Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Metropolis


I watched Metropolis the other day for the first time.

Wow.

It ain't my bag. I just figured since I am a silent film fan, I gotta see the one that is pretty famous and well known, even among people who don't love silents. But me, I like the movies with the flappers and very 1920s looking, ya know? Metropolis was very futuristic and modern with it's ideas. It was also very German lol. Loved Brigitte Helm though, she is incredible. And I am so happy that more footage of it was found. Gives hope for the thousands of lost films out there.


I just wanted to talk about some the cool facts about the film because it was/is a pretty influential film for being as old as it is. And it is one of those films people say you should see before you die, so...go see it!


Not suprisingly, this was one of the most expensive films during that time. It was around $200 million dollars! 

It was also reportedly one of Hitler's favorite movies. Nice, eh? Fritz Lang's wife was a supporter of the Nazi party, and members saw the film as a social blueprint. Even more interesting? Fritz Lang was Jewish! Supposedly Hitler liked the film so much, he let the director flee to the United States.

Around 20-30 minutes of the film that was believed lost was found in a museum in Argentina in 2008. Shortly after, it was announced that even more footage had been found in Chile. Apparently the film cannister was purposely mislabeled to avoid being destroyed during a time of military coup in Chile. From what I have read though, the Chile film has not been put into the newly released edition. I could be wrong though, but from what I have read, that is the impression I get.

This movie took 2 years to shoot, and I can see why! I mean, movies now take that long and they have all the fancy technology, but back in 1927...man...can you imagine? A lot of hand work and fancy editing techniques.


When you first see/meet the robot, it is actually Brigitte Helm inside. See, this is why I love her. What a trooper! After her role in this film, almost all of her following film roles were starring roles.

Like I said earlier, this film was quite influential. C-3PO from Star Wars was modeled after the robot. I didn't know this till after I watch it, and it is kinda weird how they walk the same and look like they are made out of the same material. Also, the creators of "Superman" liked the film so much, they named Superman's city after the title.

Not surprising, but the film was panned by critics when it first came out. Even famous science fiction author H.G. Wells didn't like it.


This is one of my favorite silent film pictures. Brigitte looks so young and adorable, even when she is dressed as a robot! It is just so cool/bizarre how modern the picture looks, yet it was taken in the 1920s. Such an awesome picture. I wish I could get it framed and put in my house.

5 comments:

  1. Agreed. This film is so ahead of its time. The robot design is truly amazing and so modern "today" sci-fi looking, truly in aw of that. The whole artistic design of the film is breathtaking even in todays terms - but going back 80+ years is mindboggling. And you are right, the robot actress is so fresh and young looking, a big change from the silents and even today when actresses are so overdone.

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  2. It is a great film..I actually saw it in the 1980's set to great music-not that readio gaga-gag crap but classical and the man who ut this together researched the filnm and tried to place the music that was supposed to accompany the actual film. I saw this in a small room in a hotel in Toronto and it still is memorable! Fritz Lang left in 1933 along with Billy Wilder and so many who saw what was to come and they got out...lucky for them. It is very German-lol-the severity and discipline comes through big time but the expressionistic technique is great. 2 of my favourite pieces in the film is when the young man sees the workers and it turns into the face that swallows them-I can't recall the reference to the God but it is in one of my books. The other one si when the young man is dreaming and one sees the gothiv figures in a chruch and then death comes to life..I found that amazing. Great to know they found more footage! I did not know that so it would be nice to see that new footage.

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  3. Hey guys, sorry for the delay! This great because this is one of those films that even people who are silent film fans can discuss (if they have seen it that is). It is an incredible film, and it is so amazing that more footage was found. Keep your fingers crossed that more films can be located!

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  4. Hello I try to give some informations about Brigitte Kunheim née Schittenhelm.
    I am german and my english is rather bad. I hope you can understand what I write.
    She was born in Berlin in March 17 1908 not 1906.
    Her Father Edwin Alexander Schittenhelm came from Stuttgart Wurttemberg born 19.11.1871 at Berlin as merchant. He was also in Officer in the army in german called Reserveoffizier. he died 1912.
    Her mother was from Ueckelmuende Pommoria Grete née Tews born 16.11.1878.
    Mrs Kuehnheim had three brothers and sisters. The eldest was Elisabeth then Hanna then Heinz and the youngest Brigitte .
    She went at school in Werftpfuhl in Brandenburg. She got a diploma. In this school a girl school she played in the theater group.
    Her first husband was Richard Weissbach. They married in summer 1928 and divorced 1933 or 1934.
    The second husband was Hugo Kunheim a chemicans. He owned a chemical factory. Mr. Kunheim was a relative of the founders from Johannesheim the school were
    Brigitte Helm was .
    yours sincerly

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  5. Wow, thank you so much Thomas for the information! The biggest problem with finding info on Brigitte was the language barrier, so I am very happy to have you spell it out for me in English...which was very well :)

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