“Metropolis” · Lecture Record #1

This time I’d like to start to refer to movies which are important in film history and have a certain age. “Metropolis” is the mother of science fiction – besides the Georges Méliès Le voyage dans la lune” (1902!). Numerous experts have already debated about it’s value, impact and whatsoever outcome in vision, theme and cinematic morphology. One thing I find interesting myself is the fact that the author Thea van Harbou has had a different aim than the director Fritz Lang: I remember a statement on the extras of the restored version of Enno Patalas – Lang was mainly fond of the human-machine setting; of machines in general, whereas van Harbou focused the idealistic approach that the heart has a mediator function between hands and the mind.

Metropolis · Fritz Lang · 1927
Metropolis · Fritz Lang · 1927

I showed this movie to my students and picked a random volunteer wearing the Apple Watch for running Movie Pulse for the length of the film.

Again: this is a individual result and can not validate the general impact of the movie.

But beside watching and exploring heart rates of movies myself, giving lectures, thinking of app improvements and features, raising comparable results of the same movie –  I think it’s quite important to achieve some visual experiments on depicting the heart rate graph along with the movie itself. Without legal infringements.

A timeline of "Metropolis" along with the Movie Pulse result of a volunteer.
“Metropolis” timeline along with the Movie Pulse result of a volunteer. (Click to enlarge)

This approach seems very inefficient, besides the less detailed graph and the quite small images. So why not combining the result with the movie itself?

  1. combine the heart rate with the images of the movie
  2. doing this for the length of the movie
  3. depict the change of beeing calm/exited
  4. provide an overview

Those ideas led to the 2 minute movie you can see here:

Example: Finding the sequence at 0:39
1st row = 30 minutes + 2nd row 5th image = minute 0:38 – 0:40

Each row shows 30 minutes of the movie. 2 minutes excerpts are placed side by side, so 15 excerpts are depicting 30 minutes, 4 rows showing the almost 2 hours. The graph below the images is just an orientation – since the green and red tint has been rendered slightly different. I determined an overall average – this refers as base zero for red and green. The max value yields 100 % red, min value provides as 100% green.

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