Metropolis: Čaščenje lažnih idealov


Znanstvenofantastični nemi film iz leta 1927 je režiral Fritz Lang, scenarij zanj pa napisal skupaj s svojo ženo Theo von Harbou. Scenarij sta ga leto pred izidom filma izdala tudi v knjižni obliki, glasbo zanj pa je napisal Gottfried Huppertz. Film je postavljen v futuristično urbano okolje in se ukvarja z razkolom med delavskim razredom in upravitelji v kapitalizmu. Sporočilo filma je prikazano v zaključnem delu z naslovom: »Posrednik med glavo in roko mora zmeraj biti srce.« In ravno nota srca ter s tem povezane ženskosti me je pritegnila v tem filmu, saj na lep način pokaže zaslepljenost množice, ki ne prepozna delavke Marije in njenega čistega srca, ampak hipnotizirano sledi njeni sprevrženi robotski različici. In če potegnem paralelo z današnjim časom, imamo podobno zgodbo, kjer so vrednote, povezane s srcem in etiko, zasenčile prazne pojave, ki se v svoji sprevrženosti častijo kot ženski atributi, medtem ko jih množica slepo časti.

Prvi visoko proračunski znanstvenofantastični film je nastajal med leti 1925-1927 ter stal več kot pet milijonov Reichsmark ter šteje za najdražjo produkcijo svojega obdobja. Od 70-tih let naprej so se trudili za obnovitev filma, leta 2001 pa je rekonstruirana različica filma prikazana na berlinskem filmskem festivalu, je istega leta bila vpisana v UNESCOv register dediščine zgodovinskih dokumentov (»Memory of the World Register«). V Argentini so nato leta 2008 našli še dodatne dele in tako je film 12. februarja 2010 bil simultano predvajan v Berlinu in Frankfurtu.

Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton »Fritz« Lang, avstrijsko-ameriški filmski režiser in scenarist, (1890, Avstrija – 1976, ZDA), je bil pomemben predstavnik nemškega ekspresionizma v filmu, ki je deloval v dobi nemega in zgodnjega zvočnega filma. Njegova zgodnja dela imajo fantastične in utopične motive, kasnejši zvočni filmi pa se bolj osredotočajo na ljudi in njihovo notranjo motivacijo. Najbolj je znan po megalomanskem znanstvenofantastičnem filmu Metropolis, najdražji produkciji svojega časa in temačnem trilerju M, ki velja za predhodnika filma noir. Leta 1922 se je poročil s scenaristko Theo von Harbou, ki je sodelovala pri mnogih njegovih filmih in prevzel nemško državljanstvo, leta 1939 pa je zaradi vzpona nacistov na oblast prebegnil v Združene države Amerike in postal še ameriški državljan. V ZDA je snemal filme različnih zvrsti do svoje upokojitve v zgodnjih 1960. letih, vendar tolikšne prepoznavnosti kot njegova zgodnejša dela niso dosegli.

Fritz Lang je leta 1915 služboval kot artilerijski podoficir v Ljutomeru, kjer se spoprijateljil s Karlom Grosmannom, ki velja za pionirja pionir slovenskega filma. Langa naj bi očarala Ptujska gora in znamenita Marija s plaščem, čigar kip povezujejo z inspiracijo znamenitega prizora iz filma Metropolis. Po pričevanju dr. Božene Grosman in dr. Vladimirja Grosmana je leta 1915 v očetovi hiši v Ljutomeru nekaj mesecev stanoval artilerijski podoficir Fritz Lang (1890-1976), poznejši slavni filmski režiser, ki se je udeleževal družinskih praznikov in veliko časa prebil v knjižnici Karolovega očeta. Spominjata se tudi, da je kiparil v bližnji lončarski delavnici. Skulpture so edino ohranjeno umetniško delo iz Langovega predfilmskega obdobja. Kot velik ljubitelj posnetih podob in poznavalec takratne filmske tehnike tako ni izključeno, da je Grossmann vsaj delno vplival tudi na ustvarjalno pot enega največjih režiserjev zlate dobe filma.

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In 1927, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis premiered in Berlin, accompanied by majestic symphonic music written by composer Gottfried Huppertz, one of the first orchestral works specially composed for films during the silent era. Scripted by Thea von Harbou, with collaboration from Lang himself, it starred Gustav Fröhlich, Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, and Rudolf Klein-Rogge. Erich Pommer produced it in the Babelsberg Studios for Universum Film A.G. The silent film is regarded as a pioneering work of the science-fiction genre in movies, being among the first feature-length movies of the genre. Filming took place over 17 months in 1925–26 at a cost of more than five million Reichsmarks. The art direction draws influence from Bauhaus, Cubist and Futurist design.

Made in Germany during the Weimar Period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city’s ruler, and Maria, a poor worker, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. The film’s message is encompassed in the final inter-title: “The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the Heart”. Metropolis is mostly about the dehumanizing effects of human automation, overarching surveillance, and the use of technology as a force for the control of labor.

Metropolis was met with a mixed reception upon release. Critics found it pictorially beautiful and lauded its complex special effects, but accused its story of naiveté. The film’s extensive running time also came in for criticism, as well as its alleged Communist message. Metropolis was cut substantially after its German premiere, removing a large portion of Lang’s original footage. Many attempts have been made since the 1970s to restore the film. In 1984 Italian music producer Giorgio Moroder released a truncated version with a soundtrack by rock artists including Freddie Mercury, Loverboy and Adam Ant. In 2001 a new reconstruction of Metropolis was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, the first film thus distinguished. In 2008 a damaged print of Lang’s original cut of the film was found in a museum in Argentina. After a long restoration process that required additional materials provided by a print from New Zealand, the film was 95% restored and shown on large screens in Berlin and Frankfurt simultaneously on 12 February 2010.

Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton “Fritz” Lang (1890, Austria – 1976, USA) was an Austrian-German-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best-known émigrés from Germany’s school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the “Master of Darkness” by the British Film Institute. Lang’s most famous films include the groundbreaking futuristic Metropolis (1927) and the also influential M (1931), a film noir precursor that he made before he moved to the United States. In 1922, he married screenwriter Thea von Harbou, until 1933, who co-authored many of his films. Because raise of nacizm, he fled for the USA, where he made films of various genres until his retirement in the early 1960s but did not gain as much recognition as his earlier works.

 

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