Monday, February 07, 2011

The Visual Medium

I have finally managed to watch Metropolis.

And all I can say is "Wow!".

Alright, it's true, I can say a lot more. But it's just classic storytelling, and it's visual because that's pretty much all they had. (My 13 year old son wasn't particularly taken with the story - but he thought the music was fantastic, which it was.)

Metropolis is an epic, cast of thousands (really) and the scale is something you just wouldn't get nowadays. It's easy to laugh at the special effects, but they are actually pretty good, given this was created 80 years ago. And there are some very exciting and daring camera moves - Fritz Lang was an innovator.

The acting is interesting and bears comparison with today. Because the two leads (well, three leads except two of them are the same actress) are forced into the highly stylised silent movie big dramatic moves approach: the style they are expected to display. And yet all the other actors just act, and it's good. The reason I say it's comparable to today is because today the big stars are cast by type, just expected to play the part they always play - and it's the supporting cast who have the opportunity to really act. (Johnny Depp is excluded from the previous comment.)

It's interesting to note how many reviewers on IMDb say  they were shocked by how impressive this film is.

I have to agree. It is astonishing.

What's on the turntable? "Layla" by Derek & the Dominoes from "Layla and Other Assorted Love Stories"

1 comment:

Piers said...

What he says.

If you haven't seen it yet, seek it out.