Metropolis had been on my “To watch” list for a very long time. Its history, part of the movie being discovered, the praise it has received and that iconic image of the robot were all reasons why I wanted to see this. I hadn’t seen it yet because of its length (I don’t mind silent movies), but finally managed to make the time to see this movie classic.
For those not familiar with the movie, it was made in 1927 by Fritz Lang and is considered one of the most expensive movies of the time (costing 5 million marks), it had huge sets and used (according to IMDB) 37000 extras. Over time parts of the movie were considered lost, but resurfaced in Argentina a couple of years ago. It still isn’t complete, but only small parts are missing now.
The story of Metropolis is still relevant. It’s about a big city in which there is a big divide between the working class and the rich. The poor work far underneath the city doing hard labor and where they are seen as numbers, no longer as people. One day the son of one of the wealthiest men in the city falls in love with a girl who gives hope to the workers. Once he sees the reality they live in he decides to fight for them.
Now this is a movie where some things do seem silly now, but the message it brings is clear. I was very impressed by the looks of this movie and it’s enough reason to watch it. You can’t help to be impressed knowing that some shots were achieved by exposing the same piece of film tens of times to get the effects realised. This must have been the Avatar of its day (although it wasn’t a big success at the time)