Metropolis

       Metropolis is a film that published in 1927 , this film is based on a futuristic technological advancement and how some benefit while many on the other hand many suffer. One day freder Fredersen the son on  the king Joh Fredersen who ruled the Utopian city known as Metropolis,  happened to stumble upon this beautiful young woman playing with the kids . He was so astonished by her beauty that he began to follow her.

   Freder followed Maria back to a underground world filled with workers that operates the machines that runs the       world above them , after seeing the horrible conditions the workers were facing Freder decided that he should have a talk with his father Joh the ruler of the world above (Metropolis) in which many people had to work hard to keep it running . After  Freder went to visit his father telling him about the horrible things he witnessed in the world below and begging his  father to do something to put a stop to what was going his father told him these people were where they needed to  be. Freder found that quite harsh of his father to say and decided that if his father wasn’t going to help those people that  he would make it his duty . Freder then went to the underworld where he saw a worker operating a clock like machine  and  then asked the worker to  trade life with him. After Joh found out what his son was doing he sent for the assistance  of his friend Rotwang. They eventually found out Freder reason for wanting to help those people being Maria the beautiful young woman he stumbled upon and decided they were going to use her as bait to put a closure to Freder’s plan. Joh wasn’t aware that his partner had plans of his own and was going to double cross him even if it was going to cost the life of Joh’s son.

   This film showed that even though many people benefit from the good works of technological advancement there’s so many people that had to work hard to make sure things run smooth receiving no benefits from the hard work they put in which is unfair . This story also shows that sympathy wouldn’t even be graduated upon the workers  by the man who had the power to  a stop the what was going on even if his own blood begged for it, because of selfishness .

Response on Metropolis Film

 Metropolis is a 1927 silent German expressionist science fiction  film directed by Fritz Lang. It takes place in a futuristic Utopian city. The city is divided by to social classes the wealthy people and the working class. The wealthy  live above ground in the beautiful city. While the working class live and are slaving away under ground working long hours and being mistreated. At the beginning of the film, you are shown the big contrast between these 2 social classes. Around 4 minutes into the film you can see  the workers  switching shifts . They walk in sync, lifeless with their heads down. Meanwhile , the rich enjoy the riches above with lecture hall , theaters and stadiums. One of the main characters ,the son of Joh Fredersen , master of the city , Freder is hanging out enjoying his time in a pleasure garden, but is interrupted by the arrival of a young woman named Maria, who has brought a group of workers’ children to witness the lifestyle of the rich. She tells them that these are their brothers before she is send away and back to the underground along with the children. Freder intrigued by the women named Maria follows them to the underground city. He witnesses the conditions these workers are put through and  after an accident informs  his father about this.  Freder rebels and decides to help the workers, after seeing his fathers indifference tours them.  Someones idea of a Utopia  is not always the same for others. Joh Fredesen Utopian  city  happened at the expense of the the working class and because of this causes an up rise. Similar to The Machine Stops people  question this idea. Why are things the way they are?

Discussion about Metropolis Film

Metropolis was a film by Fritz Lang. It is a German movie and it is also a silent film in which it plays and shows the scenes but they would also use words to describe what characters say or what happens in certain events throughout the movie as well. Other info about this movie is that after it had it’s first premier it was than altered later on. Since that happened it was divided up into fragments than soon after the full version was found in Buenos Aires and also afterwards it was reconstructed in Argentina and than restored back. Also since this is an oldtime film, it is in black and white.

In the movie it looks as though it takes place in a futuristic time period. It seems that there is division among the people within the movie. There are workers who are working and they seem to be in one part of the city and than there are people who are wealthy and they seem to be in another part of the city. In the beginning we see that as the workers are working, we than see the words “Shift Change” and when the workers are arriving for their shifts they are seen walking in a sort of same manner and they all look the same as though they are wandering zombies. It seems that they are put through a intensive labor type of jobs and it probably drains life out of them.  The story takes place in Metropolis. Throughout the film’s story it seems that there has been a difference in ideas between a father and a son. Josaphat is the name of the son and it his father banished him from his presence and than the son continues to travel on. Even though he sent his son away he still wants to know his movements as according to the movie he tells a man to track his movements. As the son travels he finds a man operating a clock like machine and he offers to step in his place and even offer to swap or trade lives as well. The machine needs to be constantly watched and the hands on the clocked needs to be moved also and it seems to involve strenous work because we see the character struggling with it and talking about if ten hours would ever end. Also in the movie there is a scientist by the name of Rotwang and he invents a machine or android that resembles a person. Also they talk about The Tower of Babel and a person who resembles a powerful god like being instructed and hired many workers for the construction of it and they seem to want to do it because they were persuaded well by that figure into doing it.

