Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Metropolis (4.5)



(Watch the Trailer)

The 1927 golden classic silent film by Fritz Lang.

Set in a futuristic city where the working class and the proletariat's are strictly divided. The son of the city's master falls in love with a working class woman who is trying to bring peace and connect the two classes. The son sets out into the working world to find her but little does he know that he is the savior the city has been waiting for.

I have seen this movie before years ago but I wanted to go back and watch it again seeing how it's on the 100 Essential Films. I am glad I went back and watched it again.

I have always been a lover of black and white films with a special place in my heart for silent films. I'm not sure what it is about them, maybe it's the fact that you really have to pay attention to every little emotional change in the actors and look for imagery and physical metaphors that will help you grasp the story. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the music really forms and shifts the entire film and is just as important as dialogue is to us modern day movie watchers. Maybe it's both, maybe I miss the slower pace, slightly more simplistic, less "take it easy" on the audience type movies. I think everyone should go back and watch these historic films if only to better understand how sad Hollywood really has become...but enough of that.

I cannot say that the acting was anything solid but that's the style and although it seems silly and overly dramatic to me now I can full appreciate the amazing talent behind being able to convey your voice through the expression on your face. Incredible. I sure as hell can do it and you probably couldn't either so see if for what it is - beautiful. This movie especially, when the woman is the machine...those little twitches and eye thing are genius. Ahh, the little things. Magical.

The story itself is pretty intense and it has a lot of symbolism and is basically one giant metaphor for the times when it was made. Industrial peak, post WWI, greater division between the upper and lower classes...all of it is mashed into one fantastic tale with a little bit of forbidden love and a dash of evil. They just don't make movies like this anymore...in fact, I highly doubt they could even if they tried.

Some of the scenes are really moving and powerful and I was shocked by how emotionally attached I became by the end. I was mumbling at my screen and shaking my head when people did something stupid...

If this movie wasn't on the 100 films list I mentioned before I still would say it was an essential film and that you need to watch it. It's worth it. Don't mistake the silent part for boring because this movie is anything but boring.

4.5/5



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