I remember my first cinema trip as a young boy going to watch ‘Star Wars IV: A New Hope’ when it was came back to the big screen in the early 90’s. The final scene of the x-wings going toward the Death Star will be one of my fondest memories of childhood. Therefore I am thankfully for its predecessor ‘Metropolis’ which probably without this feature would have never had been created. Fritz Lang ingenious interpretation of humanities future is a visually stunning and creative account of a man’s belief of the future (Not to mention the theory of extreme segregation possible coming true during the 1939-45 period if it turned out differently). Lang imagination throughout is without doubt mind blowing and ultimately showing some advanced thinking. As the creative structure of the futuristic city is evidence of this. In result, being copied/ interpreted throughout history in more recent films (such as ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Minority Report and the previously mentioned ‘Star Wars Saga’). Making Lang brainchild the key resource of which any other sci-fi director’s brainchild has been envisioned.
‘Metropolis’ is based in Lang 2026 notion of New York City. The film is based on the classic and well known ideology of segregation between the classes, which has been seen throughout the history of the planet. With the iconic hero who discover the truth after being hidden from it for years. In this case ‘Freder’ is this protagonist who stumble upon this disgraceful truth after chasing after a women (Nothing new about men there hey). Still this feature was ahead of its time without doubt as the underlying message of this film is quite noticeable the ‘Equality’. For a viewer in the late 1920’s this film was revolutionary with now iconic feature of the sci-fi genre. The most iconic of all being the robot which is quite simply a ‘suggestion that robots will supplant humans in time’ therefore making this metaphor simply a tool ‘foreshadows a hundred other sci-fi movies, but is rarely so simply and expressively told.’ - Simon Hugo. Ultimately making this ‘Metropolis’ the godfather of Sci-fi. #
Yet Lang ability to envision both the utopia and dystopia of the future at the turn of the last century was legendary. When viewing the film and taking in the environment immediately we can see the similarities in recent films such as ‘Coruscant’ in Star Wars or even ‘City of the Damned’ in Judge Dredd to mention a few. Lang’s idea has echoed through time and is probably perfected vision on which everyone has pick details and applied to their creations and yet the magnificent achievement of creating such scenery is second to known in the eyes of the viewer as at this period the structure is beautifully detailed where needed without the advance tech of the day. Once more when looking in to the environments we see two side of that segregation as the Dystopia is nothing but the Yang to the Utopia being blocky, plain, and pretty much having the facade of a prison (quite apt in all honesty). Whist the Ying (Utopia) is a city brimmed with immense facets of highly detailed architecture without doubt matching the style of present architecture. Easily making Lang’s vision of ‘The towering, angular cityscapes, oppressive walls of machinery, and the now iconic “machine man” are stylistic triumphs that look great today and have had obvious influence on more recent science fiction/fantasy classics,’ – Colin. Also making most probably being part of the ideology of our current architecture.
If only Lang could have seen how his film truly influenced the sci-fi genre as George Lucas could quite easily have a court case on his hand with C3-PO and Coruscant being too close for comfort to Lang’s original robot and Metropolis cityscape. Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ has been under constant fire of criticism until the recent find of 25 minutes of missing footage (at a museum in Buenos Aires). For the reason that the film hadn’t got a story that can be understood. Yet, how can we have really question such a historic film as it has been referenced and even stolen in recent sci-fi and even other genres of movies. Although it has to be able to have the 20 minutes we’re able ‘To see the film as the director intended, on the big screen with an original score recorded by a 60-piece orchestra, greatly enhances the reputation of a film already considered one of the icons of the silent era... A broad influence on modern films — "The Bride of Frankenstein," "Blade Runner," "Dr. Strangelove," among others.’ – Kenneth Turan. Like a ‘The Cabinet Of Dr.Caligari’; ‘Metropolis’ is the landmark of the sci-fi genre and not mention the reality we live in. A movie, which without doubt shows the capability of the creative mind of man.