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METROPOLIS directed by Fritz Lang Released in 1927.

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1 METROPOLIS directed by Fritz Lang Released in 1927

2 Fritz Lang Austrian-American film director. Made more than 30 films in Germany and the United States. Half Jewish - Became an American citizen in 1935. Lang’s early architectural and art training is evident in his visual approach; he developed narrative and created an atmosphere through EXPRESSIONISTIC, SYMBOLIC SETS AND LIGHTING, AS WELL THROUGH HIS EDITING. Just as conventional lines and shapes are distorted in traditional German expressionism, Lang’s futuristic cityscapes are distorted. Even though Fritz was from Austria, his works are studied as German cinema. The striking and innovative German silent cinema drew much from expressionist art and classical theater techniques of the period.

3 A great way to show a dystopia Expressionism: An anti-realistic, anti- naturalistic movement in European and American Theater/Film during the 1920’s, emphasizing a struggle for spiritual renewal, and characterized by EPISODIC plays/films in which scenes and actions followed each other in a sequence not always based on logical cause and effect, with stylized acting and cubistic and surrealistic set designs. Surrealism: A movement in the 1920’s and 1930’s to remove the idea of ordinary realism from theater and replace it with the notion that reality resides in the unconscious mind.

4 The Look of Metropolis From the opening of the film, we see a MONTAGE or meshing gears and pounding machinery. This film obviously predates Bladerunner, but is said to have inspired it. The buildings in Bladerunner are said to resemble the buildings in Metropolis. The geometric patterns formed by buildings and workers alike vividly shows how the two are meshed symbiotically in this future hell. Technically groundbreaking at the time, with its mixing of models with live action, it is still impressive today. Because it is a silent film the acting is often melodramatic and extreme (since this was the only way to project sufficient emotion at that time). By the mid-1920’s, the technical proficiency of the Germa film surpassed any other in the world.

5 Film and/as Art German films declined quickly after 1925, becoming imitations of Hollywood productions. Since Lang is a self-proclaimed, “visual person” German expressionism was the perfect style for him to work from for his epic science fiction film, Metropolis. This 1926 silent, tinted film relies on innovative visual imagery that was well ahead of its time. Story takes place in 2026. Since this movie was produced not long after the industrial revolution, it could be a foreshadowing of what the world would have been like if the industrial revolution had kept growing. The character of Joh has the biblical parallel of the Egyptian pharaoh enslaving the Jews to build pyramids.

6 Trivia Film included more than 37,000 extras including 25,000 men, 11,000 women, 1,100 bald men, 750 children, 100 dark-skinned people and 25 Asians. Reportedly one of Adolf Hitler's favorite films.Adolf Hitler No optical printing system existed at the time, so to create a matte effect, a large mirror was placed at an angle to reflect a piece of artwork while live footage was projected onto the reverse. To expose the projected footage, the silvering on the back of the mirror had to be scraped off in strategically appropriate places. One mistake would ruin the whole mirror. This was done for each separate shot that had to be composited in this manner. This procedure was developed by Eugen Schüfftan and is known as the "Schufftan Process.“Eugen Schüfftan The multiple-exposed sequences were not created in a lab but right during the filming on the set. The film was rewound in the camera and then exposed again right away. This was done up to 30 times.

7 Trivia Cont. This film took 2 years to shoot. Adjusting for inflation, the budget for Metropolis ran around $200 million (June, 2007). The robot of this film inspired the look for C-3PO in Star Wars (1977).Star Wars In the novelization, the robot is described as a woman "of glass and metal," and her name is Parody; Maria's features are sculpted onto its face by Rotwang itself, using Maria as a guide.

8 For decades, all that survived of "Metropolis" were an incomplete original negative and copies of shortened, re-edited release prints; over a quarter of the film was believed lost. However, in July 2008 Germany's 'ZEITmagazin' reported the discovery of a copy of the original, full-length print which had been sent to Argentina in 1928. Examining the reels in Buenos Aires, cinema experts realised that they contained the missing sequences (predominantly those involving the Thin Man who spies on Freder, and worker 11811 in Yoshiwara). Additionally, in October 2008 it was announced that another (hopefully) early copy in the obsolete 9.5mm format had been held in the University of Chile's film library, intentionally mislabelled to avoid destruction during 1973's military coup. It is as yet unknown if this holds any further viewable footage. After almost 80 years, the film is now hoped to be complete.

9 Go to for more trivia and goofs Continuity: When Freder, and Rotwang are fighting on top of the Cathedral, it is daytime. But in the shot of the workers, Grot, and Joh on the ground, it is night. Revealing mistakes: When Rotwang is pursuing Maria, and she takes a candle from the wall, a hose can be seen trailing behind her, and in some shots going down her sleeve. Presumably this is carrying gas for the prop candle.

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