The discussion of movies seems to my niche lately. However, I think my newfound proclivity for film has occurred for a reason. Yes, theres a distinct purpose underlying my desire to watch and, subsequently, write about movies.
That purpose culminated this weekend in my watchingand being overtaken byMetropolis. The one, the only, the 1927 original by Fritz Lang.
Now, Ive had an inexplicable aversion to black-and-white movies, especially silent ones, heretofore. But I cant believe Ive waited so long to watch a film that is colorless, silent, and devoid of CGI. I cant believe Ive waited so long to watch a film that has forever changed how I will view all other films.
From the moment I pressed Play, I sat in amazementwith mouth agapeat the intensity that coated my senses with more glossy, rich color than Ive experienced in a long while. The music, the music, THE MUSIC! The original score by Gottfried Huppertz nearly brings a tear to my eye and an arrhythmia to my heart, what with its sweeping highs and ominous lows.
In this movie, every move of the camera, every profile shot of every actor, every transition from one scene to next They all mean something. The film is one huge allegory comprising several smaller metaphors. You cant get that much meaning out of todays movies.
The heroine and the man-made antagonist, both played my Brigitte Helm, glare at me and grip me through the screen. Helms eyes seem to possess some sort of eerie glow, although Im not sure whether that was an intended special effect or merely an idiosyncrasy of black-and-white film.
Gustav Fröhlich, who plays the films hero, is endearing. Hes timeless and is swift in getting the viewer rooting for him to be the mediator between the Head and the Hands.
What a truly historical event this film is. It is hard to imagine that the resources and the visions were available in 1925-1927 to create a futuristic masterpiece that delves so incisively into the matters the omnipresent Corporation and the division of socioeconomic classes.
Also, it is an unspeakably strange thing to watch a movie that uses the talents of a manHeinrich George, in this casewho would later die in the Holocaust.
Heres the inevitable bottom line: If I can be so taken, so haunted, so preoccupied by a film so old, Id like to see more where it came from. I am on a new quest: to find black-and-white films, both of the silent and the talkie varieties, that will keep my love for movies alive. You havent seen Metropolis? Its the mother of all sci-fi movies, literally. Put it on your list today.
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