Critique of Metropolis

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Samantha Smith

English 1102 R

March 12, 2008

Metropolis Critique

In Fritz Lang’s silent film Metropolis, several key characteristics made the movie what it is. One important feature is the Art Deco and Modernistic architecture, which gives the setting a futuristic feel considering these movements were exploding at the time. Another characteristic is the character’s costumes and make-up. Since the movie was a silent one, artists had to make the visual impact very vivid. Hands, used as a motif and/or theme throughout the film, were also a critical influence to the expressions of the characters. Overall, I thought the movie was innovative, but at the same time dull. However, during the late 1920’s I probably would have thought that Metropolis was an alarming and possibly accurate way of looking into future, considering everything that was taking place at the time. I say that it was dull simply because I have never seen a silent film before and I am used to the action-packed loud Hollywood movies. I also thought Metropolis was innovative (at the time) because there was no other film or book like it before. Metropolis was a big step onto the limb of futuristic science fiction.

Costumes and make-up were used in Metropolis to accentuate the acting and expressions of the characters. As with any other dystopian book or movie like Equilibrium, Anthem, and 1984, the suppressed dehumanized population wore similar or alike uniforms. This created uniformity and abolished individuality. In Metropolis the working women, like Maria, wore same color and style dresses. Working men wore equally identical pants and shirts. In the film characters wore a large amount of make-up. Because the film was a silent film, the characters’ faces needed to be accentuated so their facial expressions could be seen and understood better. I noticed and thought that the make-up characteristics looked similar to those of a mime. For instance with Freder, Fredersen, and Maria, their eyes...
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