Metropolis, 1927

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 One of the most memorable scenes from Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang, was when Freder, son of Joh Fredersen, took over on the machine that Joh’s worker was operating. He started out fine but towards the end of the shift, he was in enormous pain and was clearly suffering. The clock scene was very significant in the fact that Freder represented a Christ-like figure as both his arms were hanging from the clock and his body was drooped downwards, similar to the way Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross.

(This is the clock scene when Freder was working the machine)

There are various themes that can be discovered in this movie. One of the themes of Metropolis is technology. The future of technology is displayed several times throughout the movie such as when Freder sees Metropolis for the first time. In the city, there are a combination of train-like vehicles, airplanes, and old-style cars. There are also gigantic skyscrapers and other buildings which present a futuristic to the audience. The ultimate expression of technology exists in the Machine-Man herself. Her entire metal exterior is gold in color and she is a robot that Rotwang has control over. Robots in multiple movies are thematic of the future and what the world will be like in upcoming generations. Also, in the background of Rotwang’s laboratory were numerous unknown devices that show what technology may appear to be in the future.   

       Metropolis

       Machine-Man

          Rotwang’s Laboratory

Another theme that exists in this film is the relations between the social classes. In the film, Joh Fredersen founded and runs Metropolis. He is an autocratic ruler and he has his workers underground which is right where they should be in the scheme of the world. The needs and safety of the workers mean nothing to Joh and he could care less if one of them dies from an industrial accident. In the relationship between the social classes, Joh is certainly of the highest class possible in Metropolis and has all the power. The blue-collar workers, on the other hand, are of the lower class in the city and are struck by poverty. These workers are viewed simply as mechanisms or extensions of the machines they are working on. Perhaps the film’s director, Fritz Lang, was trying to convey a message to the audience of Germany’s power struggles and issues of poverty and conflict which was present in Germany at the time the movie was made.

                                             

                                               Joh Fredersen

The theme of love is also an important one in Metropolis. Although the love between Freder and Maria did not last particularly long before she was kidnapped by Rotwang, they still showed a love for one another. This love was first seen in the beginning of the movie when Freder saw Maria for the first time. She was a glistening figure who was surrounded by dozens of poor children. Immediately, Freder was attracted to her and wanted to be with her. Their love was intensified later on in the film after Freder worked with his “brothers” underground and saw Maria once again. In Freder’s eyes, Maria was as beautiful as ever. The theme of love was shown once more when Rotwang demanded Maria to fall in love with Joh. Freder saw this and was heartbroken.

                                            

                                          Freder and Maria

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