The legend of silent movies, actress Mary Pickford once said, “The cinematograph, initially, should be with the sound, and after the silent pictures would follow, which were emotional, expressive”… When actors playing their roles, it only required facial expressions, gestures, a blow to the table or hugs. It was banal or not, everything is subjective and relative in the world. But the fact tells that films were fascinating (and, to some degree, mystical), and we can not disagree.
The picture that broke all the borders between politics and ethics, society and freedom, “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang, 1927. The film became an appeal to disagree with the point of Germany, the emerging Nazism led by the odious nomenclature. Naturally, Lang began to feel repression from “the elite of the state” and later emigrated to the United States. Exiting the picture predicted the future of mankind, the course of history …
What is “Metropolis”? Everything is simple and old as the time: the lower classes work for THE HIGHER CLASS. No, we do not refer directly to the bourgeoisie or capitalism (we will not develop the ideas of Marxism); the problem hinted at “the purity of blood”. The lowest (here in the literal and figurative sense) is forbidden to be, RISE to the best of this world. In this case, we should not be forgotten that on the both sides there is humanity and savagery, primitive “thinking”. If you are not afraid of a spoiler, then you know, the end of the picture has two finals. The first, solely for romantics, the love won; and the second objective, only the understanding bears the peace, the logical conclusion.
As for the actors’ play: both generations are pleasantly amazed. Of course, the protagonist, the teacher-girl Maria, and in the world, the star of German cinema Brigitte Helm, who had Nordic beauty, piercing eyes, capable of expressing all her thoughts without words. The girl had to play also “pseudo-Maria”, who had a purpose, that was consisted to anarchically destroy everything for “creating a new one”. Step-by-step we will observe a reference to the Bible, Goethe, and Romantic writers…
What about Brigitte? “Metropolis” was her breakthrough, this work was followed by the new, as well as a ten-year contract with the studio. Perhaps, her Maria is known to the whole world, the other Helm’s heroines did not overshadow the previous work. Otherwise, after the arrival of the Nazis, Brigitte and her husband emigrated to Switzerland, where they lived peacefully, without entering into squabbles and all kinds of propaganda that could be.
Another actor (of another generation), Alfred Abel (Joh Fredersen, father of the main character), was a member of the old school. It is normal, if for the contemporary spectator his game seems somewhere in the theater, somewhere in an emotional way. Actresses Lillian Gish and Greta Garbo also “defended themselves” with feelings at the limit. But Abel was one of the most talented artists of the time. Watching the film, we’re interesting Joh, than his heroic son Freder. Perhaps, it’s because Abel’s character is not fully revealed, which makes the viewer wonder about the fate of Joh and his past.
If we talk about the montage of the picture, then it was obvious progress in the cinema. Lang could pamper the viewer not only with the concept, but with the “picture”, with its mechanism.
“Metropolis” is a cinema without temporary borders. This is a film-fight for some viewers, a film-insight for others. But do not forget the main thing: understanding makes us people.
Interesting is the fact that “Metropolis” is recognized by contemporary critics as “the jewel” of cinema, but it was begun with a “total failure”. The demonstration of the film failed because of that the movie was cut almost half, losing a lot of significant storylines.
UsaARTnewS strongly encourages our readers to plunge into the world of sincere feelings while watching the unforgettable picture of Fritz Lang “Metropolis”.