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Metropolis: Beauty and Thought

             Of all the films we have watched thus far, Metropolis has been the most fascinating. The entire production evokes feelings of wonder and amazement, especially when one considers the imagination and work that must have gone into making this film. Considered by some people to be one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, Metropolis is both a visually stunning and thought-provoking work.
             From the standpoint of production values and set design, this film seems to be almost decades ahead of its time. While other movies from around the same time were using painted-on sets to illustrate normal, everyday locales, Metropolis" sets seemed limited only by the imagination of Fritz Lang and others who were involved in the film's creation. From the breathtaking skyscrapers and the air traffic above ground to the massive workers" city below ground, Metropolis is a very visual film. For example, the miniatures used to represent the city are incredibly detailed. The visual effects are, today, just as visually appealing and awe-inspiring as they must have been in 1927. Each scene seems designed to make the viewer sit up and take notice of the setting, whether it is due to the extravagant opulence of Joh Fredersen's office, the vastness and beauty of Metropolis itself, or the gritty industrial nature of the workers" city.
             One scene that particularly spoke to me was when young Freder goes below ground to the workers" city, and witnesses an accident. In his mind's eye, he sees the machinery transform into a large mouth, devouring the workers. The machines demand their human sacrifices, and continue to devour the workers one by one. This scene was absolutely incredible! I literally found myself watching the scene with my mouth hanging open, wondering how it was accomplished. Lang's visual talents are apparent in the creation of the entire movie, but this scene in particular allows them to shine.

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