Classics/Art 329 Lectures 10-12

 Lecture 10: Visions of Metropolis

A. The Industrial Revolution in Germany

    1. 1870- The Franco-Prussian War

        a. Unification of Germany- 20 states, local princes, loose grouping

        b. Emperor and King of Prussia

        c. Chancellor Otto von Bismarck-steel, railroads, trade, Socialism squelched

        d. Steel and railroads surpass England in size and wealth

     2. Kaiser Wilhelm II dismisses Bismarck1890

            a. Ignites Supernationalist Movement- militaristic, often anti-Jew

        b. Great wealth for land developers, munitions makers, suppress agriculture in the north and east

        c. Prepare for World War I

B. 1918- The German Non-Revolution

    1. Emperor flees to Holland and local princes and kings ousted

    2. Communists, street fights, Socialists

    3. French control industrial west for 15 years

    4. No draft- army reduced to 100,000, land yielded, indemnities paid

C. The Weimar Republic- Democracy

    1. Everyone votes, parliamentary government, civil rights

    2. Runaway inflation- originally 4 marks to the dollar

        a. 1918-1921-  mark devalues to two cents

        b. 1923- 160,000 marks to the dollar in January, 4.2 trillion by November

        c. Disorder and violence- foreign minister Walther Rathenau shot dead in Berlin

        d. Supernationalism revival and leftist strikes

        e. Ruination of the middle class and workers

        f. Bureaucrats remain- army, judges, industry

        g. Societal Schizophrenia among middle class- the second self, shadow self

        h. The Need for Scapegoats- masses easily swayed

    3. Sexual Aberrations- rapes, murders, pornography

D. The Great German Depression

    1. Dark era of pessimism

    2. 1924- The Dawes Plan

        a. Stabilization of the mark- foreign loans

        b. Charles Dawes- U.S. banker, Republican lawyer, first budget director, wins, Nobel Prize 1925, American vice president under Calvin Coolidge

        c. Germany in League of  Nations

    3. Hollywood siphons off German talent

E. Facing the Future- Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou

    1. Different from Melies fairy tale vision

    2. 1924- Fritz Lang visits New York City

    3. The City of the Future- autobahnen in the air, multi-level architecture, helicopters, airplanes, skyscrapers

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F. Metropolis (Germany 1926)

Metropolis Ad

    1. The Schizophrenic Society- allegory of the German Depression

    2. Need to make workers and rich unite

    3. Workers are automatons- underground city of somnambulists in rhythmic movement

    4. Rich Tyrants- parallel Caligari

        a. Associated with evil and Expressionist-Cubist Medieval architecture

        b. Science and tyrants together can serve evil- Rotwang (Rudolph Klein-Rogge)

        c. Humans dehumanized- humans as parts of machine

Humans dehumanized- humans as parts of machine   Humans dehumanized- humans as parts of machine

     Humans dehumanized- humans as parts of machine

        d. Freder Friederson (Gustav Frohlich)- the "Jesus" of the film, son of Jon Frederso (Alfred Abel)

        e. The need for a catalyst= religion= Virgin Mary/Maria (Brigitte Helm), the madonna
Humans dehumanized - humans as parts of machines
        f. The Schizophrenic Maria--the real and false machine Maria

    5. Dangers of the Industrial Revolution

        a. Moloch- parallels to ancient Carthage and the TOPHET

        b. The Tower of Babel- Genesis 11.1.9 ziggurat

        c. Rotwang, the Metal Man- influence on later films Frankenstein, Dr. Strangelove, Young Frankenstein

      Rudolf Klein-Roge creates the false Maria in Metropolis 1926
      Rudolf Klein-Roge creates the false Maria in
      Metropolis 1926

        d. Dwarf Servant- deformity of mind exemplified by physical deformity

        e. Maria in the Catacombs- parallel to ancient Rome and its Christian catacombs, altar, crosses, prayer, virgin

        f. The Failure to Communicate- dangers of automation, nobody watching, people are expendable

        g. Darkness underground has the true light!

    6. Need for Religious Mediation

        a. Gothic fascination- schizophrenic fascination for Gothic

        b. Middle Ages- wizards, pursuit of true nature of  God

        c. Guilds and cathedrals- spiritual brotherhood of man with no cruelty or indifference

Lecture 11: Background to Metropolis

A. Fritz Lang (190-1976)- Viennese director

    1. Anton Lang

    2. Vienna Technical School, Munich School of Graphic Arts

    3. Fascination for the Orient and American west

    4. 1910- world tour of Turkey, North Africa, South Seas, Indonesia, Bali, China, Japan and Russia

    5. 1911- Brussels, Munich, Amsterdam

    6. 1912- Italy

    7. 1913- Paris water color painter, cartoonist, fashion designer hunted by French police

    8. 1914- World War I lieutenant with 7 decorations, wounded 4 times, severely

        a. One year convalescence- Red Cross plays

        b. Short stories, screenplays, dime thrillers

    9. 1919- directs serials and exotic adventure films- works on Caligari

    10. 1919- The Hindou Tomb, then works on The Spiders--secret society, Inca treasure

