Friday, October 5, 2007

Metropolis's Influence

Although at the time Metropolis was not considered to be an important film, the test of time has revealed it to be otherwise. Critics felt the film’s storyline was too simplistic and few outside of the filmmaking community truly appreciated the innovative techniques and visual effects used in the film. The film, however, has left an indelible mark on the genre of the science fiction film and on visual effects in general. The visual style of the city has become the inspiration for any number of films set in the dystopic future.

The list of films that can owe some stylistic debt to Metropolis is staggering.The cityscapes of Blade Runner (1982) are unmistakably inspired by Metropolis, with a central building that looks quite remarkably like the New Tower of Babel from the 1927 film. Dark City’s (1998) subterranean realm inhabited by The Strangers is quite similar in appearance to the worker’s underground world, and the city itself has derived elements from Metropolis. The famous scene in Rotwang’s lab has been imitated countless times in many films, and has served as the archetype for the so-called "Mad Scientist’s lab" with its beakers and huge electrical coils and arcane devices, as seen in the 1931 version of Frankenstein. Even Star Wars’ C-3PO looks quite similar to the robot Futura from Metropolis. These are only a few examples out of surely hundreds of films made worldwide.

No comments: