Fritz Lang’s Metropolis as a Framework and Inspiration for Contemporary Cinematic Dystopias Cover Image

Metropolis Fritza Langa jako pierwowzór i inspiracja współczesnych filmowych dystopii
Fritz Lang’s Metropolis as a Framework and Inspiration for Contemporary Cinematic Dystopias

Author(s): Paweł Aleksandrowicz
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Film / Cinema / Cinematography
Published by: Ośrodek Badawczy Facta Ficta
Keywords: cinema;film;Fritz Lang;Metropolis;dystopia;dystopian city;dystopian studies
Summary/Abstract: Paweł Aleksandrowicz focuses in his chapter on Fritz Lang whi has become the avantgarde of the cinematic film industry with his dystopian creation, "Metropolis". The film has gone on to become the first ever dystopian film in cinematic history and a great fait accompli by Fritz Lang. Such has been the impact and influence in the industry that it has gone on to become a cinematic and artistic model for subsequent film directors. Much of the influence and impact on succeeding films pertain to Lang’s artistic style in the dystopian subgenre. In his unique artistic genius, Lang uses the principle of decorum together with his film style that has become synonymous with the themes of his films. He incorporates visual harmony, geometry and symmetry unto his film shots as soothing aesthetics for the dystopian scenes. Such stylistic genius can be classified as “covert dystopia” where the dystopian nature of the setting and scenes are masked by directorial and film-technique aesthetics. Lang’s harmonious stylistics of “covert dystopias” have also given rise to the antithesis of his style. The antithetical subgenre of “overt dystopias” has been created without the aesthetics used by Lang. The style of “overt dystopias” utilizes shots full of chaos, destruction and maelstrom. "Metropolis" has been the true source of inspiration for many succeeding cinematic dystopias and moving picture films. The stylistics, the plot devices and the production standards that were created by Fritz Lang have been imitated by his successors many times over and have, over the years, become a cinematic creative force of the subgenre inspiring many contemporary dystopias. As an aside, "Metropolis" has gone as far as defining what a future dystopian city should look like in cinematography. The introduction of revolutionary production standards to the science-fiction genre is another artistic merit attributed to Fritz Lang. The director has placed great emphasis on special effects and set design, thus making his film a visual tour-de-force and birthing the modern science-fiction film. On a final note, "Metropolis" developed upon the plot devices created by Lang’s literary predecessors while simultaneously introducing new ones.

  • Page Range: 293-305
  • Page Count: 13
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Language: Polish