Dystopia In Film Metropolis Vs Utopian Art Deco

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Dystopia In Film Metropolis Vs Utopian Art Deco

The 1920s in Germany were a transition time World War I had recently ended and it was precisely the war that showed the destructive potential of modern technology Invented and first used by the Germans in 1915 machine guns and poison gas showed the deep split between technology and humanity it was the first modern war in which machines decided the outcome In this time in history it was the embracement of technology in other parts of the world the Art Deco movement was the Utopian new way of living After the war in Germany American modernity became a powerful agent in the economic and cultural modernisation America represented the New World since Germany had a lack of national identity the idea that mass culture might be a secret American weapon one that would enslave the world by distracting it made sense according to Isenberg 2009 p182183 Combining these two facts the German loss of dignity during the first World War and modernity rising it created a certain comfort for the German culture to accept the modern movement since it represented the ideal of living in the present which made it easier to forget about the harsh past At first America was seen as a good idea but by the mid1920s Germany faced a stability in politics and economy which questioned American way of living its technological progress began to be seen as inhuman Germany was beginning to feel threatened by America with its focus on materialism and mechanisation of life seeing it as a way to kill the human side of humankind

In 1927 the German film director Fritz Lang created a movie analysing just that our future with machines and its possible outcome It was a film created to show the comfort Germany first took in accepting modernity but in a way where humanity would lose it all to it The Art Deco movement at the time stood for the modern world and the evolution of people through the new inventions of machines Metropolis still believed in this Utopian life but created its own showing how human and machines can work as long as one important factor is not forgotten which the modern world seemed to have already done

In comparison to the Art Deco modern views Metropolis created its own view which can be seen as its own nave Utopian world but also showed the Dystopia that could occur from this fast modern movement

In order to see how the two go hand in hand one must look at important elements which happened at this time the introduction of new technologies which affected almost all the aspects of life From architecture to fashion people and their ways were changing since freedom was now praised upon everything that used to be taboo or conservative was now in the open Taking into consideration that the major elements which make up Art Deco are present in the film this is to show how they were used to portray the negative side of this modern vision We all believe in a Utopian way of life in perfection but the consequences are most of the time overlooked and the film Metropolis was that vision showing the effects of the new technologies people were praising and how it would forever change people life and the world Without further ado lets see how the film has proven itself to be a masterpiece but most importantly how a purely imaginative vision may have foretold our future from began as a Utopian idea to what may have changed the fundamentals of humankind

The late teens and early twenties in Germany was a time of rampant inflation decadence personal liberty violence and insecurity It was followed by the unfortunate rise of the Nazis during the late twenties and early thirties which saw a severe clampdown on freedom of expression is all walks of life especially the arts and politics according to Organ 2009 The central theme of Metropolis is that of a separation between working class and higherups and the need for a mutual understanding of each is presented both abstractly and directly through the image rather than the word This theme of workers revolting agains

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