Picking Up the Brains of Metropolis

Metropolis (1927) by Fritz Lang

Other films directed by Fritz Lang: M (1931), Fury (1936)
Most people dismiss easily this movie because they find it boring, but truth is, the movie is really really interesting. The key is to watch it from the point of view of the 20’s (by knowing the culture and ideas back then). Also, watch the film as if you’re watching theatre. The acting may seem overacted but that’s really how it was in theatre. The shots were advanced... It is extremely ahead of its time.

The cast were admirable. They performed the way theatre actors then performed (a lot of interesting characters). I also believe the number of actors were outstanding as well at that time. Children even acted. It even has a relatively big twist. Not to mention that the plot was unique and ahead of its time. It showed culture and ideas back then. The way of acting reflected the theatre days = a bit overdramatic and exaggerated. The shots, effects (psychological drama of multiple shots per scene), lighting (flashlight was used to highlight an intense revelation), graphics (the city drowning might have been a big thing back then) and narration were advanced during that time.

The plot included (a very advanced thinking back then), the creation of intelligent machines capable of human simulation, underground cities, human survival being dependent on machines, and a solitary ruler/dictator that is a monopoly. It did not show any nature at all: animals or plants and trees, even soil! This “is” the future, the movie says. And that was a scary yet interesting thought back then. They inserted great ideas of Marxism, Plato's allegory of the cave, or Buddha's story, personal identity, the experience and sense of admiration, rebellion (mobs), and greed.

They viewed the advancement of flying cars, but in the movie they were small planes able to fly low. The skyscrapers were designed as "the taller and bigger, the better", instead of what we have today. The flyovers were done right, so were the trains. The elevator. Even the traffic (when back then, vehicles were minimal) Amazing. They probably viewed the advancement of robot that could really simulate human beings. However, they did not expect the advance of science making cloning possible.

The music expressed the emotion and transition of the story really well. The movie is a view of a futuristic tragedy, and even though the score may not sound dramatic in our sense today, back then the music used during the sad parts could’ve brought tears to the cruellest man. And the ending, wow, the morale of the story is just really beautiful. Great film. I bet I wouldn’t left the theatres in a few tears if I belonged in the era. If you are going to watch this film, and I advise that you do (especially if you love movies), then prepare to watch this film, meaning: make sure you are not in a foul mood, and that you are open for aesthetic experience.

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