5nst to 4ot5ang an) Fre)ersen- Fre)er is a(so at t is meeting) r$n #& /aria- 5 o gi!es t e 5or9ers ope. 4ot5ang exp(ains t at e 5i(( capt$re /aria an) create is +irst ro#ot in er image so t at e can t5art t eir $prising. 4ot5ang is s$ccess+$( in capt$ring /aria an) trans+erring er appearance to t e ro#ot. Fre)er tries to sa!e /aria- #$t #& t e time e arri!es at t e (a#orator&- t e proce)$re as a(rea)& ta9en p(ace an) e )isco!ers t e ro#ot /aria (5 o (oo9s ?$st (i9e t e rea( /aria) conspiring 5it er +at er. T in9ing /aria as #etra&e) im- e (ea!es. T e ro#ot /aria t en incites t e 5or9ers to re!o(t premat$re(&ens$ring t eir )eat s so t at t e& can #e rep(ace) #& ro#ots. T e 5or9ers )estro& some o+ t e mac inesca$sing a +(oo) t at 5i(( e!ent$a((& )ro5n t em a(( i+ t e& are not sa!e). E!ent$a((&- t e rea( /aria escapes an) s e an) Fre)er e(p sa!e t e 5or9ers +rom t e +(oo). T e 5or9ers t en +in) t e ro#ot /aria an) #$rn er at t e sta9e- at 5 ic point s e trans+orms #ac9 into a meta((ic ro#ot- gi!ing t e 5or9ers reass$rance t at t e& a!e )one t e rig t t ing. T e mo!ie en)s 5it t e )eat o+ 4ot5ang an) a c ange o+ eart +or Fre)ersen- 5 o no5 +ee(s compassion +or t e 5or9ers. The Opening Se !ence T e opening se:$ence to Fritz Lang8s /etropo(is ser!es to )e+ine t e c(ass str$ct$re t at )ominates t e +i(m. T e +i(m #egins 5it a s ort tit(e se:$ence- t en s o5s some a#stract imager& o+

mac iner& at 5or9. We are t en s o5n a +e5 s(o56pace) s ots o+ one s i+t o+ 5or9ers marc ing o$t o+ t e e(e!ators an) a ne5 s i+t marc ing on to t e e(e!ators. @n star9 contrast to t is is t e next scene- in 5 ic Fre)er (t e main c aracter an) e!ent$a( ero o+ t e stor&) is s o5n p(a&+$((& r$nning aro$n) a (arge- e(egant +o$ntain s$rro$n)e) #& &o$ng 5omen- c asing a+ter a partic$(ar gir( an) +ina((& catc ing er. T ese scenes are $se) to esta#(is t e t eme o+ t e $pper !s. t e (o5er c(ass t at per!a)es t e +i(m. @n /etropo(is- t ere are t5o 5e((6)e+ine) c(asses 66 t e 5or9ing c(ass an) t e $pper c(ass. Aot on(& are t e ro(es o+ t ese t5o c(asses extreme(& )i++erent- #$t so are t eir )ai(& ro$tines- 5 ic are #ot s o5n in t e se:$ence- are as 5e((. W i(e t e 5or9ing c(ass spen)s its )a&s toi(ing amongst t e mac ines #e(o5 t e cit&- t e $pper c(ass (i!es an op$(ent existence ig a#o!e t e cit&. T is $se o+ t5o esta#(is ing s ots 5it comp(ete(& )i++erent narrati!es e(ps )e+ine t e star9 )i++erence #et5een t ese t5o c(asses. T is t eme o+ c(ass )i++erence 5as !er& important to t e expressionist mo!ement. Ber aps t e most o#!io$s expressionist means emp(o&e) #& Lang is t e $se o+ (ig ting an) contrast. W en t e 5or9ers are s o5n )r$)ging in an) o$t o+ t e e(e!ators- t e (ig ting is )ar9 an) t e contrast is ea!&. T is )ar9ness re+(ects t e )isma( nat$re o+ t eir (i!es as (a#orers. 0n t e ot er an)Fre)er an) is +ema(e companions are e(egant(& (ig te) an) t e contrast is in t e scene is so+t an) (ig t. T e image presente) is m$c more !is$a((& appea(ing t an t at o+ t e )o5ntro))en 5or9ers. 2s t e +i(m progresses- t is t eme o+ t e )ar9- )o5ntro))en 5or9ers #eing ?