Thursday, 29 September 2016

"Metropolis" (1927)

Fig. 1 Metropolis poster
 "Metropolis"  takes audience to the unexpected future, big city, full of new technology. At that time of movie making, it was a fascinating experience to guess what's going to be in the future and implement it through the movie. This film is silent, so intelligible body language and background music gave a strong feeling to the movie, also making easier for viewers to understand what’s going on. “Metropolis” doesn’t have a specific genre. Therefore, it is thought that movie comes from a big variety of genres such as: science fiction, romance, disaster, and also horror.

Fig. 2 Metropolis city
"Metropolis" is one of a kind movie, which give a new feeling to the audience. As Roger says in his review: “Metropolis does what many great films do, creating a time, place and characters so striking that they become part of our arsenal images for imagining the world.” (Roger Ebert, 2010). The city is split into two sections, the depths where the workers were living and the upper part of the city, where all wealthy people were living luxurious lives. The movie begins from machinery movements and sounds, making it more dramatic, later on goes to the workers showing how they are working hard and trying to live their miserable, unhappy lives. The dynamic camera angles make the environment seem modern or even threatening. (Fig. 3 )

Fig. 3

A young man called Freder enjoys his life till one point, when he sees Maria standing in front of him with many workers’ children and saying “Look they’re your brothers!”. By that she meant, that they are same as him, a person, a human living who should enjoy his life instead of being trapped underneath the city. After a while Freder goes to the depths to find Maria and see his brothers, all he discovers there, a huge machine, which explodes in front of him. In his mind the machine becomes some kind of slavery totem, swallowing all workers. (Fig. 3 ) That leaves Freder shocked and scared. As the movie goes on and Rotwang, the mad scientist, creates a robot-man and gives the look of Maria, allowing him to manipulate and command the robot for his own sake, leading it to make chaos in the Metropolis. In the meantime, when the city is getting destroyed, Freder and Maria tries to save workers' children from the flood in the depths of the city. (Fig. 4) This image when Freder and Maria are on higher platform and all children's hands are on them, as if they are worshiping their saviour it
leaves huge effect,
as Philip says:  “It influenced generations of film-makers and musicians, providing iconic images of oppression and liberation.” (Philip French, 2015).
At the end of the film Freder fights evil scientist, Rotwang and wins the battle. This image of good versus bad leaves a big mark in movie making, up to this day good always wins against bad
Fig. 4 Freder and Maria saving children
“A masterpiece of art direction, the movie has influenced our vision of the future ever since, with its imposing white monoliths and starched facades.” (Mick LaSalle, 2002). The special effects are breathtaking, considering the film was made in 1927. It is impressive how filmmakers were able to create such disaster scenes, for example, machinery exploding and city collapsing. The camera becomes more elastic so it lets to capture more action and scenery.

All in all, people who have already watched the movie believe that "Metropolis" feels too messy and hardly understandable, sometimes it can have slow paste in actions, for example showing emotions between Maria and Freder. However, it is unfortunate that the movie is damaged and parts of the original film are still missing or can’t be recovered fully. Nevertheless, till this very day people enjoy watching "Metropolis" and it has left enormous impact to new generation movies.


Ebert R. , 2010 -

French P. , 2015 -

LaSalle M. , 2002 -

Illustration List:

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. Much better, Karolina :)
    Always use the surname rather than the first name of an author though, otherwise you sound a bit over-friendly. So the first time you mention someone, you can say, 'As Roger Ebert says in his review....' and then if you mention him again, it is just ' discussed by Ebert...'
    Also, the bibliography is organised alphabetically by the authors'' surnames... so,
    Ebert, R.
    French, P.
    LaSalle, M.