This movie is a good example and work in terms of being science fiction because it has various elements and futuristic as well. In this movie it treats the characters differently like the rich are living well and workers looks as though they are dreading. In the movie I found it interesting when they said in the beggining that “The Mediater between the Brain and the Hand is the Heart”, and I found this to be an interesing quote because it describes that your heart can play a big role in the actions you do and this could be applied in real life as well.

The Analysis of Metropolis

The film Metropolis shows us many types of views, the view of Metropolis from Joh Fredersen is in a utopian society with luxurious living on the sky scrapers. While Freder, after finding out about the underground society , Freder has a nightmare about it (15:00-17:00) it was at that time that Freder views change from utopian to distopian. During Freder nightmare he depict that the worker as slaves to the machine they are working on. The machine was depict as an altar or god and the humans were the sacrifices to keep it running (15:00-17:00). Maria view of the society is that of the same a Freder but less intense of what Freder nightmare shows, Maria mainly wants peace for the society.

As Freder join the work force to feed the machine he soon realize that it is very hard. It was shown a couple of time the number 11811 when he takes of his hat. This means that the workers are given numbers instead of name shows that they are insignificance to the human living above ground. In a closer look on the people living above ground they have airplanes flying around and even streets in the sky. While underground seem so plain with just builds and windows on them. Even the children in the film are very dirty meaning that the underground is not clean.

The workers in the beginning of the film had robot like movement, walking in and out at the same pace with the same stance, heads down. As the film progresses we see how the workers transform from an obedient loyal worker to rebellious worker because of Maria. Maria was like a goddess to the workers teaching them all types of things using a book and teaching them about the Tower of Babel. This was used aganist the people afterward by Fredersen to control the people underground. In the end Fredersen agrees with the worker to compromise and have an equal standing.

Metropolis shows many futuristic elements (18:00-19:00). One of which is the highway in the sky and is as tall as the buildings surrounding them. Other futuristic element was one of Rotwang invention (41:40-43:00) the machine, the machine was able to mimick Maria later on in the film. Maria double cause the worker to change drastically and start rebelling. The rebellion causes the underground to be uninhabitable the plan of Fredersen was ruined because of the unexpected consequences of Maria double or the machine.

The film was very intresting and boring at the same time. The plot of the film I enjoyed a lot and it also inspired many of today science fiction film industries. Although it was very interesting, silent film are not my thing because it is always up for different interpretation and  views. The character transformation of Frederick was interesting too, because Freder was living a rich life high in the tower then become a lowlife worker to overthrow his father’s business, this type of plot have appeared many times in other types of film I have watched and they might have been inspired by this film.

Metropolis Class Discusion

So this was … interesting. The Metropolis, to my understanding, was one of the earliest science fiction movies to be made. I understand … most of the movie and found it a bit hard to follow but I think I understand the main ideas.

The movie opens with a scene depicting workers heading down an elevator to what I assume is to go work. At 3 minutes and 18 seconds the scene depicts what the worker’s shift change looks like. Everyone has their head hanging and looking downward, regardless of whether they are entering or leaving. They are all lined up in a tight lineup and are all taking measured steps so that none step out of line. Then the movie moves from these workers going underground to show scenes of what look like a well made and beautiful environment as opposed to the dark underground only a few scenes ago. The movie then shows us its protagonist, a man by the name of Fredner the son of Joh Fredersen. First appearing at 6 minutes and 7 seconds he has lived a life of luxury, attending stadium sport events and being entertained by young women. This all changes when he sees the world below for the first time. At  12 minutes and 4 seconds he sees workers at a machine that over heats.  The movie portrays this event a bit differently. The workers are caught in smoke and a great staircase appears. The workers are then being pushed up these stairs where some sort of faced idol starts eating the workers. What then follows is the workers killed in the explosion being carried off and replaced at a very alarming rate. I’m assuming this is how Fredner sees the expulsion and how these workers are being treated. This makes Fredner uneasy and goes to speak to his father Joh Fredersen. His father didn’t respond how he was expecting to. After getting into an argument with his father, Fredner decides to trade places with one of the workers for a time in an attempt to, what I’m assuming, better understand the trials and struggles of the working class. Although he may just be an immature boy who thought he can alleviate the burden of a single worker, but I can’t say that confidently.

