Tuesday, 14 August 2007

August 14th - Fritz Lang's "M"

One of the early talking pictures, the influence of this redoubtable work has been widespread. The director, despite this being his first attempt with sound, did not succumb to the then-usual tendency to have everyone talking nonstop. Instead, he played hide-and-seek, inventing several devices modern audiences now take for granted – and usually ignore; things such as off-screen music to indicate the presence of a character, to give one example. (Do read up on it.) All that aside, as a film, M is still as fresh and entertaining as it ever was. A proper thriller-comedy. With a murderer prowling the streets, and the police and the underworld falling over each other in an effort to nab him, the scene is set for high jinks and shenanigans of the sort we can all enjoy!

About the director: Fritz Lang (1890-1976) is one of the most well-known exponents of the German Expressionist style. His famous masterpiece, METROPOLIS (1927), remains a must-see for sci-fi buffs. It was soon followed by M. The restrictions imposed by the Nazi regime forced him to immigrate to the United States. His work there proved seminal in the formation of what we now call Film Noir, a distinct type of which there are many examples.

Trivia: Lang was the first choice to direct THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920), but he was busy at the time.

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