City Tech, Fall 2016

Category: Metropolis (Page 2 of 2)

Evil plots, times two

The Film Metropolis which was made in 1927 starts off with multiple exposure shots of machines, which leads to the effect of seeming many things moving on one frame (3:36). This effect is used through the film and is very good at capturing the interest of mind and eye. Soon after the end of this period of machine operation two large clocks are shown. One is the larger 10 hour clock which does not make sense while the other is bases on the 24 hour system (3:38). With this it is safe to say that is taking place on earth or another planet with a similar axial rotation, the year is not made apparent. As soon as the 10 hour clock reaches the 10th hour mark we see steam whistles go off and see text saying shift change (4:00). This means that people work 10 hour shifts which means they do have standard work times based on the 24 hour period due to the hours spilling over to the next day. Also it feels like they are robbed of 4 hours, it is as though they live in another world where it is a 20 hour day. The next scene is the worker standing before gates as they rise to allow them to enter and leave. Both groups wear the same uniform and both are equals as dead as they walk in formations (4:20). They then got onto elevators that also move as slowly as the workers and we are told of the city of workers deep underground. As we go down with them we see what seems to skylights from the ground above the underground city (5:56) as they go further down. They keep in groups as the march to their homes, simple and square, all like the others near them.

After seeing the world below, the world above is shown after text that runs opposite the one that told of the world below (6:54). This text is in a pyramid shape and is rising from below vs the city of works text that was blocky and falling. The world above looks to be a sport complex and has Greek influences on its design. The dome and sculptures on the buttress showing various forms of sports and the track and field seems to be Olympian in nature. All in white and alive with people vs the depths below. This place is called the son’s club and is populated by young males who compete with each other (7:14), there are also those who would cheat as seen at the end of the race those who ran to watch victor started to run for goal themselves at the last second (7:26). They are the sons of the masters of the machines that run the city, and have given their sons the “Eternal Gardens” (7:36). It is in this garden that we first seen the daughters of the masters of the machines and they seem to be there to sever the sons as well (7:56) (8:04). They wear clothing that is meant to be visually pleasing and it is unknown if they wear it because they want to or if they forced/excepted to. When the main male lead runs in it becomes a game between him and the Women (9:00). Freder the main lead chases after one of the women into another part of the garden near fountains. The women hides behind one that has a mermaid in it and then calls after him (9:20). However the world of the upper class is disrupted by the visit of the working class children who follow a young woman that states that they are their bothers. They all wear simple clothing vs their counter parts above (10:23) (11:02), this seems to be a shock to those who above as they look at them with black stares and in a stupor. It is also at this time that Freder falls in love with the working class women and goes after her (11:42-13:25). This leads him to the realm of the machines and of the world of the workers. It is here he sees their toils and the terrors of the work they do and how everyday they march back to it every 10 hours for 10 hours. However the men and machines move as robotically as each other (13:50) (14:00). Freder comes across a large machine that is worked by many (14:01) that move in a sequence and rhythmic pattern. One of the workers however cannot keep up in the regulation of the overall machine (13:30) and this leads to a rise in over pressure and the machine blows (15:19). This hurts man who worked on the machine and lead to Freder seeing the machine as the gates to hell (14:48) as the men are being led to it in chains and then the next shift marches in to take their place and enter hell (16:40). He has probably never seem the machines before this day and with all the sound and steam they would make it could lead to him being overwhelmed and the force of the “explosion” could have given him as concussion. But the workers marched on, to take the place of those lost. It is unclear if this was the first time this happened or if this happened every few hours, days, weeks or any other time frame.

Freder is sadden by what he sees and heads to see his father at the new tower of Bable (17:46). His path shows the city for the first time with tiered highways, bridges, crossings, planes, cars, trains and buildings on top of another (17:59 -18:50). Once there his father is talking to others who work for him giving orders or just having his ideas recorded and therefor does not want to be disturbed (19:56). This is most likely why he wanted to have all the sons and daughters to be in the “sons club and the Eternal Gardens” so they would not be a problem for him and his workers. Also he is more concerned about the explosion then his son’s feelings (21:42) and that he found out about from him and not his people. When Freder tells his father why he went to the machine halls his father has him followed (32:29).

Next we see Freder trade places with a worker and take his place to the end of his shift (34:15) while the worker ignores his orders of going to his friend’s house and head to the club with the money he found in the pockets of Freder’s cloths, giving into his desire, greed, lust and other deadly sins (37:57).

