Week 2 Blog Assignment

The scene that was the most dramatic for me was the one in which Maria was trying to save all the children in the underground city while their parents were celebrating about destroying the heart machine. The “plastics” of the scene played a huge role in portraying the suspense and action of the film. The sets were very elaborate for this scene because they had to show the water rushing into the city, as well as the heart machine and the entire city being destroyed. However, while these effects were elaborate, I thought that the attention to the actual storyline was lacking. This relates to what Bazin felt about the use of montage and that it can sometimes take away from the storyline. This is what I felt was happening here. I was a bit confused in this scene as to how the parents were not concerned or thinking about their children. The worker at the heart machine told them that the city would be flooded if they destroyed it, so did they not realize that their children were in danger? I didn’t understand how all the parents could have left their children unattended as such. In this scene I thought that the main focus was on how the city was being destroyed and not about the actual storyline.

This scene is also essential in portraying the true character of Freder. In this scene we see his acts of heroism in saving Maria and the children. Freder’s character up until this point was not very involved in helping the worker’s situation, even when he spent one day working. His love for Maria brought out the bravery and courage in him and he felt obligated to do as much as he could to save the children that Maria deeply cared for.

This film was very interesting and it just makes me realize how movies have changed  from the 1920’s until now!


5 thoughts on “Week 2 Blog Assignment

  1. I believe that this scene was a huge turning point in the pace of the movie. I don’t think that any scene before had such a build up of tension as well as fast and intense movement by the characters.

    I thought the scene was very elaborate, especially from the 1920s. Really shows the effort it takes to make a movie. Especially one of that caliber.

    I must agree with you on how the scene itself detracted from the actual story line. I believe that the frantic motions and cuttings between scenes really hurt the feel of the scene. The rapidness of it really left no time for the story to really set in and be absorbed by viewers. Simply the scene happened. It was really irrational of how the parents acted. It just made no sense. Again, it just happened. It really just showcased the consequences and destruction wrought by the workers.

    But Freder really became a hero in this scene. He took the initiative, he took action, and finally showed off his own courage and willingness to help others, although majority of what happened prior had little of that. Besides his scene with Geordy(11811).

    Really this film made me appreciate older films and films in general. To think that this was made in the 1920s is astounding. Even then, movies has a sense of quality and effort that could be blatantly seen.

  2. I agree with you both that this scene almost detracts from the story line. Even as we were watching the film, many people were commenting on some of the absurdities that this scene presented — “Where these kids’ parents?” was a comment that I heard whispered several times. This scene did confuse me in that sense; why don’t the parents care or even pretend to notice that their kids are in the city that they just heard was about to be flooded?

    That being said, I also do admire the plastics of this scene. The flood, water pouring out of the roof and floor and out of buildings looks like it took a lot of time and effort (and money) to create. It is really impressive considering the time period in which this movie was filmed.

    So, the plastics of the scene were impressive but this scene certainly does add to Bazin’s point of how some older films created meaning out of juxtaposing shots together, rather than creating meaning out of the shots and scenes themselves, by means of mise-en-scene.

  3. Is it possible that the fact that the parents aren’t concerned about their kids is a symbol? I may be reading too much into it, but I think it represents two things: First, it is a basic human characteristic for a parent to care for their child, not just in a putting food on the table way, but in an emotional way as well. Therefore, since these parents don’t seem to remember, let alone care about their kids at all, it symbolizes the dehumanization that the working class members of this society are suffering. This is happening because the people are so tuned into the machines and to technology. That being said, I think it also ties in the concept of the Machine-Man; Metropolis is in a way, ahead of its time because it speaks to the somewhat modern idea that the line is blurring between the machine that operates like a man and a man that operates like a machine.

  4. Do you know what that scene reminds me of? (the scene of Maria saving the children from the flood)? I didn’t realize it until I read your post, but that scene reminds me of Moses saving the Israeli slaves by parting the Red Sea. So these guys weren’t technically slaves (or were they?), but Maria is this godly/saintly figure who steps in and saves them from their oppressors (the people in the Club of the Sons) as well as saves them from a treacherous body of water. I think there are a lot of similarities, and I definitely think that that’s what that scene was supposed to allude to because there are already so many other Biblical references in the movie that it just makes sense that there would be another one, right? But, I don’t know.. no one is exactly trying to stop Maria from saving the kids, so the allusion isn’t perfect, but I just thought I’d share my ideas. I really liked your post.

  5. I believe this scene was only somewhat dramatic. In my own personal opinion, the most dramatic scene was when Maria bewitches the mighty men of Metropolis. The heavy use of montage emphasizes her hypnotic effect on all the man. Also, how the scene starts slow and gradually becomes faster switching off between views of all the men staring and her dancing. This almost creates a mesmerizing experience for the viewer as well. As the camera zooms in on the faces of the men, the scene switches become faster, and Maria reveals more of herself, you find yourself leaning more towards the end of your chair. In the ending scene its more of a continuous shot as it builds up with the display of the camera zooming out and the magnitude of children running out their homes as the city floods. This does create some dramatic affect as we wait to see what happens but in a much slower sense.

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