Derick’s Reading Report #2: Metropolis

Fritz Lang’s vision of Metropolis depicts a city that has no middle class. In this city you are either born to be a person who is frolics in the grace of the eternal gardens or a person who works as part of the machine to keep those people blissfully happy in their garden. In the first few moments you can see the difference when a group of me with their heads hanging low walk in unison lifeless lit without ever picking up their heads to look up at 2:24:17 while at 2:21:52 “the club of the son” is introduced and it shows men dressed in good suits laughing and enjoying themselves playing sports two very distinct versions of the same city.

 

The movie shows a man named Freder running around chasing a girl around the garden when a beautiful woman comes into the garden with a hoard of worker children who are in awe of seeing the beauty of the over world and the beautiful woman tells the children that these people are their brothers. This moment was one of the most powerful as it set off a chain of events. Freder falls in love and chases the woman. He discovers the machines underneath him and the disgusting ways they treat other humans. Abused and over worked and risking their lives to not even be able to enjoy any of the satisfaction their hard work brings the rich people. 

 

Freder goes to talk with his father to make him stop but his father doesn’t care at all. He accepts this as reality and scoffs at the idea that a revolt would ever happen. This shows the complete bliss that they have accepted in their lives. They feel that they are untouchable and the city will continue to be as it is without any consequences. Little did he know that the inventor Rotwag was actually conspiring against Freder’s father Joh Frederson. He creates a machine robot in the image of Frederson’s late wife and plans on using it to destroy Frederson’s city and to destroy his son. 

 

It is also discovered that during this time that a lot of the workers are going to the catacombs and Joh and Rotwag go to try and discover what it was they were plotting. They discover that the lady Maria is there spreading religion and hope that one day a mediator would come. She tells the story of Babel which is a biblical story that talked about men trying to build a tower to reach the Stars so they would be God and would not need God. God then gets angry and makes them all speak different languages so they can’t communicate. This theme of religion ties in very close to this movie because the rich act as God and they act as they are in the position of power and they can control who they please. The poor and the rich also don’t speak the same language. They may be humans and they may literally speak the same language but they cannot communicate because of the great gap between the societies. 

 

The man-machine that Rotwag eventually leads the men into a revolt as it takes the face of Maria and influences the men to revolt. The men revolt and they drown the entire city. Then the men revolt against Maria as they realize they are drowning in their city because of her. They burn her at the stake to find that she was actually the man machine Rotwag had made. The real Maria was being captured by Rotwang in confusion as he thought she was the robot. Rotwag is defeated and at 2:10 Freder finally becomes the mediator. He shakes the hand of Joh Frederson and the workers. 

 

The moral of the story is stated at the end and states “the mediator of the hands and the head must be the heart“. Freder became the mediator and became the heart to the story of the city. Freder became the compassion that his father lacked and he became the voice for the men who had nothing but fear against the city that they upheld.

People’s Choice Posts #2: Metropolis

Just like we did for “The Machine Stops,” 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 Thursday, 9/17 at 9am: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.

Khoury’s Reading Response #2: Metropolis

Metropolis is film from 1927 that is set in the year 2026 and depicts a world in which the wealthy and rich live in luxurious city, while the workers and the poor are forced to live underground and must keep everything running. The film follows Freder, son of the city master Joh Frederson, and Maria who is a figure to the working class. Their goal is to end the separation of classes that is present in their world.

The film heavily depicts the difference that both sides of society have, which is shown when both groups are introduced. When the working class ins introduced (0:05:00) we see that they are treated like slaves, and that there seems to be an aura of sadness around them which is expressed by their body language. When we see the rich get introduced (0:07:05) the scenery is much brighter with people running and enjoying themselves.

I personally believe that the film shows a representation of how far some people are willing to treat other in oder to have what they want. However, the film also shows that where there is oppression, there will be rebellion as shown by the fact that Maria and Freder want to bring both groups of society together.

