The German Expressionist film “Metropolis” was inspired by Art Deco architecture and design. The film has become inseparable with the public’s understanding of Art Deco aesthetics. Fritz Lang’s attractive dystopian sets established a pattern for cinematic cool that would be copied by Ridley Scott and others.This poster for the original theatrical release emphasized the film’s presentation of the city as a vast machine that dwarfs the individual. Comparisons can be made between this image and Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 16th-century painting of the “Tower of Babel,” a Biblical symbol of architectural excess.


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