Well This was bad Really Really Bad.
A Moloch of a city and all governing technology devouring its human servants Two classes, the ones above ground, living in silk and leisure, the ones underground, slaving for both their metal and upscale masters, the two of them not interacting on any level Hello Wells, hello Marx, and hello to a very real early twentieth century The major plot element is the need for a mediator who would bring unity to those separate semi societies But there is also the evil robot Now, as a film Metropolis is brilliant Not only for its place in the history of film making, but also as one of, if not the, very emblematic piece of expressionist cinema from the twenties Firstly, it is visually absolutely stunning and beautifully orchestrated Secondly, it is well arranged and with a solid, classic dramatic structure The novel, on the other hand is awful Von Harbou is likely better with scripts, that is with somethingformally dramatic and theatrical, than with narration Or maybe Lang is simply a cinematic genius and we have him to thank.
The novel is so swollen with theatrical and melodramatic exaggeration, that instantaneously it becomes either ridiculous or aggravating All those bombastic scenes lack connection, they are incoherent at best and interchangeable at worst Some characters and subplots contribute nothing to the whole and are completely omittable, while the novel has altogether neither structure nor flow, and merely leaps from one pompous scene to the next, often unfortunately smothering even the elementary dramatic devices mistaken identity, personal vengeance, recognizing a higher goal and working towards it, etc No pun intended, but the characters show no character Not one of them even remotely resembles a human being Their actions are unmotivated and implausible, every impulse and change of heart only serving the plot, not their inner development Not that there was anything to develop here to begin with But there is a very familiar set of images The masses, all without name and face, as one gigantic organic mechanism The young man with his open yet unyielding face, staring into the distance in recognition of a higher ideal, clenching his fists and straightening his shoulders in acceptance of his role towards a noble goal for the benefit of the whole of society His chastely beloved with her pure, white austerity of the Virgin and Mother Fun Fact If you re motherly but not virginal, you die at childbirth, having played your part So I guess that the old slasher clich goes here as well Once you ve fucked, you re fucked If you re neither motherly nor virginal, then you re a demon robot set on destruction through seduction How very clerical So emblematic, such a beloved motif for posters and propaganda church, Nazi, war pick your poison Though my personal favorite has to be the tormented former party club hostess, on her knees, having her heavy make up washed down by tears and wiped off by a somber little proletarian child in rags There is so much cheap and tacky Christianity and ideology here that one gets the urge to vomit green acid in full circle And it s exactly the same elements that make you understand why Von Harbou was apparently a really fitting screenwriter for Nazi propaganda purposes After all, they draw from the same pool of images and ideas It also shows very exemplary the crippling religious zealousness of modern day right wingers I hope that Von Harbou could run like a cheetah, or play an instrument nicely, or that she had any redeeming skill whatsoever Because, sweet Loki of Asgard, was she a shitty writer Seriously, don t judge a movie by its book In Una Gigantesca Citt Del Futuro, Uno Scienziato Folle Crea Una Donna Robot Che, Sotto Le Sembianze Di Una Giovane Amata Dal Figlio Del Signore Di Metropolis, Incita I Contadini Alla Rivolta E Alla Distruzione Delle Macchine Che Sovrintendono Al Sistema Sociale Imperante In Un Crescendo Di Tensione E Di Suspense, Mentre Da Un Canto La Donna Robot Riesce A Far Scoppiare La Rivolta, Dall Altro Il Signore Di Metropolis, Suo Figlio, E La Giovane Che Ama, Presa Coscienza Di Se Stessi E Dei Loro Sentimenti, Si Apprestano A Riedificare C Che Andato Distrutto Su Una Nuova Base Di Convivenza Er sehnte sich danach, die Steine, an die er die Stirn lehnte, in grenzenloser Z rtlichkeit zu k ssen Gott Gott Schlug ihm das Herz in der Brust, und jeder Herzschlag war anbetende Dankbarkeit Er sah das M dchen und sah es nicht Holdselige, formte sein Mund Meine Geliebte Wie konnte die Welt bestehen, als du noch nicht warst Wie muss das L cheln Gottes gewesen sein, als er dich schuf Du sprichst Was sprichst du Das Herz schreit in mir ich kann deine Worte nicht fassen Habe Geduld mit mir, Holdselige, Geliebte Quizfrage in welcher Epoche und in welchem Zeitalter befindet sich diese Passage eines Buchs Ich h tte wohl auf Liebesromanze oder Drama aus dem 19 Jahrhundert getippt Korrekt ist Science Fiction der 20er Jahre Und dieses Diskrepanz zwischen Leseerlebnis und urspr nglicher Erwartung hielt auf den ersten 100 Seiten bei mir an, bis es mir schlichtweg zu viel Theatralik wurde Ich ertappte mich, dass ich mich ber diese schwulstige bildhafte Sprache langsam lustig machte und das war der Zeitpunkt dem Spa ein Ende zu bereiten Ich brach bei 40 % ab.
