Plot Synopsis: It is the future, and humans are divided into two groups: the thinkers, who make plans (but don’t know how anything works), and the workers, who achieve goals (but don’t have the vision). Completely separate, neither group is complete, but together they make a whole. One man from the “thinkers” dares visit the underground where the workers toil, and is astonished by what he sees…
Metropolis is a silent science fiction film created by the famed Austrian director Fritz Lang. Produced in Germany in the Babelsberg Studios during the brief years of the Weimar Republic and released in 1927, it was the most expensive silent film of the time, costing approximately 7 million Reichsmark (equivalent to around $200 million in 2005) to make. The screenplay was written in 1924 by Lang and his wife, Thea von Harbou, and novelized by von Harbou in 1926. It is set in a futuristic urban dystopia, and, like its contemporary The Battleship Potemkin, addresses the then-current political themes of capitalism v. communism.
Note: There are multiple versions of Metropolis. The original German version remained unseen for many decades. Of this version, a quarter of the footage is believed to be permanently lost. The U.S. version, shortened and re-written by Channing Pollock, is the most commonly known and discussed.
The film is set in the year 2026, in the extraordinary Gothic skyscrapers of a corporate city-state, the Metropolis of the title. Society has been divided into two rigid groups: one of planners or thinkers, who live high above the earth in luxury, and another of workers who live underground toiling to sustain the lives of the privileged. The city is run by Johhan ‘Joh’ Fredersen (Alfred Abel).
Tonight we watched Metropolis – any comments for this film? Any comments of the film in relation to the readings?
Next up Blade Runner on 3/28