Category Archives: Metropolis

Metropolis – A look Into A Destructive Future

In the movie Metropolis (Fritz Lang. 1927), we see a dystopian future which takes place in the year 2026. The society is very similar to how we have our current modern day society with our separation of social classes, that being the working class and the high class people. Fritz depicts his idea of the future as one where the middle classes workers must work 10-hour shifts in very bad working conditions in order to keep the metropolis’s boilers from overheating and causing the destruction of the lower classes’ homes. There is a strong sense of physical and psychical oppression that the working class has been subjected to. Physically, there is a gate that literally separates the city of workers underground from the metropolis above ground where the upperclassmen live (2:02:00-2:05:00). Psychologically, we see that during the beginning of the movie the workers are like slaves and walk as if they are imprisoned there. Shift changes are like clockwork and happen without a hitch. As well as that, we also come across a certain phrase multiple times in the movie: “The mediator between brain and hands must be the heart!” (0:03:02) as the epigram of the movie. There was a time in the movie where we see a shift of workers leave to go into the catacombs under the factory where they worked to hear of a lady who spoke to them about freeing their mind from this slavery. (Prior to, the workers who would pass out/faint from being overworked were never cared for by any of the other workers). Maria– one of the protagonists in the story tells the workers that she is looking for a mediator. Not knowing that Josephat (the main character) is the one destined for her. At the same time, Josephat’s father is eavesdropping on the meeting with his inventor who plans on creating a “machine-man”. This is where we first see what the director has depicted as an artificial intelligent robot. This is very similar to a modern day movie “Ex Machina (Alex Garland. 2014)” which follows the premise that an artificially intelligent robot has rebelled against humans and has used manipulation to do it. This situation also happens in Metropolis as well, when the inventor’s robot manipulates the workers in order to destroy the subsystem that powers the city above. In the end of the movie we see that the mediator (Josephat) joins his father’s hands and one of the workers to signify that he accepts that they are just more than workers, but people, people who have emotions and limits (2:25:00-End).

People’s Choice Posts #3: Metropolis

You know the drill. Read through your classmates’ reading response blogs on Metropolis and choose your favorite post. You can choose a post for any reason, but you always must clearly articulate your rationale for choosing it (e.g., why did you find it interesting, compelling, likeable, provocative, etc.?). This rationale can refer to content, style, creativity, etc. If, after reading everyone’s posts, you strongly feel that your post is your “favorite,” you can always vote for yourself, but you need to provide a rationale for doing so.

In order to register your vote for this week’s “People’s Choice,” “leave a reply” to this post, and in your comment, provide your chosen post, an excerpt from it + rationale for choosing it. Provide the title and author of the chosen post, along with a link to the post you are citing (please provide the link in the same comment: don’t make a separate one with just the link). Citing is really important (in this case, citing your classmate!), and this is a way of giving credit to other sources and putting yourself in dialogue with them.

Comments/votes are mandatory, should be made no later than Tuesday, 9/25, at 12:00pm: the person with the most votes will earn the coveted “People’s Choice” honor for this round of posts! I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose, and why.

Metropolis and The Machine Stops: A Close Comparison of Two Science Fiction Stories

Metropolis is a silent science fiction film directed by Fritz Lang in 1927 Germany. After watching Metropolis, I realize that it shares similar elements to the 1909 short science fiction story “The Machine Stops” by E.M Forster. This includes its setting, plot and characters. For example, they are both set in a dystopian future in where humans are controlled by “the machine”. In Metropolis, underground workers are forced to work for the machine because their city’s “life-force” depends on it. If a worker slacks off, parts of the machine gets destroyed. Therefore, it can be assumed that every worker is vital in the stability of their city. These workers are shown to work so hard that they get physically exhausted, but continue to perform because “someone has to stay at the machine” (0:34:16). On the other hand, in “the Machine Stops”, most of the citizens of this world live underground in a community created and controlled by the machine. As a result, they do not know life without the machine and cannot live without its influence. For instance, the citizens are given technologies that accommodate their every need (3) and they are encouraged to resort to a book created by the machine for advice on common and uncommon issues.

The main characters are quite similar as well. Metropolis’ Freder Fergerson and “The Machine Stops’” Kuno both rebel against the machine after watching what it does to humans. They share a disdain for it because they value freedom over being controlled. In Metropolis, after watching a worker become exhausted from controlling part of the machine, Fergerson helps him by taking over his position so that he can experience freedom (0:35:40). In “The Machine Stops”, Kuno encourages people to live in the outside world so that they can be free from the influence of the machine. In addition to their values, both characters have similar parents. Fergerson and Kuno are sons to people who share deep beliefs in the machine. They also try to convince their parents in leaving the machine, but are unsuccessful in their attempts.

