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Hum 304 Assignment One

Metropolis-Expressionism-Moog-Art Deco
by Brian Richardson on 18 February 2011

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Transcript of Hum 304 Assignment One

The Future... What will it consist of? Dehumanization? Utopia? The end of the World as we know it? I understand If you don't want to watch it all, you dont have to.
Around 1:18 is important The 1920's, A time of Art Deco, Expressionism, and industrialization. The United States, a place where dreams are made... ...The Future... A magnificent, gigantic city with gleaming skyscrapers, suspension bridges, and bustling street people living comfortably and plenty. A place with every possibility for intellectual and physical development... But Below... Working for the chosen elite, are the masses of faceless workers without personality doing the dirty work to keep the city alive. No social order and less valued than the cog in the machine they work. Yet of course, I am referring to the film Metropolis, Frtiz Lang expressionist film about the possible future organization of society. When looking at different art pieces that portray the 20's, as well as themes of industrialization, futuristic sci-fi, and dehumanization one would think of the film Metropolis; the art movements Art Deco and Expressionism, and music by Robert Moog. First, lets start with Metropolis and Expressionism There are many different themes in the film Metropolis: Unequal distribution of power and wealth; The masses being manipulated, also known as the lemmings affect; The mad scientists creating robots; Dehumanization; False utopia. Fritz Lang, the director, was strongly influenced by Expressionist film and artistic forms. Expressionist architecture uses the form of a building as a means to evoke or express the inner sensitivities and feelings of viewer or architect. Expressionist art is the same way; the artist wants to evoke moods for emotional effect. (Urgosíková) From the Britannica Academic Edition: "Artistic style in which the artist seeks to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses the objects and events arouse within a person" "The Scream" Expressionism is meant to express intense emotion, and most of the time this emotion is usually of angst or sadness. “The Scream” is a famous painting done by Vincent Van Gough. When viewing the painting the focus is on the center, the person with his/her hands against their head. The feeling portrayed is that of anxiety. The feeling of sadness is portrayed in Metropolis with the shot of the workers, heads down, marching to and from the jobs they hate. Lang really wanted to put over dramatic intense scenes in his film so the viewer understands and feels for the working class. Metropolis is more about the artistic meaning and style of the film then the actual plot. The workers are portrayed like they have no feelings; they are dehumanized into nothing but robots for the people that live above. Music is of course another art form. Let’s side track a little from Metropolis. Electronic music may have not been around when this film was made, or in the 20’s at all, but the theme of dehumanization lives on. One of the pioneers of electronic music was that of Robert Moog. When electronic music was first introduced it was shunned upon. The idea of changing sounds analogy to make noises that seem to have no tone was different. Synthesizing noises together seemed science fiction like. Dehumanization is occurring as the machine changes these sounds. The man is now over ran by machines. Replace man with machine? Of course in Metropolis it is a failed attempt, a classic sci-fi movie. The idea of A.I taking over the human race is always something that is portrayed in film. It's always… In the year 20##... and robots are talking… machines are ruling… and humans live in a false Utopian world controlled by an ruthless dictator. (As the electronic sci-fi music plays in the background) But I digress.. Art Deco was an art movement right around the same time as expressionism. It had a major influence on Metropolis as well as the 1920's in general. On the right you can see the city hall of Buffalo, NY; very similar characteristics as the picture on the left; of course this is Metropolis. It’s an elegant style of decorative art. It has the city life influence, the use of sprawling buildings to create a concrete jungle. Expressionism is of course one of the main artistic visions of Lang in this film, but Art Deco had its influences as well. The Empire State Building, built towards the end of the 20's, is of course influenced by the Art Deco Movement "It's like the machine is arguing" Works Cited:

Urgosíková, B. "Metropolis - Film (Movie) Plot and Review - Publications." Film Reference. Web. Feb. 2011. .

"Expressionism (artistic Style) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. Feb. 2011. .

Metropolis. Dir. Fritz Lang. UFA, 1927.

Images Courtesy of Google

Videos Courtesy of YouTube What does all of this mean? Well movements influence each other and humans will always be interested in the future. We don’t know what the future will bring us. Will machines take over? Will society keep becoming dehumanized and eventually belong to the electronic crap that controls our everyday life? (As I make a media project on a technological digital device) Random other images Only time will tell… Maybe it has already happened… Funny video to end with. You do not have to watch. Click next for work cited.
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