Saturday, 6 April 2013

Fritz Lang, Metropolis - An A-Z post

Photo courtesy of
Fritz Lang was a German director, famous for the 1927 silent movie Metropolis. He first conceived of the idea for the film following a visit to New York in 1924. The sight of the skyscrapers filled his imagination, and this is seen clearly in the movie he went on to create.

The film started out as a book written in 1925 by his then wife, Thea von Harbou. Far from being an inspiration for the film though, the novel was written specifically as a tried-and-tested publicity device for the film that would follow.

Metropolis is a futuristic dystopian fantasy with elements of science fiction thrown in, and I've noticed on the forums for this course that opinion is divided about it.
I for one definitely enjoyed it, and didn't even notice its running time of over 2 hours.

The film centres on the rich leader of the city, living above ground and looking out over it's skyscrapers. He represents the Head, in charge of the smooth running of the city as a whole.
Picture courtesy of
At the opposite end of the spectrum are the workers, living beneath ground and doing the actual work to make sure the city thrives. They are the Hand of the city.

The moral of the film is that the Heart is what connects the Head with the Hand, the Heart being a mediator to bridge the social gap between the workers and leaders.

It was odd and eerie, and the characters and actors in it kept me mesmerised throughout. I was drawn the most to Brigitte Helm, who portrayed both the 'original' good natured Maria, and also her evil robotic replacement. The two characters were polar opposites in every way and her interpretation of them both was excellent.

The theme for the study of this film is 20th Century cities, and this film shows much disparity between the rich living in the supraterranean part of the city, and the workers in the subterranean levels.

This film has been going around my mind a lot this week, the next assignment focuses on this film alongside Dubliners by James Joyce and various New York poems and stories. But more on those later!

A to Z Challenge [2013]


This post is part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. To get involved and check out other blogs taking part just click here. You won't be disappointed!



  1. Very interesting. To imagine the future back in the 1920s. Is the NOW that different from the movie? CEOs usually are in the ivory tower penthouse offices, and the workers are forced to keep everything running at a salary ensured to keep the working classes where they are. . .?

  2. Great comment DG -- TS Eliot, "We shall not cease from exploration etc.. . " It is different, but the same. Interesting to see the art/posters from that time period.

  3. I simply couldn't go away your website before suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info an individual supply on your guests? Is gonna be back ceaselessly to investigate cross-check new posts

    Also visit my web site; the original source