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A Scientific Look At ‘Metropolis’—From 1927

A Scientific Look At ‘Metropolis’—From 1927

A friend recently sent along a link, posted last year, to a
1927 article about the making of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis from a 1927 issue of Science and Invention. As this was new
to me, and fascinating, I felt honor bound to pass it on to you. Metropolis may have been a financial
albatross for UFA but it definitely attracted attention for its futuristic
design and innovative visual effects. I daresay it will always be considered
modern.

Scientific magazines frequently turned their attention to
motion pictures in the 1920s and ’30s, as when Popular Mechanics ran a 1930 cover story on a floating theater that
screened films along the canals of Holland! Later that decade the magazine
published the only known documentation of cartoon producer Max Fleischer’s
tabletop 3-D filming
process. These are but two examples of many.

Still, Metropolis is
the magnet that drew—and continues to draw—a uniquely intense level of
curiosity. That’s because, in spite of today’s prodigious use of CGI, no one
has ever put so much imagination and sheer mechanical ingenuity into one film. The
explanatory illustrations from Science
and Invention
are no less interesting today than they were in 1927.

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