Lang and Thea Von Harbou

B. Thea von Harbou (1888-1954)

    1. Bavarian writer of best sellers

    2. Wife of Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    3. Pro-Nazi, official Hitler screenwriter

C. Fritz Lang Dialectic

    1. Entertainer

    2. Interest in the underdog

    3. Struggle is the essence of life- Prometheus the Titan

    4. Man's need to avoid dehumanization

    5. Kammerspiele lighting

    6. Object Power

    7. Destiny and Chance

    8. Aeschylean Universe- wisdom through suffering, hubris, deus ex machina, Greek tragedy writer Aeschylus (5th c. B.C.)

    9. Not really expressionist

    10. Exotica- wild lifestyles, spies, occult powers, evil tyrants, bizzarre machines, second selves, insanity, mad visions

    11. The Fatal Woman- Femme Fatale

    12 Medieval Imagery- astrologers, pentagrams, sorecerers

D. The Architectural Background of Metropolis

    1. Louis Sullivan (1856-1924) and the beginning of modern architecture [view an image of the Wainwright Building, St. Louis, 1890, and Sullivan's Iron, Glazed Tile and Brickwork, 1890, Farmer's Bank]

        a. Tensile steel and compressed concrete after 1860

        b. Carson, Pirie and Scott Building, Chicago 1899-1904

        c. Speed, economy of materials, ahistorical craftsmanship

        d. Form follows function- emergence of the skyscraper

    2. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) - pupil of Sullivan

        a. Organic, natural architecture with flowing space

        b. Robie House, Chicago 1907- Sweep of the Midwest

    3. Le Corbusier (1887-1965)- Charles-Edouard Jeanneret

        a. Savoye House- 1929, geometric purity, the machine aesthetic

        b. Parallels with Piet Mondrian- precision, machine edged

         Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942 - MOMA, New York
        Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie,
        1942 - MOMA, New York

        c. Design for living- machinery is admired, functionalism is beauty

        d. A Mondrian dress from the 1980s

4. The Bauhaus 1919-1933- School of   Design in Desau, Germany

        a. Hermann Muthesius- 1896 director of Prussian Board of Trade

        b. Typisierung- Muthesius returns from London to establish this

        c. Iron, steel, concrete, glass, simplicity, standardization

        d. Walter Gropius- influenced by LeCorbusier [view an image of Gropius' Shop Block, The Bauhaus, 1925]

            1. Mass production cells- machines to work for masses

            2. The New Guild of Craftsmen- revival of the Gothic aesthetic in modern guise

         Lyonel Feininger's Expressionist Cubist Gothic cover for the Bauhaus Journal          
      Lyonel Feininger's Expressionist Cubist Gothic
      cover for the Bauhaus Journal        

   3. Principal of arts and crafts school of Munich 1867 and Prussian director of education

   4. Influential architect

    5. Fritz Lang's Bauhaus= 1920s New York City  [view an image of The World of Tomorrow]


Lecture 12: American Vaudeville

A. The Roots of  Vaudeville

    1. Origin of the term- early 19th century?

    2. Riverboat shows-  19th century Showboats

    3. Saloon singing- John Koster and Adam Bial

    4. Tony Pastor- born in 1837, Bowery Theater owner popularizes vaudeville, discovers early stars

    5. B.F. Keith- makes vaudeville a big monopoly business

    6. The Minstrel Show- begins 1820s

    7. Specialty Acts- Julian Eltinge, the famous cross-dresser of the 1920s!

          a. MADAME BEHAVE 1925- Transvestite Comedy

          b. Ann Pennington

    8. Problems of  Black Entertainers- Humor insulting "Negroes"- disparaging caricatures and characteristics

    9. Al Jolson (1886-1950)-  Jewish entertainer who performed in blackface, pretended to be from south and loving his "mammy" [view an image of Jolson in "blackface"]

    10. Problems of Political Correctness- The Duncan Sisters (Topsy and Eva)

        a. Pioneer women entertainers- break traditional mold of what women can do

        b. Outrageous behavior- can do anything on stage

        c. Influence Lucille Ball and I Love Lucy but memory erased because they performed in blackface frequently and made few films

        d. First great female comedy team-- only great female comedy team?

    11. The Importance of the Musical Showboat 1927- sympathetic portrayal of the Negro, dealt with miscegenation or mixing race relations

B. Florenz Ziegfeld and the Ziegfeld Follies- 1907-1932

    1. Glorifying the American Girl- genius of stage pageantry but also sexual predator who used casting couch

    2. Nudity permitted! The Living Tableaux

    3. Bert Williams- black monologist in blackface, first major star to cross color line to white stage [view an image of Bert Williams as "Chickenman"]

C. Fred Stone - (1873 - 1959)


     1. Circus performer, then vaudeville and stage and movie star

     2. Created the role of The Scarecrow in the 1902 stage production of THE WIZARD OF OZ

     3. Mime, lasso expert, acrobat, tightrope walker, singer, dancer, actor