Sunday, 12 March 2017

Metropolis Review

Number 108 on the top 1000 films of all time is the 1927 German expressionistic film Metropolis.

Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia, where the ruling classes rule over the proletariat.  Freder Fredersen (Gustav Frohlich) is the son of the ruler of Metropolis, John Fredersen, who leads the proletariat in a revolution, through the help of a young woman Maria.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BNDAzNTkyODg1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDA3NDkwMDE@._V1_UY1200_CR72,0,630,1200_AL_.jpg)

This was such a weird film, I'm not even sure where to start.  The imagery was so surreal, it was like it had been directed by Pablo Picasso, and not Fritz Lang.  Metropolis is generally regarded as one of the first sci-films, due to its sweeping futuristic landscapes.  This was a huge strength compared to some other films of this era that I've seen, the production element of Metropolis was impressive.

(https://www.kinolorber.com/media_cache/images/filmgalleryfull/metrop_6.jpg)

This is the only silent film that I've seen, which wasn't made by Charlie Chaplin, and I didn't always find it the easiest to understand or follow.  At times, I had no idea what was going on.  Of course, it didn't help that I was watching an incomplete restoration.  The original version of Metropolis was long lost, until it was restored in 2002, with certain scenes swapped out for text cards, explaining what had happened.

(https://cityarcadia.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/metropolis-metropolis-1927-15539846-1594-1216.jpg)

Overall, I'm really not sure what to make of this film.  The narrative is simple enough to follow: it's pretty much just a revolution story, but the strange imagery made me miss out some more of the subtle nuances.  So, instead, I'll leave you with this interesting bit of trivia.  This was Adolf Hitler's favourite film, and he was prepared to make the Jewish Fritz Lang, an honorary Aryan.  Lang fled to America instead.

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