Metropolis, apparato del Novecento. La distopia come oggettivazione delle paure urbane = Metropolis, 20th century apparatus. Dystopia as objectification of urban fear


Metropolis, 20th century apparatus. Dystopia as objectification of urban fear. Metropolis (1927) by Fritz Lang represents the first urban dystopia in the history of 20th-century movies. The archetype of the city comes from cultural exchange between the representations of sci-fi literature and the scientific discoveries of the early 20th century: the vertical city by H. G. Wells Tales of space and time, the second industrial revolution, the so-called machine civilization, the theories of the Bauhaus and the Avant-garde. The osmosis between the hard sciences and the humanities forms a dynamic map, which is constructed by the present reality and which determines the design model of the future. But Metropolis is also a powerful representation of man, the transfiguration of the human microcosm in the urban macrocosm, a metaphor of the uncertain human ontological status. It is the dystopian model that – like Trantor by the sci-fi Foundation series of Isaac Asimov and the urban nightmares of Philip K. Dick, or like the Los Angeles of Blade Runner or the Machine City of Matrix – allows us to reflect on the present world.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n12p35

Keywords: Lang; Wells; Dick; Blade Runner; city; sci-fi; dynamic map; utopia; dystopia

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