2.Metropolis contains a dialectical tension between technology as fearful—a tool of social disorder and disciplinary control—and as a “harbinger of social progress,” to quote Andreas Huyssen. How are these two aspects explored in the film? Is there a reconciliation or synthesis?
3.Using screenshots and visual analysis (which do not count toward your page total), compare Modern Times and Metropolis to show the ways “humans are drawn into the waste disposal systems of the technological age” (as Avital Ronell writes in her book Crack Wars 13). What arguments do these films making about the relationship between technology and working class life? And do their different genre and tonal approaches (comedy versus dystopian allegory) help support or undermine their message? Draw on a quote from Huyssen, Arendt, or Halpern to support your argument.
4.Compare the role that gender plays in anxieties about technology, modernization, and/or robots (it’s probably best to focus your argument on just one aspect) in R.U.R. and Metropolis. Why are technology and gender often equated? In what ways is this equation age-old, and in what ways is it specific to modernity? You may find it useful to use the Pandora archetype to support your claims.
5.The economic philosophy Karl Marx argued for class revolution by the proletarian classes, especially among factory workers. Compare Metropolis and R.U.R and discuss the ways that class revolution is depicted differently in each of these stories. In what ways is technology on the side of the working classes, and in what ways is it on the side of the ruling elite? Another possible consideration: on what side is the creator(s) or author of the work? Does the author support revolution or is (s)he against it?
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