_As you might notice, I’ve been slightly behind in posts. It’s thanks to crazy sleep schedules. I’m waking up in the afternoon, doing stuff, then curling up for a movie around 10 or 11 PM. Eh, these things happen. Anyways, we’re up to the dirty dozen. One more to go and we’re a teenager. What better way to bring in the teenage years but with some old, pre-Depression era German film! Metropolis is go!
_It seems obvious in hindsight, but I didn’t realize going in that Metropolis was a silent film. It was made in the 1920’s…like I said. Obvious in hindsight. I’d never watched a silent film before. This was totally uncharted territory. It was quite disorienting at first. There’s a lot about silent film that is just totally and completely different from modern cinema.
First off, everything is kind of fast. Like…as if 1 out of every 3 frames were removed. It’s all…olde time movie fast. Then, not all of the dialog is shown on text cards. Like…there are a lot of times where people’s mouths move, but they don’t show you the text. I’m not sure if that’s how all silent films are, but this one is. Now, obviously, it’s not always necessary. Most of the time during these parts, you have an idea of what’s being spoken about from the actors movements, the music, or simply from dialog shown a minute later.
Silent film is kind of crazy, from this one example I’ve ever seen of it. The score plays throughout the entire movie. There’s never a moment of silence. It makes sense, though, since with no dialog, there’s a larger weight upon the score to convey mood. The acting is more exaggerated, too. When you can’t act with voice, extreme movements make sense. One silent movie and I can see why silent film stars rarely translated to those newfangled talkies.
Also, it’s seriously a massive coincidence that Metropolis features the character of the Thin Man, the creepy right hand man of the big bad, and that I watched it a day after Charlie’s Angels, which featured Crispin Glover as the Thin Man, the creepy right hand man of the big bad. It’s kind of crazy seeing a movie like Metropolis for the first time. Until you see it, you had no idea how many movies paid homages to it. Though…some more overt than others.
Watching this movie…if I didn’t know it was from the 1920’s…or if it wasn’t in black and white…or a silent film…I don’t know if I could’ve guessed what year this movie was made. The movie looks pretty amazing. The elaborate miniatures of the city with all of the moving cars and tiny people. The massive set design…it looks incredible. Though maybe it can hold up as well as it does THANKS to the black and white aspect. Everything looks good in grey scale ;-)
So all this text so far…I haven’t talked about what the movie is about at all. Ok…so…dude Joh Fredersen rules his dystopian metropolis (That’s the movie title!) with an iron fist. City lords rule, workers drool. His son, Freder, lives a relatively carefree life, until he happens a glance at the young lady Maria. He comes down from his ivory tower to find her, when he discovers that the workers in the factories below suffer. He trades places with one, to help understand their plight. Hijinks ensue, followed by All being conquered by Love.
Maybe I’m just starting early on the road to old fogey-dom, but it’s really incredible to see a huge mass of people and KNOW that they were all actual people and not CGI’d images of human forms running around. Holy crap…there are some large masses of humanity present in this movie.
_Return tomorrow for some RANGO action. See you then~