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Metropolis (1927) This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Untilthe unveiling of "Metropolis," the world had not seen ascience fiction film of such epic drama. Directorial genius Fritz Langbrings to life the futuristic city of Metropolis. This finely-craftedfilm combines drama and science fiction fantasy, and is sure to pleaseeven the most contemporary moviegoer.

The year is 2026. At firstglance it is a perfect world. In addition to glamorous surroundings andtowering skyscrapers, Metro-polis is inhabited by a visionary race ofhumans. The people live a life of perfect bliss, unhindered byburdensome tasks and physical labor. The viewer thinks the future iswithout worries, but below the streets of perpetual pleasure lies aworking-class of mechanical mayhem. Living only to descend each day intothis world of grueling horrors, the workers slave away so that thechosen few may live a life of luxury above.

Lang creates amazingimages of a living city that must have astounded his original audience;those images still make the story believable decades later. Usingrevolutionary techniques with mirrors and set models, Lang bringsMetropolis to life.

More versions of this black and white Germanclassic are available. Unfortunately, the 1926 original cut as finalizedby Lang no longer exists, though the many other versions are nearcomplete, and probably just as enjoyable. In some restorations, theviewer can enjoy a modern sound track and color tinting. While neitherwas part of the original masterpiece, they appeal to those who would nototherwise cherish a silent film.

Although the visual presentationis superb, the real satisfaction is in the storyline. The story beginswith Freder (Gustav Frohlich), one of the elite who lives above groundin luxury. Like those around him, he has no concern for the underclassthat is the life-blood of the city. Everything changes for theprivileged Freder when he falls in love with a beautiful worker, Maria(Brigitte Helm). Part of the exploited work force, Maria captivatesFreder and their two worlds collide as he tries to understand herplight. Meanwhile, paradise begins to crumble as the ties of classrepression diminish.

I highly recommend "Metropolis" toanyone who enjoys a story questioning society and what the future holds.Science fiction enthusiasts will also find themselves enticed by themovie's plot and overall effect. This masterpiece of the silent film eracan capture anyone's interest.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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