Thursday, 3 October 2013

Metropolis (1927) Review Fritz Lang

Metropolis (1927) Review
Fritz Lang

Metropolis is a silent German expressionistic film directed by Fritz Lang and is considered to be one of the first true Science Fiction films to be created.  The basis of the film is set in a futuristic city where two classes of people are separated by the ground level; the rich upper class living above ground compared to the poor workers living underground. The story involves the son of the city's creator falling in love of with a working class social worker whilst those living underground are planning an uprising against the upper class.

Lang created an incredible masterpiece city which makes it seem that the film is way ahead of its time. "Above ground, it has spires and towers, elevated highways, an Olympian stadium and Pleasure Gardens." (Roger Ebert, 2010) The audience of the film would expect a stunning use of set design considering the immense amount of money spent on the production, "Metropolis consumed resources that would have yielded upwards of 20 conventional features, more than half the studio's entire annual production budget." (Bruce Eder, Date Unknown) Metropolis created the template for many future films for the classic futuristic city and landscapes. When watching the film, certain scenes produce hints of inspiration possibly used by most recent pictures. For example I noticed a large correlation between the Metropolis city and the city planet of Coruscant seen in the Star Wars Saga. (Figure 1).

Figure 1.
                                  (1)                                                                    (2)

Lang also uses a strong sense of cultural diversity ranging from set design to character costumes. The first hint of this would be the scene where Joh Frederson hallucinates and pictures one of the workers machines as huge monster that consumes the workers, "Freder has a vision in which the machinery turns into an obscene, devouring monster" (Roger Ebert, 2010). The monster in this scene reminded me of the Sphinx statues seen in Egypt (3). Another form of culture that may have inspired Lang with his creation is that of Asia. The scene I am referring to is where the robot Maria is dancing and celebrating with the workers. In this scene Maria is wearing a dress and headdress, with a very Asian quality, whilst dancing upon a statue made up of what looks like dragons and other mythical creature which play a part in the Asian culture (4).

                                     (3)                                                                                 (4)

 Once again, Metropolis has made the benchmark for modern cinema and television. Other links to today's pictures revolve around the robot created by the mad scientist, Rotwang. From this character we can draw direct links to the Cybermen used in Doctor Who (5) and the friendly robot servant, C3PO, seen in the Star Wars films (6).
                                              (6)                                   (5)


1. (Roger Ebert, 2010)
Accessed 3 October 2013
2. (Bruce Eder, Date Unknown)
Accessed 3 October 2013
3. (Roger Ebert, 2010)
Accessed 3 October 2013


(1) -
        Accessed 3 October 2013
(2) -
        Accessed 3 October 2013
(3) -
        Accessed 3 October 2013
(4) -
        Accessed 3 October 2013
(5) -
       Accessed 3 October 2013
(6) -
       Accessed 3 October 2013


  1. Hi Will.

    Just want to let you know that you'll need to resize your photos to fit the post page and in regards to referencing the right way, I referred to

    Hope it helps! :)

    1. Hi, thank you for the feedback and I will certainly take it into account :)

  2. Hi Will,
    Yes, I'm with Ayunie - check out the referencing guide available on myUCA under the Library tab. When you are referencing quotes within the text, you only need the author's surname and date, so (Ebert, 2010), and if you don't know the date, you put s.d., so (Eder, s.d.).
    In your bibliography, you put the author's surname followed by initial, so Ebert, R. then the date in brackets. Follow this with the title of the piece of work, in italics, and then At: web address. You finish up with 'Accessed on' in brackets... The guide is very clear on how to format all sorts of references! :) Just as an example, this is the webpage used as an example in the guide -

    Giles, J. (2001) A Filmmakers' Guide to Distribution and Exhibition. At: (Accessed on 14.06.09)
    (The 'A Filmmakers'Guide' part should be in italics, but I can't do that in the comments box here!)

    The only other comment would be to not use the 1st person; you say, for example, 'The scene I am referring to is where the robot Maria is dancing...' which would sound more scholarly if you wrote something like, 'During the scene where the robot Maria is dancing...' Have a look at the table I published on the group blog on the 1st October, for more suggestions on writing in the 3rd person.