Shamach Reading Response #2: Metropolis

“Metropolis” is an amazing film about a futuristic dystopia where the pretty lower-class workers are treated so poor it is slavery and the upper-class run from above the surface. The movie starts with a rotation of different factory workers dressed in dark rags forcing them to conform to what the want them to be. faces so unimportant that they can be replaced by anybody and nothing changes (4:30). While the underground was dull and depressing, the surface was the exact opposite, men wearing formal clothes, women wore elegant dresses, the garden was filled with magnificent plants animals, and fountains. But everything changed, when a mysterious lady wanders into the garden (Maria) with several kids in tow dress in Darker colored rags and “says these are your Brothers!” (10:14). our protagonist Freder walks into the factory and is bewildered by what is going on, as a giant machine is being cranked and operated on by several workers (14:00) it a point to were it explodes. As the smoke cleared, the machine began to resemble some sort of archaic sacrifice.

 

After realizing the horrors of this place, he goes to see his father Joh Fredersen, but when asked about “where are the people whose hands build your city?” Joh can only respond with “where they belong…”  (24:51).  Fed up with all of this, Freder goes looking for Maria and works on trying to help the workers. Deep in the catacombs, many workers gather to hear Maria Preach about the one Known as the “Mediator” and also tell the “Legend of The Tower of Babel” (52:20). Basically it’s about how these great minds came together to erect a tower great enough to reach the stars, but that came with some problems. “The minds that had conceived the tower of babel could not build it. The task was too great.” (53:30). So, they went and hired droves of people to come to help work on this tower, however, “the hands that built the tower of Babel knew nothing of the dream of the brain that had conceived it (54:00). With that came conflict between the two groups, heads vs. hands, builder vs. architect. the story ends with the message “Head and hands need a mediator. The Mediator between head and hands must be the heart.” (55:50).

 

From then on, the movie starts to go off the rails, Joh gets assistance from the inventor Rotwang to use a robot to cause chaos among the working class. His plan was to break their spirits and get the workers to draw first blood so they can have an excuse to put them back in their place. That back-firers spectacularly because he did not realize his son was with the workers, and all the machines start to overload, leaving Maria and the children trapped in the Flooding/crumbling city (1:55:00). Riots start, fights break out, the stakes are rising but, in the end, Maria and the kids are saved, discord among the upper and lower class dies down, and Freder becomes the Mediator of the two groups.

 

The thing I really liked about the movie is the quote “Head and hands need a mediator. The Mediator between head and hands must be the heart.” Because there are a lot of movies, books, and games that do not really use have the two sides mediate as often. There are too many stories about the poor destroying the rich, or one is about people from one side assimilating into the other. You have the head, the brain, the architects of this society, the ones who look far ahead in the future, but they cannot see what’s around them (or in this case underneath). Then there is the hand, the laborer, the ones the literal backbone of society, who are not as smart but are the ones that can make things happen. In the end, they both have some goal of progress but without one understanding the other or finding some sort of middle-ground for communication that becomes difficult. Rather than fight over class, wealth, or intellect they could collaborate and make a metropolis for everyone, all it takes is heart.

Edward’s Reading Response #2: Metropolis

Metropolis is a silent film by Fritz Lang, that depicts a story of the elite and wealthy, governing low working-class citizens that live underground and do heavy labor to keep the city above running for the rich. The movie follows Joh Frederson, the person in charge of the city and the workers, Freder, Joh’s son, Rotwang, and inventor, and Maria, Freder’s love interest and acts as the movie’s catalyst.

Near the start of the movie, we’re introduced to Freder, the son of Joh, and a lady that we’ll soon know to be called Maria. My initial opinion on Freder was that he would be a pretentious elitist, and once meeting Maria I thought he wouldn’t care too much about how he gets to enjoy his luxury status. It was surprising to see how much he cared to know about what goes on down below to keep the city running above for the rich to enjoy their life in luxury. However, Freder’s privilege to be unaware of the issues facing his society is shown when he asked his dad “where are the people father, whose hands built your city?” (00:24:42). This, along with Josaphat attempting to kill himself after being fried, in fear of life as a laborer down below, further shows the divide between the workers below and the rich above.

The workers are dehumanized and treated as literal cogs in a machine. They’re necessary for the rich to live comfortably above, however, it seems the elite seem to know little of their existence or simply don’t think too much of them. They have numbers for their names such is the case for 11811 (Georgy), and are simply replaced if they die on the job. By the time the movie starts, the working and living condition has already been wearing down the worker to the point where they’re talking about starting a revolution.

