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March 13: best architecture movie, ever

Clio’s Calendar: Daily Musings on Architectural History

 

On this day in 1927 the film Metropolis opened wide in the US (preceded by its German premiere on January 10).

Directed by the great Fritz Lang, Metropolis is probably the best architecture movie ever.  It’s a great science fiction story as well (maybe a little clumsy in the telling, but a good story, nonetheless) that addresses the whole point of science fiction–not just as a story set in the future, but taking the promise and problem of science and technology in human life as its central theme.  It’s a great architecture movie because it addresses architecture (sometimes obliquely, sometimes head-on), as an agent of technology within the human drama.

Metropolis portrays the great city of the movie’s title as an extreme division of two worlds.  First, that of the fortunate few who control everything from on high in soaring Deco and Moderne skyscrapers (at ground level they…

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