#31. Metropolis (1927)

metropolis wideI’m likely to fuck up any effort at summarizing the movie so I’ll just say that it’s about a beautiful, Edenic, aboveground city for rich people that is fueled by a dilapidated, insular, underground city for the poor. The poor people end up rioting. They destroy their underground city at the behest of a sexy robot whom they later burn at the stake.

It is a very good movie.

Fritz Lang is again showcasing a visual motif with all these parallel lines. I was wondering if we’re supposed to notice this or if it’s meant to work as like a subliminally endearing trend. Something that makes us lean a little bit forward, unknowingly.

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I prefer Dr. Mabuse over Metropolis, personally, but also acknowledge that the latter, in terms of scale and skill and beauty, is a better movie than the former. Mabuse himself, Rudolf Klien-Rogge, is in this movie too. He plays Rotwang, the mad scientist who invents the female robot (boobs and all) in hopes of resurrecting a woman named Hel whom he loved, who was married to another man, and who has since died, and while Klein-Rogge definitely hams it up as this lovelorn Doc Brown prototype, wide-eyed and shouting with frayed white hair, I think he also imbues the role with some heart. I’m really digging this actor.

The filmmaker too. There isn’t much I can say about this movie that hasn’t already been said. It’s a masterpiece. Check it out.


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