Visionary Architecture on Film: Metropolis

Visionary Architecture on Film: Metropolis

Thursday, April 20, 2023

6:00 PM–8:00 PM
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Cinema has long built new worlds on screen, whether through ambitious architectural set design or, more recently, computer generated imagery (CGI). Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Portals: The Visionary Architecture of Paul Goesch, this series presents five films whose backdrops are themselves works of art. Each of them reveals the important role film has played as a site for architectural experimentation and a way of imagining the future.

In a futuristic city marked by extreme inequality, the wealthy live lavishly in skyscrapers while workers toil underground, operating machines that keep society running. One of the first science fiction films, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927; 1 hour, 54 minutes) both reflected and accelerated the emergence of Art Deco design in the United States and Europe. With its themes of mechanization, societal stratification, and fascism, the film is a grand tour of the issues that animated interwar Germany.

This series is organized by Ella Comberg, MA ’24 in the Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art.