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Metropolis: A Cinematic Laboratory for Modern Architecture

Metropolis: A Cinematic Laboratory for Modern Architecture (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Text in English and German. What links film and architecture? Above all it is 'Metropolis', the film that Fritz Lang made in the Babelsberg studios in 1925/26. Its extravagance created enormous financial difficulties for Ufa, the biggest German film concern, but it had a brilliant premiere in Berlin in January 1927, went on to enjoy unparalleled success world-wide -- and then came to symbolise (film) architectural design for the future. 'Metropolis', internationally renowned as a major piece of German film culture, represents film art in the Weimar Republic in an artistically unique and yet unusually popular way, but it also contains one of the first fully-formulated 20th-century city fantasies. Fritz Lang, stimulated by a journey to New York, had his architect Erich Kettelhut build a city of the future in the Babelsberg Studios outside Berlin, which, as a vision, went far beyond the real skyscraper silhouette. Luis Bunuel wrote the following about 'Metropolis' as early as 1927: Henceforth and for ever more the scenic designer has been replaced by the architect. The cinema will serve as a faithful interpreter of the architect's boldest dreams.

The Tower of Babel from 'Metropolis' has been a piece of urban fantasy that has inspired architects of every colour right down to the present day. American urban visions in films of the 80s and 90s, like for instance the cult film 'Blade Runner', would be inconceivable without Lang's 'Metropolis'. Now as then the Metropolis designs are considered to be highly-developed examples of a Modernist laboratory for film and architecture. All the surviving scenic architectural designs, over 200 working, factory and set photographs as well as numerous other documents, including the film architect's hitherto unpublished memoirs and working reports had been placed at the authors' disposal. In addition, other photographs from the Cinematheque Francaise and a bundle of over 300 hitherto unpublished photographs from the estate of a German emigrant to Australia have been included.

Architecture & DesignArchitectureHistory of architecture & Preservation of BuildingsFilm, TV & DramaFilms, cinemaFilm theory & criticism Publisher: Edition Axel Menges Publication Date: 20/05/2000 ISBN-13: 9783930698851  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Wolfgang Jacobsen studied German and English literature, theory of drama and art history; from 1982 to 1991 he was an editor at the Berlin International Film Festival; from 1991 he has been director of the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek's publications department. Werner Sudendorf studied philosophy, journalism and theory of drama; since 1980 he has been director of the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek's collections department.

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