While Maria was the catalyst for Freder to start learning more about how the workers are treated and for Joh’s plan to incite a riot, it was ultimately the “Machine-man” built by Rotwang, that causes the climax of the movie. Initially, the Machine-man was made to replace Hel Joh’s deceased wife and Rotwang’s former love interest, a creepy but less nefarious intention than what Joh had in mind. I feel this further shows that technology or progress isn’t inherently evil or bad, it’s the intentions behind them. I also find it ironic that the laborers that hated working to keep a machine running, were persuaded into destroying said machine by another machine. I believe the relationship Joh and the Machine-man can be an allegory for how the elite or those in power can manipulate those beneath them through the media, with the Machine-man representing the media in this movie.

Religion also seemed to play a role in the movie, with references to the seven deadly sins, and the tower of Babel and Babylon. When we see Maria talk to the laborers, she tells the story of the Tower of Babel, how it was built, and how it was destroyed. This seems to foreshadow how the movie would progress (considering the uprising that eventually happened) I also feel there’s a small theme of religion vs technology as Machine Maria is seen as sinful and is alluded to leading the city into chaos (which she eventually does).

This movie was a little weird but also interesting, with its characters, and themes it explored. It, being a silent film, also made it feel like at times I wasn’t fully understanding what was happening (such as the machine god sort of randomly rising-up when it exploded), but it still was an interesting watch.

The Film, Metropolis, is a science fiction drama film with character’s included; Freder and Maria who are the main characters, Feeder’s father, the city master, Joh Frederson, and the villain Rotwang who’s the inventor. This film’s main message was displayed at the end, which was ” The Mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart.” In this movie, it shows how the mediator, The upper class people who rules creates and commands and the hands, people who works for the mediator should be united and work together. In the movie, The city master didn’t cared about the hands but the working class also upraised and started reacting violently which lead to them having to leave their children’s behind. All the children’s could’ve been dead for both of their faults. As a science fiction movie, I really liked the settings and the editing effects of this movie. There was lots of settings we saw on this movie and my favorite was one the cave where Maria was chased by Rotwang.

Itmam’s Reading Response #2: Metropolis

Lang’s Metropolis takes place in a futuristic city with the idea of technological advancement being put in place. At the same time, we depict low class workers doing work in atrocious conditions and being mishandled. People would envision a time like this to have advancement in technology back in the 1900’s but it interesting how low class workers are a huge factor to the technological advancement and the way they are being treated.

There are many depictions of the toxic environment workers has to be in but one that stood out to me was when a man working on the machine and how he needs to maintain the machine himself in order for it to work (-1:55:22–1:54:00). This symbolizes that even though technology is advanced at this time, the lower class are the ones making sure it stays advanced. We come back to this scene later on as the worker states “Father-Father, Will ten hours never end- – ??!” (-1:41:50). This tells me the high expectations people have of lower workers for technology to evolve.

This film really stood out to me in a way of how humans are forced to make scarifies in order to achieve great things. Throughout the film we see many workers struggling in order to complete their tasks. This film made me look back at The Machine Stops and how humans are depended on the machine but in this film many humans are the ones that work countless of hours for these machines to operate.

It was interesting how this film didn’t have any dialogue and made me think and interpret of this film in different ways as I do other films. Not hearing anyone really brought up many questions of several scenes and what Lang wants us to see them as.

 

 

Oscar’s Reading Response #2: Metropolis

The film kid about a dystopian place that held much of its inhabitants deep under ground. People seem to follow mindlessly around the place as if they were robots, not looking around and looking gloomy (4:40). As they enter the deep sections of the work place it reminds me of Bioshock 1, when you enter the dystopian city under the sea Named “Rapture,” you find your self inside a Bathe-sphere (6:10). The film leads to the “Eternal Gardens,” where the son of the owner is found, this too reminds me of raptures ever gardens where they would have “Peace” From all the jobs in the Dystopia (7:54).

