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An Art Historical point-of-view on “Metropolis”

2009 March 16
by Aline

The dance scene in Metropolis really made me think of Gustav Kimt’s paintings of women. The way she moves, her clothing, and the background all look like a Klimt paintng brought to life. He was a German Expressionist, so perhaps, it is just the Art Deco style that reminds me of him. Also, I know he liked to deal with primitive symbols, which fits in with the subterranian world in the film. It seems to me that the gaze (from the men and the audience) at this highly decorated woman is a natural human function.  Although the men are wearing tuxedos, we (the audience) are taken to a primitive moment. I think this scene can be juxtaposed with the catacomb scenes, where we see neo-Christian elements. My question is how much of the film expresses religion’s (Christianity) role during this time?


Here are some Klimt paintings to compare with the dance clip.

Here is the clip:

Metropolis Dance clip

The clip is from youtube and the pictures are from

2 Responses
  1. Anne Dalke permalink*
    March 17, 2009

    So evocative, Aline–thanks so much for this extension!
    There’s so much more to say about the visuals and technology of the film itself…

  2. Hannah Mueller permalink
    March 18, 2009

    That is a striking comparison. The third painting you posted especially evokes the dancing scene since the point of view is from below, and she looks like a goddess but not a very natural one. I don’t know much about Klimt but he seems to use a lot of straight lines and geometric figures, which for me gesture towards technology.

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