|(Movie poster featuring "Freder" ~played by Gustav Frohlich, the character the story follows)|
A silent film I discovered on Netflix started a trend for me. It spawned a desire to watch a growing list of silent film titles, most of them classics. "Diary of a Lost Girl", starring Louise Brooks, was the catalyst. The follow up? An incredible trip into a future that tells a timeless and well worn tale. A tale that rings true on a number of levels even today.
|(Some art shots of the Metropolis city)|
|(The heart of the city)|
|("Maria" ~ played by Brigitte Helm)|
The artistic quality of the sets. The expression of the story being told through exaggerated yet heart felt pantomime. A simple story? Yes. However, it's one that 'speaks' in so many ways. The beautiful 'Metropolis' is a front for a dystopian world. Men of wealth rule the city above, while the poor lower classes pour out their blood and sweat to keep the city 'alive'. One of the chief characters at the center of the story is Freder, son to the "master of the city". It is Freder who leads us through the film. He is quite oblivious to the goings on below, never knowing of the existence of the "worker city", nor the plight of the poor workers. It is during a visit to a pleasure garden where he is frolicking with what I figure to be prostitutes, when he sees the young Maria. She has brought a group of children from the bowels of the city to show them what their "brothers" are up to. Freder becomes obssessed with finding her. Finding his way into the workers' city, he is horrified at what he finds.
(If you want to pause the page music, the player is at the bottom of my blog.)
|(The robot Maria dances...)|
|(The lustful onlookers.)|
This creative accomplishment is exquisite. A science fiction world, a love story, and a social statement. From the first scene I was pulled into that future world. Two groups of workers. One coming off shift, and one going on. Not a word is said. Just the musical score, and the illustrative movements of the players on the screen. Just brilliant. I don't think I have to say that I recommend this film. Everyone should see it. The silent film genre is out there, and we need to keep it alive.
Next film up: Another Louise Brooks film (probably the main one she is known for), "Pandora's Box".
|(Brigitte Helm in the robot suit between takes, sans helmet)|
|(Joh, Freder's father, meets Rotwang's robot)|
|(The real Maria sounds the alarm in the worker's city)|