Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Flying Cars and a Double Dose of the Slayer

My film class started the actual "watching of the flickering pictures" this week. I chose Metropolis as the starting point for the class, which focuses on science fiction. I'm waiting to hear from the students - was silent film too much of a change for them? Did the "Delsarte Technique" acting style put them off? What did they think of the effects? Of the storyline? These are all questions I hope to have answered in a few days.

As for me, I was stunned by how the film holds up. So very many science fiction concepts can trace their first cinematic appearance to Metropolis - the dystopian city divided sharply into have/have not (one student commented, "So where's the middle?" Exactly), the "machine-man" (the term "Robot" had been coined a few years earlier in R.U.R. by Czech playwright Karel Capek, but it hadn't become widespread), an odd little house that's bigger inside and outside, even flying cars (and they were cars! OK, they look a lot like ultralights, but the idea is there). Women don't come off too well in the film - saint or whore; really no middle ground there - but you can't have everything in late 1920s Germany.

Over at the Great Buffy Re-Watch, I missed posting the second half of last week, which centers on the Season 1 finale "Prophecy Girl," an episode I simply adore. So I have two links there this week - end of Season 1 here, and beginning of Season 2 (Spike! Spike!) here.

And over in my class, we continue exploring created humans and mad scientists next week with Bride of Frankenstein. Neither corpses nor popcorn will be provided. And no, you may not bring your own.

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