Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist film produced by Fritz Lang. It tells the story of Freder as he discovers the lives of the workers that keep the city running for Joh Frederson, his father and owner of the city. Metropolis shows a city that depicts two sides of a city with only one side benefitting from the other, "...a future where an exploited underclass works in subterranean machine halls to support a small, pampered aristocracy living in palatial skyscrapers..." (French, 2015).
|Figure 1: Metropolis Poster|
Metropolis shows a city in two halves, the upper city in which the richer population live and the lower city where the workers live. The upper City having the more pleasant aspects of life (see fig 2), "...it has spire and towers, elevated highways, an Olympian Stadium and Pleasure Gardens." (Ebert, 2010). The Lower City shows a starkly different perspective however as it is made of tall bare building placed close together which adds to the feeling of being trapped. The worker's city holds none of the opulence the upper city has and is a lot darker in colour and tone (see fig 3).
|Figure 2: Upper City|
|Figure 3: Lower/Workers City|
The divide between both halves is furthered in the way they work. The people in the upper city spend their days at the stadiums and in more office based work whereas those in the worker city are stuck doing menial thoughtless tasks such as moving dials and shifting the hands of a clock (see fig 4). The workers lives are split into two, with them working until their shift change, "...where the clocks show 10 hours to squeeze out more work time, the workers live in tenement housing and work consists of unrelenting service to a machine." (Ebert, 2010).
|Figure 4: Worker's Work|
Ebert, R. (2010) Metropolis Review. At:
(Accessed on: 5th October 2016)
French, P. (2015) Metropolis review. At:
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/mar/15/metropolis-fritz-lang-philip-french-classic-dvd (Accessed on: 5th October 2016)