The Graphic Beauty of Metropolis.

I have always been somewhat aware of the cinematic importance and visual beauty of the classic silent film Metropolis, but after seeing it’s television debut on Turner Classic Movies a couple of weeks ago, my socks were knocked off. Besides the social commentary it offered – which was great in it’s own right – the graphic and visual artistry is what truly captivated me. In general, I love the aesthetic richness of the black and white photography from silent films, but Metropolis not only offers that inherent monochromatic depth, it also mixes in an unbelievable understanding and execution of the art styles of the machine age. Constructivism, Futurism, Dada, Art Deco and a little Surrealism work to make this film some of the best eye-candy for any admirer of the graphic arts.

From here-on-out I will let the graphic beauty speak for itself.

Original sketch of the title and actual title still:





Set sketches:







The workers’ underground city:


Rotwang’s Machine-man:


And it isn’t just the celluloid itself that’s fantastic. The art associated with this film is equally gorgeous.













In addition to it’s restoration, a reason this was shown on TCM is because of the recent discovery of almost 30 additional minutes that were cut from the film soon after it’s release.

What an absolute treat it was for me to discover the beauty of this film first-hand. I do believe I have a new favorite movie.


About Ray Bauer

I am an independent designer and marketer operating my own enterprise, rBAUERdesign, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I have an understanding of, and dedication to, the design and marketing process of firms in need of communication solutions. I bring my design, layout, creative and art direction experience and knowledge as well as applied and tested marketing applications from the advertising agencies and marketing firms I've worked at for over 25 years to every job I touch.
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