The next thing we see is mad man who is an inventor named Rotwang and in his house is a monument to a Women named Hel who Rotwang loved and lost to Joh Fredersen and died giving birth to Freder. Joh Fredersen finds this and looks upon it until Rotwang stops him. Rotwang blames him for his loss (40:32) and goes on to say that she is not dead to him. He used his hand or lost his hand while bring the women he loved back (41:07) and this is where we are shown the android that he made and what he calls the machine-man (42:49). Rotwang says he only 24 hours more to make her untellable from regular people. Al the while Freder is hard at work (44:18).
All this shows that people are needed for the machines they made to work vs “the machine” that worked on it’s won and fixed itself. Here men die and their lives are bad but they still serve the machine simply their master is a human who owns all they have. So is it not better to have the machines work by itself and live a comfortable life free of work? You lose your life one way or another, in one you work for near to nothing and in the other do not work and gain? What? “The machine” never told us what it gave people or what people worked for. Equality under a machine or inequality under man, what is more human? Or should humans become the machines they make and join in timeless labor with machines.
Soon the work that Freder is doing on machine becomes too much for him as he wish for the 10 hours to be up as he tried to speed them up only for them to go back down (47:30). Soon he leaves with the others to head into the catacombs to hear the words of the woman he sought (51:15) and so does his father who wanted to know what they were doing down below. There the women tells of the legend of the construction of the tower of babel (52:35), how people wanted to reach the stars above and write in glory “Great is the world and its Maker” and in their hubris added “And great is Man”. But wants and ideas alone would not make the tower so the need to get workers. They told them not their dreams or why they wanted this tower built. They paid workers and in they marched as now the workers of the current city do, dead, in formation thousands of workers (53:51). The workers hated the project as they toiled on the tower, moving huge blocks of stone to support the weight of the tower. They had no idea of what it was to be and hated those who made them work. And so the tower was never made, the workers cut of the head that made the hands work and left what they did behind. Ruined down below on the ground the star mocked man by writing the word he wished in the night sky above his ruined dream (55:08). The woman tells of the lesson of the story that the head and hands need a mediator and that should be the heart. (55:33). As everyone leaves Freder remains keeling and then calls out to Maria but Rotwang is watching and blocks the view of Freder’s father (58:05) and Maria goes to Freder and calls him the mediator and he accepts the role. At this time Freder’s father decides to make an evil scheme and turn the idol of the workers into a demon by having Rotwang make the machine-man look like her (59:57). Rotwang accepts due to him plotting his own scheme to destroy everything that Joh Fredersen has Rotwang goes after Maria and captures her (1:06:04).

Freder looks for Maria the next day in the cathedral but cannot find her while a priest says “verily, I say unto you: the days of which the Apocalypse speaks draw nigh!” “And I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color. Having a golden cup in her hand. And upon her forehead was a name written, a mystery: Babylon the great, the mother of abominations of the earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints.” (1:07:38) and at the end of the reading we see the machine-man (1:07:39) a prelude to the events to take place as the madman unleashes her against his foes. Freder looks upoen the 7 deadly sins and at death and asks them to not bother him or his love (1:09:07).

The worker who took the place of Freder is caught by the Father’s agent and is told to get back to work (1:11:44). The agent heads to Josaphat home. The agent barley missies Freder while he was leaving and tries to bribe Josaphat to leave but hedoes not take the bribes and gets into a fight with the agent (1:17:10). At the mad doctor’s lair Maria resist Rotwang trying to take her to the lab and her crises are heard by Freder (1:19:45) who tries to get in but fails before Maria is taken and he himself is trapped inside the basement (1:23:06). Maria is strapped onto a lab table which Rotwang hooks up to the machine-man and then starts the operation to give the machine-man her face and body which happens slowly and in stages. (1:25:30) it seems to have started with the heart and then the blood vessels and then it was done, however it did not seem completely the same (1:25:49). Next we see Rotwang release Freder who then asks where Maria is and all Rotwang says is that she is with his father (1:26:47), his father at the same time received a letter inviting him to watch the machine-man (women) dance and if anyone sees her as a fake then Rotwang will say that he made nothing in his life and never had success.(1:27:26). The Android stands near the door to his office and has a look that is very unlike Maria (1:27:44), the way she stands, how her mouth is, the expression on her face and her eye. Joh Fredersen orders her to annihilate the work of the real Maria (1:28:12), Freder rushes into the office to see her and his father together and loses his mind (1:28:34-1:29:05)

Next we see the stage where the Fake Maria will dance and the start is very strong with her rising from a circler container held up by black men with light and smoke coming from it (1:30:32) she rises from the smoke and into the center of the opened lid with a headdress that is similar to one the Machine-man stated with but with feathers and with a transparent cloak and a belt with strands of materiel. Every man in watching is captivated by here (1:31:30), at the same time Freder see his father’s agent appear as a priest form the cathedral who repeats the same lines from (1:07:38) and Freder sees what the fake Maria is doing or somehow feels it (1:32:50). Then we see the text from before again and the picture that now takes place in real life with the fake Maria on the described monster (1:22:20). All seven deadly sins on her behalf says someone (1:33:24) and then the statuses from the cathedral come alive as the men rush towards the performance.(1:33:51). Freder says death overtakes the city as the grim reaper cuts towards him.

