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Welcome to PooBahSpiel, the online voice and home of the creative mind of Mark Monlux, Illustrator Extraordinaire. Prepare yourself for an endless regaling of art directly from the hand of this stellar artist. And brace yourself against his mighty wind of pontification. Updates are kinda weekly and show daily sketches, current projects, and other really nifty stuff.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Comic Critic Reviews Metropolis


Part of me wishes I could have been there for Metropolis’s debut. It was a time of explosive imagination. It was at the very start of film. No rules had been set to govern it; no preconceptions were available to hamper it, even the definitions of new words to describe it were in flux. And into this brand new media came this extravagant science fiction drama, filled with cultural, philosophical, ideological, and artistic references, some old and others just entering public discussion. It’s no wonder that nearly all of its imagery has become iconic. Yet, because Metropolis’s influence on the science fiction genre was so enormous, part of me is grateful that I wasn’t there in 1927. If I were, I couldn’t help but compare everything that came afterward to that first awe-inspiring viewing experience.

A little personal note here. I have a tremendous love for movies. But if I collected a DVD of every movie I enjoyed, there wouldn’t be any room in my house for furniture. So, it was a strictly survivalist decision to limit it, using personal nostalgia as my guiding factor. After a lot of thought, I realized two qualifiers that would allow a movie to enter my collection:

1. Any pirate movie.
2. Movies in which robots are the primary focus or are heavily featured.

You might think that the first thing I did was pick up a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean, but you’d be wrong. I established my video collection rules two years before Pirates of the Caribbean was released. No, the very first was Metropolis.

5 comments:

Sara Chapman in Seattle, USA said...

So I recently reread "Max" by Howard Fast, a novel about the birth of the movie industry. No robots, but I bet you'd like it anyway.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon said...

Enjoyed your review of Metropolis. I really like that movie myself. Which version did you buy on DVD? I originally saw that in a theater here in Tokyo back in... around... 1986 I think, with rock music mixed in. I later bought a DVD that just had tinkling piano music in the background that seemed to have nothing whatsoever to do with the story, and then I got a VHS tape (there didn't appear to be a DVD) of the rock music version, and then later a version with the original soundtrack (not the idiotic tinkling piano) soundtrack, and many missing scenes. Still later, there was a version with even more missing scenes that I'd like to buy, but am holding off since I brought the previous restored version and finances are tight in the Bad Economy. Anyway, did you see the latest version with nearly all the missing scenes reinserted?

ron pulliam said...

A 10? You gave a film a TEN? I've got to see this one.

Glutenfreeda said...

Nice one. have you done 'Forbidden Planet' yet? Another great one.

Mark Monlux said...

Yes, I've seen Forbidden Planet a number of times. Growing up it was one of my all time favorites.