Sunday, 10 January 2021

arbeiter nr. 11811

Debuting on this day in 1927 at the Ufa-Palast-Zoo cinema in Berlin, the silent, expressionist dystopian drama Metropolis was director Fritz Lang’s vision of the eponymous science-fiction novel by Thea von Harbou. Filmed during the optimistic days of the Weimar Republik and informed by the philosophy of such attendant movements as Bauhaus, the ground-breaking piece forecasts, presciently, a bleak and oppressive future technocracy with a huge chasm separating the classes. With a legacy of immeasurable influence and launching numerous homages, it was inscribed on the UNESCO register of Memory of the World—the first film to receive this honour. The message of the movie, whose allegory is of course not meant as an instruction manual, is summed up in the final intertitle: „Mittler zwischen Hirn und Hรคnden muss das Herz sein“—that is, “The mediator between the Head and Hands must be the Heart.”