Lang's Film Metropolis

Essay by malulove34University, Bachelor's March 2004

download word file, 9 pages 4.6

Downloaded 83 times

When referring to classic films that have set precedence there is none other than that of Lang's film Metropolis. One of the major themes in this movie was that of the function of time which is clearly evident throughout the film. The movie's message is furthered through its relation to such philosophers as Walter Benjamin and Karl Marx. An interpretation of the film proves more powerful when contemplated through Marx' ideas; however, Benjamin offers a few crucial ideas about the design of the film as art and its purpose. In his essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin depicts the philosophy of the masses and art and how that relates to Metropolis. In addition the theories of Benjamin it is also important to highlight the key ideas of Karl Marx as seen in his works, Estranged Labour and the German Ideology. Throughout his essay, Benjamin highlights many key ideas, some of which can directly be applied to the purpose of the film Metropolis.

In the film, the workers who kept the city running were portrayed as no less than a large mass of non-individualistic, animalistic sub-humans. They were never depicted as having the capability to posses any kind of worthy relationship with another, nor were they seen as able to calculate their own thoughts. For example, Fredersen, Rotwang, and the robot of Maria's ideas were easily manipulated by others. . It was this inability for them to think on their own that diminished their consciousness of themselves and their circumstances. The film stated that the workers "were forced to the limits of human endurance by working the machines."

They became so consumed with the demands of this coerced labor that, as a mass, they lost touch with reality. "The adjustment of reality to...