|The film looks better than this: I photographed my TV to get screen-caps
Still, what a wonderfully symmetrical city.
|Freder sees somebody more beautiful
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, who I'd so enjoyed as King Etzel (you know, Atilla the Hun) in 'Die Nibelungen' (1924) appears here as Rotwang, the archetypal mad scientist, whose science seems to made primarily of magic. Rotwang has created a maschinenmensch, a mechanical version of Freder's dead mother, but chooses to model her face on Maria. Thus, Brigitte Helm gives the film's most amazing performances, playing both the incarnation of charity and humility, and the sultry robotic succubus who makes the tuxedoed upper crust pant with uncontrollable lusts.
|The Maschinenmensch and Rotwang.
His name, in German, denotes rosy cheeks, not a rotten wang, by the way.
Silent films never looked better. I don't think that's overstating matters: this film is the absolute peak of the silent era. This is much more ambitious than anything made in the next decade, as the advent of sound, which began in earnest with the same year's 'The Jazz Singer', set back cinema's visuals significantly. By the time studios and audiences had adjusted to the change, colour and widescreen had sent the movie in completely different directions. There could never again be anything like 'Metropolis', and it could never be challenged on its home ground.
|The most exciting intertitle.
P.S. I seem to have failed to give you any screen-shots of the larger sets or more beautiful parts of the city, mainly because my photos all looked very terrible indeed. Here's the trailer, then, which may knock your socks off.
P.P.S Since I've managed to post about a 1910s film followed by a 1920s film, I'll see if I can get through ten consecutive decades like this. The next two films are from 1935 and 1944, and at least one of them is excellent.
Once more, the film looks nicer than my screen-caps suggest. Screen-capping a blu-ray is a tricky thing, so I ended up photographing my CRT's screen with a cell-phone camera. The real film looks beautiful - except the recently recovered scenes, of course, which can only be properly described using the Bristol Stool Scale. Discover for yourself!