January 10, 1927 — Fritz Lang’s Metropolis premieres in Berlin.

metropolis

Ah, that’s Brigitte Helm in Metropolis. God, she was beautiful! Metropolis, you know, was born from my first sight of the skyscrapers of New York in October 1924, and then I took myself to Hollywood where UFA sent me to study American production methods. It was terribly hot that season… In any case, while visiting New York, I thought it was the crossroads of multiple and confused human forces, blinded and knocking into one another, in an irresistible desire for exploitation, and living in perpetual anxiety. I spent an entire day walking the streets. The buildings seemed to be a vertical sail, scintillating and very light, a luxurious backdrop, suspended in the dark sky to dazzle, distract and hypnotize. At night, the city did not simply give the impression of living: it lived as illusions live. I knew I should make a film about these impressions.”Fritz Lang, 1965

Brigitte Helm in Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang)

maria

On the creation of Robot Maria:

“The concentric rings of light that surround her and move from top to bottom were in fact a little ball of silver rapidly swung in a circle and filmed on a background of black velvet. We superimposed those shots, in the lab, over the shot of the robot in a sitting position that we had filmed previously.”

-Fritz Lang