German, silent, science fiction film that was released in 1927 during what was considered to be the end of the Whimper Cinema era. Metropolis is considered to be an expressionist film due to its use of symbols found in the scenery, over exaggerated acting style, and heavy makeup. The scenery in the film was delivered in a black and white, dreamlike, theatrical tone. A lot of the objects found in the scenery were found as a symbolic connotation to the subtle meanings expressed throughout.
As discussed in class, we had noticed a definite religious over tone with the imagery seen throughout including scenes displayed in the Garden of Eden, Catacombs, Babel and cross imagery. The main character of the film is a young man named Freer who is the son of the all mighty and powerful Josh Preferred. Josh is seen as a self-righteous and inconsiderate man who is the head of the town Metropolis and is in charge of all the workers whose hands power this town.
Josh however is not a fair boss and works his men to unbearable extremes. As discussed in class, you are able to notice one the many expressionist attributes in this film being how the workers In the film move aerobically as if they are a machine and have been euthanized by their occupation. These workers are not seen by Josh as humans but are rather seen as the light switch flipping on and off the machines, powering his business. Freer is the median trying to bring both of these two clashing worlds together.
He tries to help the workers value themselves as human beings as well as help to show his father that these workers aren’t his slaves. The expressive and overall basis of the movie Lies within the repetitively used saying throughout the film, “The median between the hands and the head Is the heart. ” The overall meaning of the film Is expressed through the scenery and acting In film. As It Is a silent expressionist film, the acting Is reliant on conveying this meaning by the over exaggerated movements and emotions displayed.
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