Another similarity between “The Machine Stops” and Metropolis is the characterization of the background characters. Both stories portray them as robots with no free will. In Metropolis, the workers perform their duties with exact precision (they only move the part of their body that needs to be used) and they all move at the same time (0:14:17). Furthermore, each worker is given a number and is referenced by only that number (01:12:07). While in “The Machine Stops”, “[p]eople were almost exactly alike all over the world” (8) because “[e]ach infant was examined closely at birth, and all who promised undue strength were destroyed” (11). As a result, most humans in “The Machine Stops” are forced to follow the machine’s idea of life.

One last similarity between the two stories Is the interesting use of capitalization for the machine. In “The Machine Stops”, the word “machine” is always capitalized, but in Metropolis it is both capitalized and lower-cased.  I wonder if this is a consistency error or if it was done on purpose. If it was done on purpose, perhaps it depends on the person saying it; a person who believes in the machine would treat it as an entity and capitalize it, but a person who doesn’t believe in it would lowercase it. If this is true, I believe this small detail informs us a considerable amount on a characters beliefs and values.

“The mediator between brain and hands must be the heart”

The silent film created 1927 metropolis by Fritz Lang. The movie takes place  preserving how cities would look like in the future. where rich people known as the ” The club of the sons” lived a care free life style where nothing mattered and there was no such thing as stress. While there are people who are called the works and by this you guessed it they do all the work while the rich thrive.

As the film continues to unfold you can make a prediction in how the story line will be. There are two types of classes you could say the upper class and the lower class there is no median between them. the lower class would be considered the works, the upper class being The club of the sons. both of these classes have extraordinarily different life styles. One life style being lavish and free with no care in the world, the other being dark, gloomy, unhappy, overbearing and miserable. For the worker all they do is work they have very long sifts and there not tended to or cared for. At (14:59) you see that there is a worker who is so tired that is about to fall because of how over worked, malnourished and under looked  he is that he could no longer do his job till the moment that he does collapse and the machine he is working on reaches over its limit and it over heated or over pressurized because of it not being well kept. when Freder sees the women with the kids leaving he asks who was she and know one had an answer so he followed after her and is in shock when he see the machine malfunction and it scares him to when he comes back from the under world of where all the works work he goes to his father and talks to him about  what he saw.

What sad about the film is Freder’s father is the top person of the city. He controls what happens and is to be informed when something does not go right or something does not go the way it is supposed to. When Freder’s father found out what happened in the depths he turned to his head man and asked him why he did not tell him and when the father finds out from the worker that there where plans found in the works pockets he turns to his head man and tells him that he is let go and that he no longer works for him when you are let go from your job that means you are to work in the depths that there is no other place for you on the land above ground meaning shunned from the upper world society.

worlds that are built like this leads to failed and destruction of a government society anything in general when there is no compromise or equality there is always going to be a rebellion in these situations.you are always to be fair because if not then know there will always be corruption.

Metropolis: A Film Beyond Its Time

The movie “Metropolis” directed by Fritz Lang, tells the story of two different societies. The first society being underground, working hard. And the second society, living freely and not breaking a sweat. These two societies resemble different social classes. The first class is the workers, living underneath the city, where they work to keep the city from shutting down. The second class is the higher class, where they live in the city of Metropolis. Throughout the movie, you can spot out the differences between where the higher class lives and the workers live. Within the city, there is a location called the “Club of the Sons”. Within this place holds lecture halls, libraries, theaters, and stadiums. There is also a place called the “Eternal Gardens”. It is a difficult place to describe but I would say that it is a place to go for pleasure. But deep below, where the workers live there is no such place. There is nothing fancy down below.

Even the architecture in the city of Metropolis is better than the architecture down below. At 24:14-24:32, there is a glimpse at the city of Metropolis. It is very futuristic in size, length, and shape. For a movie, that was made during that time it shows a realistic future our society could be heading towards. There were tall buildings, quick transportation, multiple highways, and flying planes. Some would say the above is a utopia, where everything is perfect and down below is a dystopia, where everything is horrible.

One thing I found interesting was the mention of the phrase, “God is the world and its Creator! And great is Man!” When I read this phrase over and over again I understood it. To me, it means that Man is so powerful and special that they have the ability to create a city like Metropolis. A city like Metropolis is a serious accomplishment. The character Joh Fredersen, who is the Master of Metropolis did a great job at creating a futuristic city. Although it is wrong that he keeps people down below, working them to their death. Also, it means to me that since God has created this world, we have been using his creation as a way to provide mankind a way of survival.

