Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"I have recently seen the silliest film."

I just saw a film heavily influenced by Metropolis* and I don't mean that in a good way. Not that I have a low opinion of Lang's movie. It's an often stunning collection of stunning images and some remarkable action sequences in the climax, but it really is a silly story with fascist elements (Goebbels was a fan though not so much of Lang's later work).

H.G. Wells wrote a memorable if brutal review. You should read whole thing but for now here's a taste of the opening.
I have recently seen the silliest film.

I do not believe it would be possible to make one sillier.

And as this film sets out to display the way the world is going,

I think [my book] The Way the World is Going may very well concern itself with this film.

It is called Metropolis, it comes from the great Ufa studios in Germany, and the public is given to understand that it has been produced at enormous cost.

It gives in one eddying concentration almost every possible foolishness, cliché, platitude, and muddlement about mechanical progress and progress in general served up with a sauce of sentimentality that is all its own.

* If you think you know, you probably do.

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