I've heard good things about Fritz Lang's silent 1927 film Metropolis, sometimes referred to as the 'Daddy of Sci-Fi films', so I was pretty intrigued when we had the pleasure to watch this yesterday.
I have to say, I was truly impressed by the film in its complete entirety; from the epic set designs, vast amounts of actors and wonderful shot techniques - Metropolis really must have been the 'Lord of the Rings' of its time. The story and plot was intriguing and entertaining to follow, where characters are not so black and white in being labelled Good or Evil as their motives and values transition throughout the film, something I feel is quite contemporary for its time. I really did find myself caring about the characters too, rooting on for our hero and feeling sympathetic to the misfortunes that befall Maria.
A particular scene I thought most vivid and striking was when Freder struck his hand out to grab a piece of cloth that belonged to Maria. Positioned in a first person perspective, it was pretty dramatic and very dynamic when compared to the fixed camera positions of the previous film of Dr Caligari.
The art and stage direction is truly impressive and quite simply awe inspiring, particularly the iconic Tower of Babel as shown above. To think, there was no computer generated models or special effects at the time, so everything you see has been built on stage. Despite this limitation, the film convincingly communicates a sense of space brimming with atmosphere, such as the contrast of the underground workers and city life above. It comes to little surprise where later sci-fi films such as Star Wars, and of course the game Bioshock, get their inspiration from.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Metropolis where, given the chance, you will be blown away by some of the concepts and techniques used that would have been wholly unique for its time.