Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1997.M436 M48 2000
The chapter concerning architecture covers a large array of issues concerned with the structure of the buildings and thus their symbolic meaning for the film. The two authors discuss how that there is a mixture of architectural styles that lacks “uniformity and balance” but by putting these two side by side, it emphasizes the coexistence of two conflicting ideologies. The large buildings that make up the majority of the city landscape cannot be anything without the older, cathedral like buildings. This juxtaposition conveys the idea of technological progression. Additionally, it is this necessity of having the older buildings, like Rotwang’s place and the catacombs, and the larger, extravagant building, like the modern Tower of Babel, that makes Lang’s message of the dangers of the dehumanization quality of technology possible. The architecture in this sense is essential for the main purpose of the film to shine through.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1997.M436 F75 2000
In this piece called "The Mediation of Technology" by R.L. Rutsky within Fritz Lang's Metropolis, an interesting perspective of the influence of the two aspects in which the piece is entitled. Going in depth into how technology drove the main points of the movie, Rutsky describes how it rises from a darker, more primeval area of human nature that makes an interesting conversation into its relation to the film’s overall theme. Further, the comparison of the role of male and female in the film, specifically between Maria and Freder, makes for an intriguing talk in how Fritz Lang really views this interaction of the sexes. Rutsky delves into how the architecture used in the film adds to the theme by juxtaposing the extravagant, modern upper world structures with the underbelly, natural-looking, pagan catacombs of below.
What Rutsky is able to add to the thought of the symbolic methodology of the architecture is how it can be furthered into the ways in which they also represent the two main characters. The earthy feel in which the catacombs where Maria preaches adds to the character’s aura of being motherly as she tries to inspire hope in the workers whose dreams have been repressed by those who rule Metropolis. Frederson, on the other hand, finds home in the lavish, upscale towers of the buildings on the surface, emphasizing his removal from the horrors that is to be a worker in this futuristic world. Additionally, Rutsky takes into account the home of the inventor, Rotwang, and discusses how it acts as the very aspect to contrast with the “home” feeling of the caracombs. He says, “the familiarity and warmth of the home of the ‘good’ mother can be contrasted to the darkness, occult symbols, and secret passages of Rotwang’s house”(Rutsky 230), explaining how the architecture of Rotwang’s house is actually a representation of his character, since he is a complex character being motivated by “secret” motives that are hinted at throughout the movie. It is in this sense that Lang, in an unique way, creates a story by using the architecture that his characters use.