Metopolis | Review


Published on Oct 03, 2017


For my generation the first approach to reading comics, it is inevitably passed to Mickey mouse. It was not only, however, to compete for the first time with the medium and to take the measures, rather, it was an experience to 360°, and inextricably tied to the “parodies” real portal through which you did the knowledge of the great novels and/or films, which constitute the backbone of the so-called “high culture”.

In recent years, the practice of “parody” is enjoying a new golden era thanks to a growing sophistication in the execution that is turning more into a homage whose intent parodistici in a broad sense, are left in second plan.

And’ certainly this is the case of the Metopolis of Francesco Artibani and Paolo Mottura which you measure with one of the films most influential of all time that is the Metropolis of the visionary austrian director Fritz Lang.

The film, Lang was set in a future dystopian – 2026 100 years after the production of the film! – where class divisions were strongly accentuante and a group of wealthy industrialists ruled the city of Metropolis from their skyscrapers and causing the continuous work of the proletarian class, relegated in the underground city, to nourish the function.

The plot is almost unchanged, and has as its protagonist the young man Topp, who, with the help of Minny, he will discover the secret behind the immense energy that nourishes the monumental city, the ultra high-tech of Metopolis.

Although the original material is filtered of its most imaginative, what is striking is how Artibani decides to leave unaltered the ideological framework of the story: where the Metropolis was, in some aspects, the symbol of the current expressionist, Metopolis can in order to encode the message of the class struggle, the disparity of condition between the evil antagonist Pit Petersen and workers, with a plot simple, no-frills, which focuses very much on the emotional side of a Topp which several times in the course of the pages reveals his dismay at the severe social inequality which in some way feels responsible.

Interesting in this sense is the use of the trusted Foo, here the worker 22422, in the role of the worker gullibility, which summarizes his condition and that of his colleagues, in the innocent statement, “to find the secret of happiness” which, however, hides a much deeper malaise.

To do in contrast to the Topp there is Minni – on role in the film was one of Mary – which is first of all the “consciousness” of the workers – “my job is to help you understand how much you are worth” – and then it is the perfect antagonist for his version of robotics.

If the first of the story is more unpacked and started, in the second part the rhythm rises, providing a crescendo that bonds the reader to the inevitable happy ending.

However, it is With that chisel skillfully the story.

It is not so much the stretch, and clean, decisive to make the difference as a study on the aesthetics of the original film, which is reinterpreted here in some of the boards from the tiles, from the irregular geometric forms that reflect a certain taste of the art nouveau style. Instead of insisting the character hyper of Metopolis, the designer focuses on making looming, the city taking advantage of the shadows with a masterful work to chine and stylized, as is often the backgrounds thus adding to the sense of danger and disorientation.

Very good also the study of the framing perspectives are often “elongated”, which accentuate the frenetic movement of workers as well as some of the animated tributes to the direction of the same Lang – the input of Topp disguised in the factory, as well as some of the very first animated movies of Disney.

Far from being a history of politically committed, Metopolis succeeds in the intent to show the struggle between scientific progress and obscurantism, between knowledge and ignorance, a moral perhaps naive but always optimistic. A history therefore very up to date especially if ricontestualizzata in modernity often at the mercy of the negativity and “common opinion”.

Editorial care retreat for a volume hardback large that in addition to collecting the story provides a series of extras and the behind the scenes on the processing of the work in addition to a number of curiosity about the original work and its counterparty disney.

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