Trotz des Abbruchs vergebe ich einen zweiten Stern, denn faszinierend fand ich, wie man beim Lesen dieser melodramatischen Passagen die Szenen des Films von Fritz Lang in den Kopf bekam Thea von Harbou war seine Frau zu Beginn der 20er Jahre Sie kam aus dem Theaterfach, was man dem Buch sehr anmerkt Zuvor hatte sie schon Drehb cher f r Stummfilme geschrieben, und dieser Roman hat sehr viele Tendenzen eines Drehbuchs Die Szene wirkten auf mich wie eingefroren, w hrend die Hauptperson in diesen Szenen wie verlassen umherirrt und hadert Ich bin wirklich beeindruckt, wie Lang dieses Buch von seiner Frau in einen der besten Stummfilme aller Zeiten verwandeln konnte Als filmisches Produkt wirkt die Geschichte, als erz hltes Produkt ging es einfach nicht zu mir Die Geschichte dieser Zwei Klassen Gesellschaft wirkte auf mich wie ein Alptraum F r Interessenten an den Anf ngen des Genres oder f r Freunde des Theaters mag es ein gutes Buch sein F r mich war es leider nicht das Richtige.
I suggest the book Metropolis as an interesting supplement to the great silent movie As a sci fi novel in its own right, however, it s horrible Much of it involves characters telling each other about major events that happened off screen Rarely does the reader get to tag along with the action unless a Fredersen is right there, and often not even then There s actually a chapter in which Freder tells Josaphat about when his friend Jan told Freder about Futura s debute into society Nested telling I could not make this up On top of that, when von Harbou writes a passage she likes, she reuses it I don t mean a short phrase I mean things like Transparent skin was stretched over the slender joints, which gleamed beneath it like dull silver Fingers, snow white and fleshless Once or twice a novel, that s a motif Once or twice a chapter, that s annoying.
Taken in a vacuum, the book doesn t have much going for it However, it is extremely interesting to get into some of the characters heads in a way you just can t in a movie, particularly Joh s and Rotwang s.
In the movie, Joh Frederson was just kind of blah I m here and I m heartless In the book you really get to see what a profoundly messed up man he is It s not just that he s cold and calculating he has strayed so far from humanity that he s forgotten that he got lost He feels that emptiness, but all of his attempts to fill it just make the situation worse because he is so far off The character who best benefits from the extra attention, though, is Rotwang In the movie he was standard issue mad scientist number 37 Rawr, Rotwang smash In the book, Rotwang is not villainous at all He is purely a victim, partly of Joh Fredersen, and partly of the fact that he is a huge tool who cannot pass up a good intellectual challenge I ll hate you to my dying day, Joh Fredersen Never again will Oooh, is that a triple encoded cryptogram Let me see that I bet I can crack that for you He hates Joh with a passion, but gosh darnnit, Joh brings the best puzzles Rotwang just can t pass up the challenges, no matter how likely they are to destroy him in the end.
So, in summary, if you liked the 1920s movie, and you d like to know what was going on in those scenes that are missing or what exactly is going through Joh s mind, Metropolis worth a read If you re looking for good vintage sci fi, keep looking.
Ich bin sehr hin und hergerissen Einerseits hat die Erz hlung eine wichtige Botschaft und auch die einzelnen Szenen sind gut Andererseits ist der Schreibstil ber weite Strecken furchtbar Heutzutage schl gt jeder die H nde ber den Kopf, wenn so viel erz hlt wird und nicht gezeigt Ich bereue es aber nicht, es gelesen zu haben, also runde ich auf 3 Sterne auf Absolutely loved the book as much as I loved the movie The language is a bit strange though, there are no dialogues and the atmosphere is stifling at times due to an overdose of exalted phrases The characters are bombastic, everything they say or do is filled with great passion adjacent to madness I almost had a feeling that I m reading a script for a theatre piece Theatre actors are usually exaggerating every single movement or word so do the characters of Metropolis.
