Metropolis

This was my second time seeing Metropolis and both times, my favorite part was when they were portraying Maria both as sort of evil and as good at the same time. This parallel montage was very interesting to me as they were both approaching the same goal and location but in very different ways. I also really liked how the evil Maria had subtle but distinguishing different physical characteristics, such as more eye makeup and her dress being pulled apart as well as messier hair. It was obvious that her personality was different but it still showed that it was the same body. Although at times it wasn’t blatantly obvious from her differing appearance, her mannerisms and just the look in her eye made it easy to tell which version of her it was. Something else that really intrigued me about this transformation was the impressive science they performed! For 1927, it’s a pretty big deal. It seemed to be very ahead of its time technologically and did a lot of pretty amazing things. Something else I noticed about this character development was the build-up leading up to her transformation. It was interesting that an enemy and a hero can be physically the same person but have a different persona. Metropolis is definitely a movie that I appreciate mostly because of the progressions it made for its time. Seeing it a second time definitely made me more attentive to the details such as the lighting, montages, and character body language. Watching a movie without sound is a surprisingly refreshing experience because the viewer is forced to pay close attention to the body movements and expressions. There are subtleties that I’m sure would go unnoticed if you could hear what the actors were saying. The character development and symbolism in Metropolis were very impressive and although it might not get as much credit today, doing something so revolutionary and different in 1927 is most definitely noteworthy.

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2 thoughts on “Metropolis

  1. It must have been interesting to see Metropolis for the second time, as you knew what to expect. You probably caught more details from the second time of watching it and more details than anyone else in the class that had not seen it at all! I agree that Maria’s transformation and the two different Maria’s were the best parts of the movie. Obviously they look alike because it is the same actor, but I thought it was great how you could tell each Maria apart. You are correct in saying that the robot-version has more makeup and a more disheveled look to match her character. That is another bonus of a silent film. Although you cannot hear what the actors are saying, they do a great job illustrating the different personalities through facial expressions and gestures. I was also thinking about how advanced the special effects were for its time. I can’t imagine how it must have been to make those montages without all of the technological shortcuts that we have today!

  2. Filmed in 1927, I have to agree with you on Metropolis’ revolutionizing quality. The film had me raising the question as to how much Metropolis had truly influenced the science fiction genre for the many years after its release. Out of my observations, C-3PO from Geroge Lucas’ Star Wars saga had a striking resemblance to the machine man. In fact, the whole idea of a machine rising against humans has become a recurring plot in science fiction with movies such as Terminator and I-Robot. It is very interesting to see that even after all this time, the ideas and themes from Metropolis are still prevalent in modern film.

    I also seem to share your opinion on the silent film as a refreshing experience. Without speaking dialogue, the silence allowed me to greater focus my attention on the actors and their expressions. Although these actors do not get the same notoriety as many in the field do today, I have truly come to appreciate their talents because without words, their acting certainly became even more difficult to convey on the screen.

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