As the film progresses there seems to be an apparent problem of power, where the people have to work more and more to make up for many other workers. As the film goes through the city (18:00), and through the deep (33:00) the power struggle is revealed. Freder the son of the owner is bliss to that face right up until a woman shows up at the gardens where he was having a care free life, she speaks loudly that the children that accompany her are his brother and sisters. They leave and he is aww struck by the display that he tries to follow them and end up at one of the stations where a worker suddenly falls ill of too much work and causes an explosion, seeing this Freders eyes are finally open to the problems that arise. He goes to his father for an explanation but his father brushes him off as someone that wouldn’t understand “True” power, Freder’s father took Hel form Rotwag and had Freder. In doing this Rotwag began planning his revenge for his love that had been taken away, and so he built a robot that would take Marias consciousness  into it using necromancy like stars.

The film then pans out to a preach that Maria had given, this tale is about the Tower of Babel, which is a biblical story about how a king in the past where most of humanity had spoken the same language brought people together to build a tower that would reach Heaven. However, he had a mission to place a stone at the top that would say “The Greatness of Humanity built this tower and How great is humanity,” Yet in the story God gets angry that humanity had decided that they were too great to follow him, and thus he split the knowledge of humanity and thus were the original languages created. And the tower fell apart as everything changed people panicked and chaos began, the tower was never completed and people rose against the king (53:00).

The people rise against the injustice of work, and the factory falls. All due to the robot copy of Maria, who had caused chaos to consume the city and almost the children that were left behind. In the end Rotwag fails to Take Freder’s love away and they live happily ever after (2:10:00).

 

Phillip’s Reading Response #2 Metropolis

Living in 2020 and watching a silent film definitely is a different way to experience film. When the film first started, it talked about how the film was lost and then eventually some were recovered and eventually people were able to come together to bring it to the screens of many. Considering the film was made about 100 years ago, it really is impressive the ideas and concepts that were loaded into this film. Fritz Lang directed this film that really dives into a two-sided society that eventually clashes in a large spectacular. It seemed that the above-ground city was where the rich and elite lived and enjoyed the luxuries of advanced trains and automobiles, while on the flip side the workers of the society lived deep beneath the city in a much less desirable home.

Throughout the film, you meet many characters from both societies and you learn how people react when they learn how the other side lives. Eventually, the story comes to a climax when the rich leaders want to infiltrate the workers and convince them to riot and go crazy so the above grounders have a reason to use force. This story tackles many human ethics and ideas and in the early 1900s, this was a big step for the film industry. Many stories are meant to emulate the environment around them and I feel this film may have been comparable to the working class to the elite of the world that existed in the early 1900s. I feel that this film was very well done, but it truly was more difficult to understand the plot when there was nearly any dialogue.

Arin’s Reading Response #2: Metropolis

The film, Metropolis is a futuristic dystopian with the higher class running the world, while the lower class is treated as slaves. In the beginning of the film the first thing I see are gears which give me a vibe of being in a factory. Later in 4:25, showing a prisoner like workforce dragging their feet into the factories. These workers live in a underground city that looks like a prison.

When showing the Earth’s surface, its the higher class that live on the surface. They show a beautiful garden where people are running around playing. Men wearing formal suits and women wearing beautiful dresses (8:00). At 10:30, a school of children in rags appear with a beautiful woman. Everyone is confused while staring at these people. Eventually they are forced back where they came from. Freder the son of this dysopian society has fallen in love with this woman he’s seen for the first time, love at first sight. Was he interested in her looks or just curious why she was with these children?

Freder lives a carefree life compared to others. He tries to go after this woman into the underground factory to only realize what goes on underground. When he sees the workers on the machine, he sees a monster eating the workers(16:30). Freder goes to his father to explain what he has seen in the factory but his father is businessman, so he didn’t talk much about the issue(25:18). Freder starts the realize the cruelty of reality and comes up with a plan to find the woman he loves. He finds the love of his life living underground as a saint and learns of her name, Maria (51:25). She says Freder is the mediator. Meanwhile on surface Rotwag a inventor is creating a robot. A machine that can’t be distinguished between man and machine.

Rotwag captures Maria and uses her face to convince the people who live underground to destroy all machine (1:23:00). This machine Rotwag created is an evil version of Maria. Soon enough people realize the damage they’ve been doing. While destroying the machines they are destroying the city (1:47:13). The workers stopped all the destruction and turned to burn evil Maria. As evil Maria is burned, Freder is fighting Rotwag. In the end Rotwag is defeated, Freder the mediator unites the head and hand. Thus resulting in a happy ending where everyone lives and the evil has been defeated.