Spaces of Territorialization in Fritz Lang’s Film Metropolis (1927)

Željka Pješivac


This paper investigates the relationship between film, architecture and the city in Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis by analyzing and interpreting its spatial concepts as a text of Weimar culture. Locating the study in the context of philosophy, theory of text, and cultural analysis, the main hypothesis of this paper is that the urban and architectural spaces of Metropolis are based on the concept of territorialization (arborescent model of organization) of a totalitarian capitalist system through the reduction of real or fictional deterritorialization to a definitive and closed territory of totalitarianism. Developing this hypothesis with historical, comparative, and analytical methods, the aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between narrative, ideology, and space in Metropolis. How is the ideology of Weimar culture represented by spatial structures in Metropolis? What are the relations of acts of territorialization, narrative, and the rhythmical structures of spaces of modern culture in this film? How are social practices inscribed in the spatial structures of the film, marking the totalitarian system and its terrorist horror on one side, and resistance to the totalitarian system on the other, trying to abolish the active/passive dichotomy? These are the key questions of this study. Its theoretical starting point comes from the works of Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Luce Irigaray, Erwin Panofsky, and Rosalind Krauss.


refrain, territory, territorialization, spaces of territorialization, shell-shock film, Weimar culture

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AM Journal of Art and Media Studies ISSN 2217-9666 - printed, ISSN 2406-1654 - online, UDK 7.01:316.774


Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia

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