mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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What kind of man builds a machine to kill a girl?



I'm going to play some of the Protomen's album Act II: The Father of Death here, since that is the nearest touchstone to Fritz Lang's Metropolis. I say Lang's but really this film owes its stature to two people: Fritz Lang & Brigitte Helm. Don't get me wrong: John Fredersen (Business) & Rotwang (Technology) & Fredersen's ironically named son Freder (Heart-- like in Captain Planet!) are all important, & so is the worker's Foreman too, I guess. I liked Metropolis-- it is legendary & for good reason. The future they show is the same future we're still talking about-- Science is still lightning & bubbling tubes. It is clearly an important film-- Rotwang's chase of Maria reminded me nothing so much as Windom Earle's flashlight-lit chases. The character's are distinctive-- Rotwang's black gloved cyborg hand all kinds of Skywalker shades, & Freder's Londo Mollari hair for instance. Or more to the point, earnest Maria & slyly winking Robot. I mentioned she stole the show, right? Her Robot-- the Maschinenmensch, Parody, Futura-- is the most distinctive image to come out of Metropolis, but her turn as Whore of Babylon is the icon to me. The plot is allegory, sure, but as far as I'm concerned it is an excuse to link futuristic vistas to hallucinatory vignettes. The bit with Moloch, with the Tower of Babel-- that is when the movie soars, along side the scenes of the Lord of Metropolis brooding in his dystopian cyberpunk city will sirens flash across his face & Freder being crucified on the perpendicular arms of a clock. Of course it ends in a Deluge, but where is Superman to save them? This is the movie that begs the question: "Who can save the world?" & of course the name "Metropolis" rings in who can: Superman! The film was certainly evocative, inspirational-- I scribbled three pages of notes! I understand why it is the giant; I don't need to rewatch it though. Silent films require a singular focus! There will be no frittering away at the computer, or doodling in your notebook! Yes; while I very much enjoyed it it won't be creeping into my top five films; it is too far removed by history. I take it for granted. The things I like are predicated on it. Cheers!

Tags: movies, photos
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