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July 1998, Week 2


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Sun, 12 Jul 1998 14:28:55 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (54 lines)
Definitions of any style or genre will be terminally flimsy once we
poke a hole or two in them, but I would note that there are strong
"expressionist" elements in METROPOLIS: the chaingang shuffle of the
underground workers, the vision of the machine as Moloch, the little
hut of Rottwang in the midst of the Metropolis (rather like discover a
mushroom growing in a stainless steel lavatory), and the performance of
Klein-Rogge himself as the mad scientist.  I do think that Lang's
relationship to Expressionism is problematic, but he does keep showing
traces of the style.
Don Larsson
On Wed, 01 Jul 1998 13:00:45 -0700 "Horak, Chris"
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> In reference to Scott Hitchin's query, I would argue that METROPOLIS is
> not a German expressionist film in the narrow sense of the term. It does
> not use distorted sets (expressing a subjective vision), nor is the
> acting particularly stylized (as in expressionist theatre). It is a
> science fiction film with a highly melodramatic plot that may be
> considered to have expressionist touches (lighting!). Of course,
> refering to my earlier post on PANDORA'S BOX, METROPOLIS must also be
> considered an art film. But like another of Pabst's art films, THE
> JOYLESS STREET, I would consider METROPOLIS as much a product of German
> Neue Sachlichkeit (New Realism), as influenced by elements of
> expressionism.
> Chris Horak
> Jan-Christopher Horak
> Director
> Archives & Collections
> Universal Studios
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> Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
Donald Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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