movie review: metropolis

I’d never seen Fritz Lang’s Metropolis before, but one of my profs had a copy she was willing to lend out. With cyborgs in the air I decided I needed to see it. I hadn’t realized it had such a rich vs poor, high society vs underground thing going, but it definitely does. This isn’t the newly restored version that’s coming out on DVD in November (after they found more film reels in Argentina?) so there were intertitles summarizing several chunks. I kind of liked that meta-ness to it. To be missing parts and have them described. I like the whole abstractness of the silent movie in general, the lack of dialogue that’s necessary in a movie with actors bringing what they have to parts. Who needs talkies anyway? And the fact that it’s got an inventor making a robot with this saintly woman’s body, in order to discredit her good works in the undercity, well, it’s kind of awesome. Also, there were a lot of extras used to good effect in the mob scenes.

One thing that was weird, was how modern it felt. Of course, it felt modern because Guy Maddin seems to be channeling these kinds of movies in his work. It’s a neat kind of atemporality.

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