Monday, 10 October 2016

Space Oddities/Metropolis/Film review

Fig.1. Metropolis poster 1927

Fritz Lang's silent black and white movie Metropolis is another example of German brilliant cinematography. Movie was released in 1927 and formed basis for science - fiction movie scene. It is one of those time less classics that withstand test of time. Influence of Metropolis could be seen in such films as Jurassic Park, Titanic and even in acts of pop stars such as Lady Gaga or Kylie Minogue. 

“From this film, in various ways, descended not only Dark City but Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, Alphaville, Escape From L.A., Gattaca, and Batman's Gotham City. ” (Rogert Ebert, 1998)

Metropolis is telling story about futuristic city in 20th century. Life in there is divided in two different worlds. One of them is underground race, dirty place where are all the machines and workers working like a slaves. Meanwhile above them are living rich, elite - race people of the city their comfortable lives. 

Fig.2: overworked man in underground

Fig.3: The Upper class

“Metropolis predicts the ideologies of class and race of the 20th century,.. ” (Peter Bradshaw, 2010)

Joh Fredersen is a reckless businessman who manages city. One day, his son Freder see beautiful Maria from the subterranean city in the Pleasure Gardens. He is fascinated by her charm and kindness, so he decide to learn more about workers life in the underground world. Therefore he seeks out heartless genius Rotwang who knows all the secrets.

As Joh is following Rotwang into the depths of underground city he find out about worker's hard life. He see worker who almost passed out from fatigue. Joh feel terribly sorry for him so he exchange his life with the worker for one day. 

Meanwhile vicious scientist Rotwang invented woman machine in which he's planning to reincarnate innocence Maria, because workers look up to her. Therefore Rotwang could easily take control over the machines and destroy the city. 

Fig.4.Transformation of Maria into the machine 

“Mass media manipulate the masses’ thoughts and feelings on a daily basis, tricking them into loving their oppression. Popular culture is the entertainment branch of mass media and pop music is the fun way to communicate the elite’s message to the youth.” (The Vigilant Citizen website)

Viewing this film today is a breath taking experience. Even that the film was released almost hundred years ago, it is so close to the reality nowadays. Not just because of machines that almost all of them became reality throughout the years, but also for the society conditions. The elite symbolize the head of the city, people in elite class are the thinkers. The underground class symbolize hands of the thinkers, the workers are not supposed to think they just have to work for elite class. The Maria machine symbolize medium through which head can control hands. Those symbols can be seen in many countries, where people in the middle class are receiving information throughout mass media. But their receiving just part of the informations that the thinkers decided to give them and the main weapons of the upper class - thinkers are technology and science.  

“The buried message is powerful: Science and industry will become the weapons of demagogues.” (Rogert Ebert, 1998)

Illustrations list:
 Fig.1. Metropolis poster 1927  
Fig.2. Overworked man in underground
Fig.3: The Upper class&nbsp;
Fig.4. Transformation of Maria into the machine  



  1. Hi Michaela!

    A thoughtful review; you have touched on some of the ideas that make this film so influential :)

    A couple of pointers - when you are writing your piece, have it aligned to the left or 'justified' (spread evenly over the line, not centred as you have done here. If you centre it, it makes it difficult to read as a piece of prose, as it is set out as you would a poem or verse. The images are ok to be centralised though :)
    This next comment is a harder one for you to address, as it comes down to experience in writing in English, and so it is something that will improve as you write more... it's the case of the missing 'THE' ! Here are a few of your sentences from above where you needed one or two...

    'THE movie was released in 1927 and formed THE basis for THE science - fiction movie scene.'

    'Joh Fredersen is a reckless businessman who manages THE city.'

    'As Joh is following Rotwang into the depths of THE underground city he find out about THE worker's hard life.'

    As I say, this is something that will improve with practice, so don't worry too much, but just be aware!

    Referencing - in the text, you only need the author's surname and the date, so (Ebert, 1998) for example. You need to have another look at the guide for details on formatting the bibliography as at the moment you have several bits missing... see here
    (Make sure that you scroll right through for details on referencing websites... the big banners asking if you 'need more help' make it look like you have come to the end!)

  2. Hi Jackie,

    thank you very much for your advises. :)

    It is true that I am still not very good in writing in English so I didn't notice that I am missing some of 'the'. I will have another look at the guide for harvard referencing, as well.