An influential German sci-fi set in a highly-stylized city where a beautiful utopia exists above a bleak underworld populated by downtrodden workers. Privileged youth Freder discovers the grim scene beneath the surface and sets out to free them with the aid of rebellious teacher Maria.
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It's fun to think of how METROPOLIS has been appropriated in popular culture: from Peter Sellers' Dr. Strangelove to Madonna videos to BLADE RUNNER. Discussing its pervasive influence is easy. What interests me more is Lang and cowriter Thea von Harbou's meshing of modernity with occultism. Rotwang's old world of magic exists uncomfortably between the "hands" and "brain" of society. All superseded, of course by love.
I walked into this film expecting a nice historical artifact and got something more alive than just about anything I've seen in years. Half the shots here would be the best shot in anybody else's sci-fi movie. And all of it still works: as drama, as vision, as epic. 84 years old and still chugging, goddamn.
“The MEDIATOR between the HEAD and HANDS must be the HEART.” Simply astounding. If it is possible to fall absolutely and unequivocally in love with a film, then I have indeed done so with Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.