Fritz Lang Facsimile

c. 1935

Courtesy John Kobal Foundation / Getty Images


Fritz Lang was a visionary German director who established many science fiction tropes with his silent masterpiece Metropolis (1927). From a technologically advanced but nightmarish future to mad scientists and the first robot in a feature, Metropolis has influenced so much of what we see on-screen today. At two hours and 33 minutes, it was also one of the longest films ever made at the time. Critics were sceptical at first, but it’s now considered groundbreaking, particularly for its production design and costumes. Those two elements have inspired C-3PO in Star Wars, Kylie Minogue’s robotic stage costumes and the futuristic city in Blade Runner. If that wasn’t enough, Lang’s seminal crime drama M (1931) was an early progenitor of psychological thrillers and serial killer films.

Conversation with Fritz Lang by William Friedkin. Video via YouTube.

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One of the first auteurs

A progenitor of modern film genres such as sci-fi, psychological thriller and serial killer films decades before such terms were coined, Austrian-born director Fritz Lang also enjoyed the occasional on-screen meta-moment.



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