Saturday, 23 October 2010

Metropolis, Brigitte Helm

I caught a screening of the recently restored and reconstructed version of Metropolis this week [link]. It's the first time I've seen this 1927 classic and I was mesmerised. I know the movie bankrupted a film studio but it was probably worth it to create such an amazing work of art !! When Brigitte Helm who played the dual role of Maria and the Maschinenmensch ( machine human ) is in her first incarnation as Maria, I was thinking 'ok, this is a good performance but it's your standard vision of the innocent & virginal young woman that you find in most silent films' but when she becomes the diabolical and very worldly Machine Human I was petrified ! She's able to express every sin just by raising an eyebrow - and she was only 17 when she played the role !! Brigitte Helm was clearly a strong character in real life as well, in 1935 angered by the Nazi control of the German film industry she retired to married life in Switzerland and never granted even one interview about her film career. Of course, that just makes her more fascinating ! Love tt