The middle of the movie lost me quite a bit, but I think that a woman named Maria, or not Maria that was one thing that confused me, incites a riot by the workers and that goes well. And by that I mean the riot goes well, not the effects of the riot. its hard to say when this riot began, as it was being planned and then later this Maria person finally made the workers take action. What I can give a time for is 1 hour 32 minutes and 42 seconds where Maria literally flips the switch which causes a great machine to fail, or overheat, or something along those lines. The following scenes are of the workers celebrating this momentous occasion followed by the city’s inner workings malfunctioning.

I point these out as they’re scenes that portray human emotion and the story’s machine, system or society in conflict. Fredner feels what his father has done to this great city is unfair and cruel and makes moves to understand the workers and by the end of the movie attempt to mediate between the workers and the people of the upper world. All throughout the movie were scenes of the workers unhappy and frustrated about their position, if not that then dead due to workplace accidents. Such a society like the city Metropolis, I actually don’t know the name of the city but I’m taking an educated guess, crushes the individuality and human aspects of a person to the point where everyone is wearing a uniform and takes steps that travel the same distance as the people around him. This movie shows us that such a system is against what makes us humans and that such a system will end violently.

Metropolis Observation

The film Metropolis is a silent film from 1927, a German expressionist film that depicts a city that is successfully operated by workers, humans who live deep below the surface of the earth.  Life on the surface was euphoric and booming with modernized technology. Yet under the surface the people lived in poor conditions and worked vigorous long shifts. They are like slaves, this gets depicted at 15mins,when Freder daydreams of the machine turning into a huge head like alter  and soon after we see that the workers were bound and being tossed into the machines mouth. The machine was literally and figuratively eating the workers up inside.

This highlights the huge disconnection between the upper and lower people. A quote that’s relevant to the film, ” the mediator between brains and hands must be the heart”at 2mins 51sec, was said multiple times throughout the film. It serves as a form of foreshadowing of the tension to come between the people. The brains being those above ground and the hands being the workers below ground.

Freder first laid eyes on Maria in the Eternal Gardens , mentioned at 11mins 48secs, where he seemed to be starstruck.* SideNote*It surprised me when she was seen with a clan of little boys. this far in the film i hadn’t seen a single child, so i assumed they didn’t exist civilization.  He immediately became fascinated with Maria , and even went as far as following her to the unseen land of the workers. at 13mins 36 sec.

When Freder escapes from above and goes underground to become a worker, he soon comes across Maria in a church like setting, she speaks of a mediator that was soon to come to help the people, who better of a person than Freder? He went against his father who was the Master and showed care for the workers, compassion that was much needed.This is kind of like our modern society where people work for little to nothing making clothing, shoes and cropping . There is a distinct group that does all the hard work then there is a group that takes the outcome and sell it at an exponential cost. The law in some cases stands as Freder, the necessary mediator. When Freder escapes from above and goes underground to become a worker he comes across Maria in a church like setting, she speaks of a mediator that was soon to come to help the people, who better of a person than Freder? He went against his father who was the Master and showed care for the workers, compassion that was much needed. And through an uproar and re

Metropolis

Metropolis is a silent film from 1927, that is also a German expressionist film. I personally didn’t enjoy this film as much as I was told I would, its plot is very basic for today. One thing that really grinned my gears in this movie was the plot hole about the use to repress workers with violence to keep them from rebelling. They already had a reason to not rebel, if they attacked the “white collar” workers, they all seem to be carrying fire arms as can be seen when Josaphat pulls a pistol out of his suit when he plans to kill him self instead of going to the underground, so they would already be armed encase of this. Secondly if they attack and/or stop working on the machines, their city floods, making it so they have a gun to their head if they try to change the system so Joh didn’t even need to have a conspiracy to prevent rebellion, he had worked it into the design. If the film took that angle, it could have been a more interesting for it’s time.  Its also a silent film so what dialog that happens is limited and has  little nuance to it. That being said i still did enjoy he film’s sets, depictions of worker life. It is good to see all the roots of the typical sci-fi city depiction. This film felt liked it dragged to me though.

