Undercutting Classics

Because who needs another in-depth review of universally agreed upon classics.

Metropolis (dir. Fritz Lange – 1927)

Metropolis cleaves society into two parts: the Head, the wealthy industrialists who enjoy the spoils of their city of light and electricity, and the Hands, the workers living below the city who maintain the machines that keep the Head spinning. Somewhere in the middle is Freder (Gustav Frohlich). The son of the mayor of Metropolis, Freder decides that with the help of the prophet Maria (Brigitte Helm), he will bring harmony to the head and the hands. Of course, Freder’s father, Joh (Alfred Abel), hates team work and commissions his mad scientist, Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), to build a robot in Maria’s likeness to help squash the seeds of dissent. Dads.

Metropolis, as you’ve probably heard, is among the most accomplished and influential films of all time. Lange created a new set of storytelling and visual tools to give his city, from the buildings’ sharp corners to the molten underground, extraordinary weight and realism. By constructing such a believable space for his characters, all of Lange’s metaphorical and emotional tricks pay off, so the film can hit its philosophical target, while retaining the audience’s undivided attention.

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