VERSUS THE SCARECROW EPISODE 6: BACK 2 THA HOOD. I decided to challenge myself and really open the doors of my film knowledge and take on “The Scarecrow Video Movie Guide”. It’s 808 pages of movies and movie reviews from some of the most knowledgeable movie people you don’t know. It’s a book put together by a staff that praises, and destroys, some of our favorites and not so favorites. You can read the rest of my series here.
Just a quick refresher: each episode, I’m going to tackle three films from three different categories. Two films will be films I’ve never seen before and one will be one I’ve seen before or own. For the new films, well, new to me, I’m going to review them like a typical FTS review using the TOAST Rating system. But, for the films I’ve seen, I’m going give a quick paragraph or two about why I like or don’t like the film. We’ll try to include the poster and trailer for each film. “….and here. We. Go!”
In this episode, I’ll be taking a look at films that share one thing, amongst potential others, in common: The name of their setting/location is in the title. Although I had many to choose from, I’ll be looking at the Judy Garland classic Meet Me in St. Louis, the black and white film noir classic Kansas City Confidential and the silent film masterpiece Metropolis.
Metropolis (1927) Directed by Fritz Lang. Starring: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel and Gustav Fröhlich. IMDB says: ”In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.”
Until Metropolis I had never watched a silent film before. I was always interested in the works of Chaplin and the film Nosferatu and kept telling myself I’ll get to it. Obviously, I never did. But one afternoon I noticed that Metropolis was available on Netflix Instant watch. I kept hearing how it was this mega classic and it had all these high ratings so I added it to my queue. The film is a few minutes short of three hours. I knew there was no way in hell I’d watch the whole film in one sitting. I was unbelievably wrong. I’ve never been so wrong in all of my life. From the minute the films began I was enthralled and held captive as we explored the world of Metropolis.
An incredible score guided me through the underground to the higher ups who made the decisions. The score helped amplify the films angry disposition in telling the tale of men who waned to divide Metropolis into the wealthy and the poor. The poor don’t like this plan and they rise up to fight back. From there it’s any man’s guess as this film, despite being made 85 years ago, shouts the theme of equality at the top of it’s lungs; a theme that’s still being fought today i.e. Occupy Wallstreet.
I have yet to see the other works of the film’s director Frtiz Lang, but after seeing this, the bar has been set and I hope he exceeds it and them some. Do yourself a favor and seek out this film. Watch it in one sitting or in parts, but watch it and experience the ability to be totally absorbed by nothing more than images and music.