Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Worshiping the Machine

Something that I noticed in the movie Metropolis are machines being portrayed as gods. In Metropolis after the machines goes critical and the workers jump to their demise, the machines transforms into what slightly resembles a Mayan temple of worship.

The workers of Metropolis have to preform their job properly or else the machine will hurt them. As can be seen from watching the film, when the jobs are not carried out properly the machine retaliates. Like a angry god it releases its fury on the wrong doers causing them to jump to their deaths to escape its wrath.

The transformation of the machine into a god is also seen in the way the workers give themselves to it. In large groups the workers ascend the stairs to the mouth of the machine and sacrifice themselves to it. This practice is not far off from the sacrificial practices of the Maya. The workers without any apparent hesitation jump into the depths that they where to never return from.

The machine must be tended to in order for the workers lives to continue. Without work they will starve, without performing the proper work the machine will kill or injure them. So they must respect the machine and its power, similar to the ways that early civilizations respected and worshiped their gods.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

One point I'd add to this is that the people serving the machine are deliberately evocative of the ancient Middle East - so there is something Mayan/Incan/Aztec here, but also something Egyptian & Canaanite.