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Metropolis

Year: 1927
Director: Fritz Lang
Writer: Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang's seminal classic can be seen as the director's statement on the opinions of Marxism; who holds the real power - the workers who operate the machine (economy) ir the overseers and managers who employ them.

The underground revolt in the workers' city is the proletariat uprising Marx talked about, given violent life by Lang.

In fact, almost everything in the film can be seen as a symbol for some part of the political economy of the industrial age. Maria, the advocate of understanding among the human family regardless of class is co-opted by the scientific class at the direction of the economic elite class by making his robot just like her to incite the workers to violence so as to violently crack down on them. What else is the robot Maria but the media, making us believe it's on our side when it's just a truth filter employed and owned by the same class that owns the rest of the means of production?

The film is almost a cinematic version of the writings of D H Lawrence, who saw the evils of the industrial revolution long before Lang witnessed it already happening.

The huge and elaborate sets (even by modern day standards) make it a marvel - the cityscapes bustling with transport are pretty amazing considering when they were filmed. Together with a simple idea well told through strong symbolism, it's a great movie for anyone interested in the modern economy and the struggle between classes.

The best thing is, like Birth of a Nation, you can watch it all in fast forward and it only takes you an hour. There's minimal dialogue, and Lang drove his points home labouriously with long, unchanging sequences, such as the workers shuffling towards the lifts for the change in shift.

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