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"Metropolis" Essay

1226 words - 5 pages

The film, Metropolis, depicts the epitome of fascism in that a dictator, Jon Fredersen (ruler) lives in wealth and luxury while ruling and dominating over the slave driven working class. Freder, the son of Jon, discovers the inhumane treatment of the underground workers and becomes the "mediator" of the people with Maria (Faith motivator of the people) as the catalyst. Rottwang, an evil scientist, transforms his female robot into the likeness of Maria who turns evil and convinces the underground workers to rebel against Jon's dictatorship. After seeing the intense destruction caused by the workers, Jon realizes that he must treat the workers with compassion and equanimity.In the late teens and early twenty's, the Germans were experiencing an economic struggle which included inflation. Decadence, violence and insecurity ran wild creating a spark of personal freedom and a movement toward artistic freedom of expression. During the 20's the barriers separating film from art became decidedly blurred in Germany and Europe. "Abstract expressionism, Dada and the Modernist movement carried over into motion picture making...."1When the movie was released in 1927, a great deal was expected from the film due to high publicity. Some critics were disappointed in the "butchered" versions of Metropolis which were a result of viewing time constraints. Since the original version was three (3) hours long, projectionists and theater managers increased the viewing speed which changed many key elements and affected the rhythm and pace. Consequently few people saw Metropolis as Fritz Lang had originally intented2. While some critics praised it for its "unparallel scope and ingenuity"3. Others ridiculed it, "...the silliest film. I do not believe it would be possible to make one sillier... That vertical city of the future we know now is, to put it mildly, highly improbable... The hopeless drudge stage of human labor lies behind us. With a sort of malignant stupidity this film contradicts these facts... then comes the crowning imbecility of the film - the conversion of the likeness of the Robot into Maria. "4. The importance of this ridicule exposes the wide variety of opinions concerning the film. Although there were many people who had varied opinions, most reviews came down to an either like or dislike opinion.After World War One, a movement of expressionism swept across Europe including Germany. For one director Fritz Lang it gave him the opportunity to create a film labeled as the first science fiction film ever. Since it dealt with a future that could not be predicted, Fritz developed his own future. When looking at the first scenes of the movie, it is clear that the separation between the workers of Metropolis and the aristocratic society are very wide. The dehumanization of the working class suggests that maybe this future world could be the results of an Industrial Revolution that had never ended5. "The world...Lang created was a cold, mechanical, industrial...

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