Fritz Lang’s Metropolis has been on my watch list for a long time and I’m glad this list gave me the opportunity to see it. I’ve always been a fan of dystopian/utopian films of how society would be like if the world was built differently. Metropolis is a city set in the year 2026 and you experience the clash between the rich elite and the oppressed workers who build the city itself. As Maria tries to make peace between the two classes, a madman creates a robot to resemble Maria to wreak havoc and ruin her reputation.
It’s interesting how the film’s time setting may have taken place almost one hundred years into the future from the time it was filmed. The year 2026 is only ten years away from us today. Considering this film was made in the 20s, Fritz Lang could never imagine what technology is like for the people of today. Having computers, cellphones, even high-tech cars would have been beyond his imagination. But the filming took place during the time that machines were really making a name for themselves and playing a huge part in how the world is run. Fritz Lang’s idea of the future is monorails, tall buildings and bridges. Do you think Lang’s version of what the future will look like ten years from now is accurate?
Metropolis is a film that helped define the science fiction genre. Here we see a life-like robot and visual effects that weren’t widely used in that era. The message in this film is a theme that is very common in history about the equality of people. The treatment of the wealthy and the middle class. I find it very odd how this film was a favorite of Adolf Hitler. Scary thought, right? The last thing anyone wants is to have something in common with that monster. That still won’t stop me, though. I loved how large and futuristic the sets looked. It really did a great job of looking like a different world. This film takes you on a whirl-wind adventure in trying to stop the mad scientist and his creation.
Metropolis influenced a lot of films in the future (ignore the pun). That robot looks a little familiar…a little like C3PO, maybe? Charlie Chaplin was also inspired by the machines in the film in which he used them for Modern Times. Even Queen used footage from the film in their music video Radio Ga-Ga. But like all great films that are expensive to make, the filming was a grueling challenge. Especially for the actress that played Maria, Brigitte Helm. The film took a year and a half. Helm hated wearing the robot suit as she was feeling claustrophobic and bruised. But Fritz Lang still made her wear it. She also had someone pull her hair in the stake burning scene. Write in if anyone feels sorry for her. I thank those who have read to the bottom of this post. If it’s so long, it’s because I’m really taken with this film and it should be on everyone’s watchlist. Especially if you’re a sci-fi dork:)
Watch Fritz Lang’s last silent film and one of the best science fiction films. Write in what you think: