A scene that really stuck out for me was when Freder, on his quest to find Maria, ends up in the pits of the working class’s underground. He is unsure what he will find but he holds true to himself. The journey to the depths of the workers brings him to a monstrosity of a machine that is worked day in and day out by the enslaved workers. The machine has many steps, levers, pipes, and mechanical parts but as Freder thinks he sees just a large machine he realizes it is not just a machine, but a monster that lives on the flesh, blood, sweat and tears of the enslaved and working class. This film was essential and revolutionary in its set design; that is why this scene left such a lasting impression on me.
The machine monster had an Art Deco design which was what the 1920’s were known for in Europe. Deco designs originally came from a combination in craft designs and most importantly machine materials and imagery. The ornate features of the monster and the bold geometric shape clearly give this monster a fearsome quality of the path in which mankind might be headed to.
The guards at the lips of the giant machine had a very ancient quality in the method of sacrifice although their attire is very “Si-fi-esque” and very different for the time of 1927. The uniform downward heads of the workers inching their way up to the top exemplifies that the workers have accepted their fate. However the guards show now mercy, they show no regard for human life and see it as a vehicle for progress. This scene uses historical allusions of ancient cultures to prove its ever repeating point of the continual disregard of the rights and liberties that the underclass should be granted as working members of society.