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Metropolis Case Study

vikiwalden | Saturday October 22, 2011

Categories: A Level, EDUQAS A Level, EDUQAS A2, FM4, Section A: World Cinema, Films & Case Studies, World Cinema, Metropolis, Genres & Case Studies, Classic, Expressionist, Independent

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Urban Stories | Power, Poverty & Conflict | Case Study 1 | Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)

Synopsis

Freder has lived a naive existence as the son of the founder / owner of the city of Metropolis. He spends his spare time frolicking in the Club of Sons or Eternal Gardens, blissfully unaware of the tormented incarceration of the workers in the depths of the city. This is until, one day, Maria brings the children to see their richer “brothers”. Touched by the image of these poor, dishevelled children, Freder explores the under city. He is tormented by the images he sees- an accident at the machines transforms into a nightmare of Moloch and he rushes to tells his father, in the New Tower of Babel what he has witnessed. Fredersen seems unconcerned and, in fact, becomes suspicious of his son’s actions, whilst Grot - the guardian of the heart machine (A loyal servant) - reveals his discovery of secret plans amongst the worker’s clothes. Fredersen sacks Josephat, for not revealing this himself and has The Thin Man spy on his son, unaware that his son soon swaps clothes with worker 11811 to relieve him of his strenuous work. He asks 11811 to wait with Josephat and he will meet them soon; 11811 betrays him though, finding money in Freder’s pocket he is tempted by the seduction of the night life in the entertainment district - Yoshiwara.

Fredersen goes to see Rotwang, who lost his love Hel to Fredersen, but has been busy making a robot in the female form to replace her. However he calls this robot the “machine man”- the future of mankind. Fredersen asks Rotwang to analyse the secret plans, which have stumped his experts; he reveals that they are plans of the Catacombs and takes Fredersen to spy on the workers. At Maria’s service, she tells the story of the Tower of Babel and expresses the need for a peaceful mediator. All the workers, except Freder, leave and she identifies him as one to take this role. As Rotwang and Fredersen look on, Fredersen...


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