Alright, Metropolis is a depiction of utopia in the future, which is built on top of the city of workers, whom are the “blood and flesh” that feed the machines. the film really shows that everything in the city is built like a pyramid, with those on top “feeding” off of those below, being more prosperous the higher you get were you can for most of your childhood, live in a garden of Eden type setting were all your needs seem to be taking care of. On the flip side of this, the common man kill themselves for the sake of running the city, and making sure their city doesn’t flood in the process. There are meany references to the bible in the film, most notably the new tower of babel, which was originally a tower built my great men to challenge god; and the pentagram shown in the background when the machine-man is first unveiled, giving foreshadow of events to come, and that from this being, no good can come from. Another thing to note is how the “higher ups” dehumanize the workers by giving them numbers instead of using their names, like Geogry is 11811, in order for the “higher ups” to put these people though grueling work that would break anyone. This also shows when the master of Metropolis ends up wanting to use force on them by them having a riot that would need to be put down by force and continue to use that to prevent them from rioting more or even out right rebel, which could have been avoided if he would have just talked to them like humans and not like chattel. one thing that I’m really  impressed by is the technique used in the sets, whether its the elevators or the birds eye view of Metropolis, to the city of workers and its center piece for the ring of the shift change.

Dystopia and Religion in Metropolis

Watching Metropolis, I’ve noticed 2 major things that come up throughout the movie; the use of both utopia and dystopia side by side as well as them being references to the christian bible by using names such as Babel.  This constantly pops up throughout the movie.

In the beginning of the movie, it first shows the workers entering the workplace within the depths.  It shows how droning and depressing the depths are before showing everything above a few minutes later.  This helps immediately show the contrast between the setting of the depth and the setting in the surface.  The surface, especially the Eternal Gardens and the surface cities that the new Tower of Babel towers above, seems pleasant and amazing.  The high streets and planes flying around on the surface indicates that technology, for the time when the movie was made, was very advanced that people above enjoyed many luxuries.  The depth, observed from when Freder traveled to the depths, were hellish.  People in the depths constantly worked to the point where, even though the machine overheated and blown away many workers in the steam, more workers came to replace the injured or possibly dead to keep working while the others where were blown away and injured were carried off.  The machines, run by the workers in the depths, are what makes the surface run as comfortably as it does as utopia, while down below, the depths shows how much of a dystopia it is.  The surface is held up by the overworking and pressure of many people in the depths to make and keep the machines work like slaves working for their slavemasters.  This is especially cemented as, when the workers gathered in the catacombs, the lady that Freder falls for talks about Babel and compares the one in the bible with the one in the movie; while the minds who came up with the tower and those with high status sees it as a great thing, the ones building it up and maintaining it sees it as a horrid building.  This leads to another thing

In the beginning after showing the depths, it shows the surface and one of the first areas the movie introduces, after the depth, was the Eternal Gardens.  Even though it has a different name, it seems to share similarities to the Garden of Eden due to how both of them depicts paradise where, especially in the Eternal Gardens, people play about without worry.  Another reference to the bible the new tower of Babel, whose name comes from the Tower of Babel in the bible.  The movie even makes the connection even more by telling the story as how the tower was built to reach the stars, its as built by hands of many people, and how the tower was left for abandon in the end.  This seems to be forewarning as the tower of Babel in the bible was abandon in the end that this may happen to the new Tower of Babel in the movie.  After Freder left the catacombs, he enters an area which statues representing 7 deadly sins and tells them to stay away from him and his crush.  Throughout the movie, it makes use of religious symbols as it appears throughout the movie with meanings attached to them.

Snow day! (City Tech Closed Tomorrow, Th 2/9: No Class)

Hi everyone:

As you may have heard by now, City Tech is closed tomorrow due to the coming snow storm, so we won’t be having class.

We’ll continue to use our Class Discussion on “The Machine Stops” as a way to work through the short story, focusing on the elements of fiction, especially conflicts & themes (especially in relation to the questions in the Science Fiction Framework) and analysis of quotes (with citations!). A friendly reminder that initial comments are due by tonight (thank you to those of you who have already gotten the ball rolling!), and then at least two additional comments are due by Friday. We’ll continue the discussion throughout the weekend though, so we’ll have covered a lot of ground before next week.

As for going forward, we’ll discuss “The Machine Stops” (and Voyage dans la Lune) in class when we next meet on Tuesday (2/14), and watch/discuss Metropolis for next Thursday (2/16)–with Reading Response #2 due W 2/15–instead of Tuesday as planned. I’ll adjust the schedule accordingly and provide an update later this weekend, with revised due dates for blogs & texts.

Most importantly, stay safe during the storm & enjoy the snow day 🙂

Cheers,
Professor Belli