Later we learn that the Fake Maria is causing problems to those she comes in contact with, making friend turn on one another, man killing each other for a bit of her clothing and some just kill themselves. And all have left the Eternal Gardens and go to Yoshiware (1:37:05). They have left their normal lives in order to commit sins due to the Fake Maria. Then the fake Maria gather all the workers down below and tells them that it is time to fight back (1:41:16) and they fight Freder who tries to stop them and they kill the worker who swapped places with Freder before (1:44:26). At this time Rotwang tells the real Maria all about his plans and how it working well (1:45:03) however he is overheard by Joh Fredersen who fights and beats him, during this time Maria heads for the workers city. The workers rush to their city and gather everyone except the children and with vigor head to the machine halls and stop everything (1:46:00-1:50:00), then they head to kill the heart. The head engineer closed the gates but Joh Fredersen orders him to open them (1:51:55), the worker obeys and the machine heart is destroyed (1:54:48). This leads to the failure of every system in the city and starts to flood the workers city with all the children in it. Maria barely get there in time to avoid the destruction of all the elevators and stars to gather the children in the city square (1:55:33-1:58:16). Meanwhile in “we killed the machines and are free to dance and sing while hands because we no longer have jobs and are letting our children drown below us happy” town (1:58:58), that, they are doing that. Everything is destroyed and they are dancing about it because they followed other people blindly. Up above Joh Fredersen watches his city as it goes dark. Which was his plan? (1:59:50) until he finds out his son is with the workers from his agent and then he panics. Meanwhile Titanic is playing downstairs in the city of workers as Freder and friend come to save them. Because “we killed the machines and are free to dance and sing while hands because we no longer have jobs and are letting our children drown below us happy” town still are doing that. (2:02:25) so they save the kids by going up the airshafts and bring them to the cathedral. Meanwhile “we killed the machines and are free to dance and sing while hands because we no longer have jobs and are letting our children drown below us happy” town becomes “burn the witch, also known as the person we blindly followed and in no way forced us to do this but we will blame her anyway because we cannot live with the guilt that we killed our kids, sad” town. Lead by the person who told them not to kill the heart (2:08:55). Meanwhile in “happy to in sin” town everyone is still having fun and watching the world burn with the fake Maria (2:09:45). Meanwhile Rotwang lives and walks out of his home to get back his Hel also known as the fake Maria. At the same time the worker found the real one and chase her (2:13:00) and stumble upon the fake one and burn her. This does not fully work and she becomes a machine again (2:19:03).however Rotwang is after the real one and then fights Freder for way too long and falls to his death. After wards the head and the hands are helped by the heart to shack hands and agree. (2:26:16).

So main point do not steal other people girls to avoid terrible evil plots involving androids, your son’s girlfriend, having your friend become a mad man and to avoid blowing up your city.
Irony they killed the machine heart for the real heart to make peace between the mind and the hands.
And this took more time than watching the movie two times.

The Machine Man (Metropolis)

“Shift Change (3:58),” the opening dialogue of “Metropolis,” we see a bunch of people move in sync like mindless zombies. Directly after comes the introduction of the “sons’ club,” (6:42) a more upbeat society, living in luxury. In my first impression an assumption can be made this film represents classism in a society, where the lower class work hard for a living and the upper class glorify in the sweat of the working class.

The film’s plot then takes a full 180  from a social-economical film to a science fiction noir of Freder and Maria, which led me to question in the turn of the plot,

What is the  significance of the monstrous monument?  (15:35)

After reanalyzing the scene, I can only assume it is a visual of technological determinism and  the representation of  godly consumption of an individual. To elaborate, Joh Frederson is seen as the higher power of this dystopian world and when the workers fail, Joh Frederson consumes (spite) his workers, like a monster does it victims.

Moving forward,

We then see two examples of cyborgs (as discussed in class). In the conversation between Rotwarg and Joh Fredersen, both men go on to say  ” A mind like yours, Rotwarg, should be able to forget Only time in my life did I forget that Hel was a woman – and you a man. Let the dead lie, Rotwarg, She’s dead for you as she is for me.” “For me she isn’t dead, Joh Fredersen, for me she lives. Do you think the loss of a hand is too high a price for recreating Hel?!” (40:16). Rotwarg retord, enthusiastically. In that very scene Rotwarg waves his robotic prosthetic hand, there we see our first example of cyborg. As the conversion between the two continued, Rotwarg goes on to say, “Do you wish to see her?!” (41:21). Following we are introduced to a cybernetic organism in shape of a woman as it is implied to be a ersatz Maria.

Further along as the film continues, at 54: 10, the scene opens with Maria portrayed as an angel over a tower.  As the scene changes “Babel” is emphasized (54:15), then a set of workers, work exhaustingly as “The hymns of praise of one man became the curses of others.(54:37)” This quote is directed toward Joh Fredersen, as he looked on as the ruler of the dystopian metropolis. As Joh Fredersen reign continues, the workers are coming to realization Fredrsen isn’t the almighty God they thought he was, courtesy of Maria. Moreover, Freder and the workers look to Maria in absolute awe. Continuing Maria says to Freder and workers, “HEAD and HANDS require a Mediator. (55:31)” ” THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN HEAD AND HAND MUST BE THE HEART (55:36),” she continues. Basically, Maria is saying in order to find fairness in yourself, you must trust your heart and not the words of a false God, being Joh Frederson.

We see a classic story of a ruler with a god complex(Joh Fredersen), his rebellious child (Freder)and derange loyalist(Rotwarg), being challenged by a fighter for the innocent(Maria).

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