I haven t readoriginal story for a long time I never really liked sci fi books movies so I was quite skeptical in the beginning but as a fan of old cinema I had to watch the screening of Thea von Harbou s novel if only to have my own opinion about it This one was slightly different from all the sci fi that I ve seen Maybe because the author was born in times when technology was just starting to take a form of what it is nowadays but I liked her vision so muchNo spaceships or stupid robots walking down the streets No, none of those were present There is only one robot and I can stand that The author couldn t have seen all those things so, for the sake of her book, she s imagined every single machine, building and any kind of innovation And Metropolis came to life As for the main story Freder and Maria are so perfect that almost godlike They re both young, beautiful, mellow and love each other immensely This romance feels so unreal that is evenlikeable We all dream of such love, deep in our hearts we re sick of what we can see around us, on TV, magazines and so on Constant betrayals, affairs, children born out of wedlock This love story gives us hope, even though it s so unreal and the couple falls in love so fast that before we even begin to realise what has actually happened between those two, here they are kissing and holding hands Thought to be complete strangers Love by first sight Every single person in this book is memorable and unique Enough for me to start reading I love the variety of different stories of different people from different worlds Not too much of names to remember is a huge advantage, too Especially for someone like me, who has difficulties remembering who is who I don t want to spoil the fun of reading this book, most of all to those who are not familiar with the movie So I ll just say a must read before you die Seriously Thea von Harbou is best known today as the wife of the great film director Fritz Lang and his close collaborator on most of his early German masterpieces She not only co wrote the scripts, she also turned several of them into novels, including perhaps the most famous of all, Metropolis.
She had in fact written several novels prior to her marriage to Lang and had been an actress as well While Lang left Germany in the early 30s von Harbou remained and her career in the wartime German film industry is rather controversial.
The city of Metropolis is dominated by the will of Joh Fredersen This is a vision of a city of the future, a city of machines The machines require people to operate them, and the machines consume their operators Their appetite is limitless There is an underground city beneath Metropolis which provides the machines with the human they require The upper city is a kind of playground for the rich, with sex and drugs being the main item on the menu.
Joh Fredersen is not a particularly happy man His wife died giving birth to his son Freder He had stolen his wife from his friend Rotwang, the inventor of genius largely responsible for the construction of the city Joh Fredersen becomes alienated from his son when Freder discovers what the machines are doing to people Freder meets a woman named Maria, a charismatic leader who offers the oppressed of Metropolis hope for change Those who run Metropolis are its head Those who work the machines are Metropolis s hands To mediate between the brain and the hands a heart is needed, and she tells them a mediator will arise who will fulfill that function.
Maria wants peaceful change but once revolutions are set in motion violence and destruction inevitably follow There is also a false Maria, a robot created by Rotwang Rotwang has his own agenda in regard to the future of Metropolis.
It s many many years since I ve seen the movie so it s difficult for me to compare the book and the movie What does strike me about the book is the extent of the religious imagery While the story can be and has been seen as a critique of capitalism I m inclined to see that as a very simplistic explanation The novel at least seems to me to reflect a horror of revolution, doubtless a reaction to the brutality and viciousness of the Russian Revolution While the machines are monsters devouring human beings, von Harbou depicts the mob violence inseparable from revolution as being evenmonstrous.
Freder certainly seems to be a Christ figure, with Maria being perhaps both the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist Whatever von Harbou s religious beliefs may have been Lang was certainly a Catholic, and identified himself as such throughout his life The quite overt Catholic themes may therefore have originated with him Lang and von Harbou had co written the screenplay so that while the novel was von Harbou s work alone it s likely that these Catholic themes were carried over from the movie.
Much of the impact of the movies comes from the extraordinary visuals but von Harbou does an effective job in conveying the character of Metropolis by purely verbal means.
There s perhaps just a touchsentimenality in the novel than I recall from the film.
The movie s status as one of the great dystopian science fiction tales is secure Thea von Harbou s novel deserves to be recognised as an important work of science fiction in its on right It s also a relatively rare and therefore interesting example of German science fiction Recommended.