Another thing I found interesting was the inclusion of the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are gluttony, wrath, pride, lust, envy, anger, and sloth. One of the deadly sins that are used in the film is lust. At 1:32:32, the men can be seen as sex craven. It is the way they behave resembles the deadly sin, lust. They act like wild animals when they see a woman dancing. Another deadly sin that is use is wrath. At 2:15:45, the workers down below seek revenge on the fake Maria by burning her body. The workers are angry because they believe that their children have died down below. Since the fake Maria told the workers to rebel and destroy the Machines a water activation was activation and the streets where the workers lived were flooded with water.

Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang is an enjoyable film. The themes and the biblical references play a huge part in the film’s plot. The use of a robot or machine-men were uncommon back in his time. But Lang made a great film. A film that has a combination of technology and religion.

Flaws Of The Society In Metropolis

The Metropolis is a silent film directed by Fritz Lang in 1927, and it tells the story of a futuristic dystopian world where people are separated into two distinct classes: the workers and the wealthy. Just from this, we can already predict that there are many fatal flaws in this society that will eventually lead to its downfall.

Starting off, the workers in this film are treated inhumanely, and there are many ways to describe them. In the beginning of the film, we see the workers all walking a moving in straight, uniformed lines with matching outfits and grave expressions (00:04:28). Personally, when I looked at them, my first thoughts are that they look like zombies with their dragging feet and face full of weariness. They look like they are ready to die on their feet in the next second. Another comparison is that it is only way too easy to link the workers to vermin and draft animal with the way they are packed tightly into a small apartment complex (00:06:42), reminding people of a nest full of rats or barn full of domestic animals. Furthermore, their lack of individualism makes them look like even more of machine-parts than humans. This is emphasized in the way that people that are dead are switched immediately as though it is as simple as switching a battery. This inhumane slavery of the people has been seen many times in the past history, and they all lead up to, many times, a violent rebellion. People reap what they sow, without compassion, the people will only know of hatred and violence.

Other than slavery, the lifestyle of these two classes is as different as day and night, as one toils his or her life away in long, laborious hours working on the machine that supports the city, the other enjoys the splendors that the city has to offer. The severe difference in treatment between them is bound to lead to conflict. First and foremost, it is the workers that used their blood, sweat, and flesh to keep the machine going, yet they do not gain any recommendation or partake in the city splendors (01:42:53).  It is normal for a society to be divided into different classes based on different careers, yet, there needs to be a balance for the more laborious workers, be it wage or other benefits. For example, a worker is building a public building, it might be tiring to built one, but it is comforting knowing that they will also be able to use it as well. Even if the workers are building private properties, it is soothing to them that there is a limit and that the pay will be befitting their work. However, with the workers in this dystopian society, they are only exploited day in and day out, there is bound for a breakout of rage sooner or later.

There are some limits that need to be recognize if people do not want a violent outbreak of rebellion, as even a mouse will fight back when driven to the corner, nether the less a human being.

Metropolis – Destined for Failure?

Metropolis is a silent film created by Fritz Lang in 1927.  It takes place in a futuristic city where the rich people known as “The Club of the Sons” enjoy a comfortable lifestyle free from stress.  While they live a carefree life, they mostly disregard the workers, a group of people who are considered lower class and work ten hours a day on a twenty hour schedule.  In a series of events, Metropolis is nearly destroyed due to the poor relations found in this story, the most notable ones being class inequality and person vs machine.

Early on in the film, we can already see what the workers are like.  They march like an organized military squad but what’s even more notable is that they’re all hanging their heads as though they’re depressed and being forced into their jobs (4:56).  It’s almost as if they’re robots themselves. This is a stark difference from The Club of the Sons who are seen smiling, racing together on the track, and dancing at the Eternal Gardens (7:13-8:00).  It’s very similar to an interpretation of Heaven and Hell. Up in Metropolis, people are allowed to enjoy themselves and live peaceful lives while down in the worker’s city, they’re constantly forced to work even if they’re exhausted to the point of fainting.  It’s obviously unfair which fuels the workers hatred for the rich people. The only people who can see they must live in peace together are Freder and Maria, the protagonists of the story. While many think the city is a paradise, it’s also a symbol of scorn to the worker’s according to the Legend of Babel (55:00).  In the end, both classes suffer losses, the workers city is submerged in water while Metropolis is stuck in the dark without the Heart Machine. The story shows that one person’s utopia is another person’s dystopia. Every positive has a negative and people should be more cautious of it as it will make a difference.