$xtapose) against t e op$(ent $pper c(ass is incre)i#(& important to t e $n+o()ing o+ t e p(ot. T ese esta#(is ing scenes o+ t e t5o c(asses are cr$cia( to t e narrati!e t at (ater $n+o()s. 7& )e+ining t e c(asses so o#?ecti!e(&- Lang ma9es it eas& +or $s to $n)erstan) o5 someone (i9e Fre)er co$() #e so orri+ie) #& t em. The Expressionists 7& t e time /etropo(is 5as re(ease) in 1927- expressionism 5as no (onger part o+ t e a!ant6 gar)e (1). 2n expressionistic in+($ence can #e seen- o5e!er- t ro$g o$t m$c o+ t e +i(m. T e p(ot o+ t e +i(m- as o$t(ine) ear(ier- a) eres to t e expressionist tra)ition. Expressionist in+($ences can a(so #e seen in t e acting- imager& an) set )esign o+ t e +i(m. T e exaggerate) mo!ements o+ #ot 4ot5ang an) Fre)er o5e m$c to t e expressionist t eatre. Fre)er #ecomes t e mo)erating eart #et5een t e 5or9ers an) t e $pper6c(ass an) is exaggerate)5 imsica( mo!ements re+(ect t is (2). 4ot5ang- on t e ot er an)- p(a&s t e ro(e o+ t e arc et&pa( ma) scientist. "is mo!ements are ?er9& an) o!erstate)- re+(ecting is manic state o+ min) (C). Direct para((e(s can #e seen #et5een t e expressionist )ra5ings o+ /ax 7ec9man an) George Grosz- an) Lang8s portra&a( o+ t e (o5er6c(ass in /etropo(is. Ta9e- +or examp(e- 7ec9man8s Fig$res an) Grosz8 T e "ero- t5o exaggerate) )epictions o+ (o5er6c(ass s$#?ects. T ese )ra5ings c(ose(& resem#(e t e )irt&- )o5ntro))en (o5er6c(ass 5or9ers t at toi( in t e $n)ergro$n) cit& o+ /etropo(is. 2not er examp(e o+ 5 ere /etropo(is mirrors expressionist art is in t e ang$(ar- cro5)e) s9&(ine o+ t e cit&. Expressionists 5ere concerne) 5it t e ro(e o+ t e cit& in a mo)ern- in)$stria(ize) 5or(). Ernst L$)5ig 'irc ner8s 4e) To5er in "a((e is an exce((ent examp(e o+ t e st&(ize)- ang$(ar $r#an !ie5 o+ t e expressionists. T e to5er in t e +oregro$n) o+ t is painting resem#(es t e to5er at t e center o+ t e cit& o+ /etropo(is. /etropo(is a(so )ra5s in+($ences +rom ear(& German expressionist cinema- especia((& in its (ig ting. W i(e man& o+ t e scenes t at ta9e p(ace in t e $pper cit& are (it in a +air(& tra)itiona( 5a&- t e scenes t at ta9e p(ace in t e $n)ergro$n) cit& are +$(( o+ t e s a)o5s an) #rig t- ang$(ar (ig ts t at +i((e) ear(& expressionist +i(ms (i9e T e %a#inet o+ Dr. %a(igari. T is $se o+ (ig ting (m$c (i9e t e $se o+ man& ot er expressionist tec ni:$es) ser!es to +$rt er emp asize t e expressionist t emes present in t e p(ot o+ t e mo!ie. /an& +i(m sc o(ars )o not consi)er /etropo(is to #e an expressionist +i(m. W en it 5as create)t e expressionist mo!ement 5as no (onger appening. 7& 1927- t e socia( an) po(itica( c(imate in German& a) c ange). @n +act- at t e time- /etropo(is 5as t e most expensi!e motion pict$re e!er pro)$ce). 2(t o$g it ma& not #e a tr$e =expressionist +i(m=- t e in+($ence t at expressionism a) on /etropo(is can not #e ignore). "ibliography 7ar(o5- 1o n D. German Expressionist Film. 7oston: T5a&ne B$#(is ers- 19D2. Dar(o5- L$9e. Metropolis Multimedia Archive. ttp://555.geocities.com/metropo(isEm$(time)ia/ (;C /a& 2;;1) Eisner- Lotte ". Fritz Lang. Lon)on: Sec9er F War#$rg- 197<. E(saesser- T omas. Weimar Cinema and After: Germany s !isorical "maginary. Ae5 Gor9: 4o$t(e)ge2;;;. Footnotes 1. 7ar(o5 12C 2. 7ar(o5 12H C. 7ar(o5 12I