5 Dieses Buch ist kein Gegenwartsbild Dieses Buch ist kein Zukunftsbild Dieses Buch spielt nirgendwo Dieses Buch dient keiner Tendenz, keiner Klasse, keiner Partei Dieses Buch ist ein Geschehen, das sich um eine Erkenntnis rankt Mittler zwischen Hirn und H nden mu das Herz sein Thea von HarbouTranslation This book is not of today This book is not of the future It tells of no place It serves no cause, class or party This book is a story which grows on the understanding that The mediator between brain and muscle must be the Heart Thea von HarbouInspired by Troy s posts on all things Metropolis, I finally managed to watch the film and read the book by Fritz Lang s wife Thea von Harbou Unlike some of her other novels, Metropolis actually did not start as a script but was published 1925, before the film was made It is of course nearly impossible to read the book without being reminded of the imagery of the film Even tho I had not seen the film before I read the book, the images from the film have permeated western culture so much that I would wager that only few people have not been exposed to them be it through music videos, films, designBack to the book I really enjoyed it It was not perfect It had some issues, but they were not able to spoil the story or the imagination, or the language I cannot put my finger on it but this was a book where I had to read out passages aloud because the writing was so dramatic that I had to hear it Btw, I read the German original and cannot speak for the English or any other translation on this With other books, the overly dramatic writing would have caused me to dislike the book, but for Metropolis whose story and imagery even in the book is based on the constant struggle between extremes like the head v hand , the above v below , man v machine , etc it worked The second aspect I really enjoyed was the use of different pieces of mythology that are woven into the story We get medieval chivalry, biblical, references, Hindu mythology there are references to deities like Ganesha , Norse mythology one of the characters who set off the plot is Hel bodes well, doesn t it Greek mythology, and so muchWhile the message is rather general, the symbolism is so strong in this one that it felt like a puzzle at times, which was highly entertaining.
There are some aspects, however, which were challenging in the book, which the film and I cannot praise the film high enough overcame At times the book drags, and there are some scenes that don t really make sense like what was up with Josaphat and the plane As a result, some parts of the book take a bit work yes, actual work to get through them to get to the somewhat vague message that is already given to us on page one Also, there is this one dream scene in the book that is so obscure that it made little sense without the visual aid of the film, even though the text does not withhold any information about the significance of the scene It just really works better in the film, but this is why von Harbou was better known for her screenwriting than for her novelsThe crown rested on the head of a woman And the woman was sitting upon a scarlet coloured beast, having seven heads and ten horns And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet and decked with gold, precious stones and pearls She had in her hand a golden cup On the crowned brow of the woman there stood, mysteriously written Babylon Like a deity, she grew up and radiated Death and the seven Deadly Sins bowed low before her And the woman who bore the name Babylon had the features of Maria, whom I loved The woman arose She touched the cross arched vault of the lofty cathedral with her crown She seized the hem of her cloak and opened it And spread out her cloak with both hands Then one saw that the golden cloak was embroidered with the images of manifold demons Beings with women s bodies and snakes heads beings half bull, half angel devils adorned with crowns, human faced lions In the film, this translated into one of the scenes I loved best for its expressionist features, when the danse macabre ensues within the club reserved for the elite of Metropolis, when the re imagined Hel in a manner of a stylised dance unleashes her evil onto onlookers It just works.
Metropolis, la grande Metropolis, la citt delle macchine, dove tutto ruota intorno ad esse, anche e soprattutto gli esseri umani.
Nel 1926 Thea von Harbou, dopo essersi sposata con Fritz Lang il regista del film Metropolis scrive questo romanzo, un romanzo alla base distopico, tra i primi racconti di fantascienza distopica Ma la scrittrice ci mescola dentro un po di tutto Principamente c il tema religioso, alle volte troppo, soffocante ma questo un mio problema poi c molto fantastico gotico, la parte migliore, anzi direi stupenda, con picchi di poeticit straordinaria poi c molto a, redenzione, un pizzico di mitologia e folkloreInsomma il libro multiforme e forse l autrice ha messo troppa carne al fuoco, accenni lasciati l , argomentazioni, interessanti, ma solo accennate o sospirate.
Poi ci sono le note negative e sono un po a parte la religiosit pressante, ci sono delle dissertazioni, riflessioni sociali che mi hanno fatto storcere il naso, alle volte mi sbalordivo a sapere che questo libro fosse stato scritto da una donna ed infine ci sono capitoli deliranti, dove alla fine di essi, mi girava la testaDiciamo nel complesso una mezza delusione, meglio il film di Fritz Lang, ma forse va letto come dice proprio Lang Penso che questa sia solo una fiaba Comunque io rivado sempre alla frase, ormai tra le mie frasi preferite e fonte d ispirazione, quella di Kurt Vonnegut Cos va la vita Poi nel 1932 Thea von Harbou aderir al partito nazionalsocialista, Lang non ci sta e nel 1933 i due divorzieranno ehttps www.
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