The other relationship was person vs. machine.  There was early symbolism in the beginning that showed this when Freder first visited the workers city.  An explosion caused by a workers mistake created a hallucination in Freders mind where workers are being sacrificed to the machine (14:30).  When Machine Maria incites a rebellion, their anger isn’t directed at the upper-class but at the machines they constantly work with (1:43:07).  All of these show that workers are just slaves to the machines. By tirelessly working on ten hours straight and being injured in explosions from the machines, the workers have practically lost their humanity.  Machine Marias appearance only deepened their hatred for technology as the idea of people controlling machines slowly became twisted into the reverse (2:19:26). The difference between worker and machine is barely noticeable as both simply function the way they’re ordered to.  All of this can be blamed on Joh Fredersen but the machines, which have become an object of hatred in the workers eyes, had turned them into the exhausted, broken humans they were in the story.

Like most science fiction stories, this one explores the possibility of an imperfect situation that eventually crumbles due to its flaws.  In this case, it examined what would happen to a seemingly perfect city that concealed all the lower class underneath the ground. Lang wrote Metropolis as a warning to people, all actions have consequences.  Should the management have looked down upon the labor force? No, because that provoked rebellion.  Should the labor force have taken their anger out on the machines? Still no, because that led to both Metropolis and the workers city taking collateral damage.  Now they’re forced to work together again to build both cities back up from destruction. Overall, humanity should be more cautious of their actions as the result may or may not be good.

Utopia=Dystopia And The Biblical References in Metropolis

Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang in 1927 is about  a futuristic dystopia following Freder, wealthy son of City Master, and Maria , a saintly figure to the workers , overcome and try to bring together workers below and the businesses magnets above.

In the beginning of the movie we see the workers with there heads down walking briskly to work as they change shifts. Further on,we see that there is a underground city.The next scene (06:55) it tells that the workers underground city as there complex known as ” The Sons of Club” on the surface of the earth. Sons of Clubs has stadiums, theaters, and libraries for the elite class, basically there own utopia . We first see Freder, the protagonist and son of the City Master Joh Federson, track racing in a massive field. These are just one of the things the elite class can do in the Sons Of Clubs. In the next scene, we are shown a Pleasure Garden or Eternal Garden,  that Freder has for himself (07:55). This Garden was made for simple pleasure and you can see that Freder is playing and entertained by the beautiful women . Further on, Freder  goes to the underground city  and see all the hard workers trying to keep the machine alive . Afterwards,  some machines explodes  and some workers perish in the explosion. Freder goes and reports to his father of the explosion, but in between his travels from underground city to the tower  , where is father resides , we see the vast city that is full of skyscrapers, flying planes, cars driving on tall roads, and let’s not forget that in the middle of this city is the Tower of Babel , the tallest and biggest skyscraper (18:06-19:13). We must  understand that the elite class does not have to pay for there utopia, it is the workers below them that work tirelessly till death to keep the machines running forever , so that the city above can sustain. This rich Utopian world equalizes a permanent dystopia for the working class below , who can’t improve there lifestyle, which eventually causes them to rebel to the surface and destroy the machines.

Throughout the movie , there were a couple of biblical references in movie. The first reference that I spotted was Freder hallucinating  that the machine was Molch as the workers were being fed into it. This metaphor means that the workers are working tirelessly to death  till the machine explodes and some perish. And we can see that they are being carried away by other workers and replace them in there spot. Molch is the biblical Canaanite god that was worshiped a sacrificial deity . In biblical times , Canaanites would throw there babies into the Molch , the bronze statue that lit ablaze , for sacrifice. The second reference we see was when Freder was in the Cathedral and he sees the statues of the seven deadly sins : Lust ,Gluttony, Pride, Envy ,Wrath, Sloth, Greed  (01:08:51). I believe this reference is to the whole city because people commit these sins so much that they are blinded by what goes below the city, which led to the consequences of the workers to rebel to the surface and destroy the machine’s. The last reference I saw was they portray Maria a sinner and saint. Though she is a saint to the workers giving them hope that a mediator would bring the upper and lower classes together, she has doppelganger in a form of a robot that was created by Rotwang, inventor and antagonist . The fake maria is portrayed as the Whore of Babylon( 01:07:28) , which is a reference in the book of Revelation in the bible. Surprisingly, the fake Maria brings leads the rebellion to the surface and destroys the machine, which in comparison to the book of revelations that talk about the apocalypse.

To conclude , I believe the whole point of the movie is to uproot the division , sin and indignation  in a futuristic dystopia , which have religious and philosophical themes.