Publication Details

Cockburn, J. P.. Speech at the exhibition opening of "Metropolis: Rotwang's Robot, Revolution, and Redemption" A Selection of Memorabiia Relating to Fritz Lang's 1927 Sci-Fi Fantasy Film. From the Collection of Michael Organ.. Wollongong City Gallery. 30 November 2012. 2012.


Opening speech by Dr Jon Cockburn for the exhibition “Metropolis: Rotwang’s Robot, Revolution, and Redemption”. The exhibition contains a selection of memorabilia relating to Fritz Lang’s 1927 Sci-Fi fantasy film. The memorabilia is on loan to the Wollongong City Gallery from the collection of Michael Organ. The opening speech reflects on the development and production of the film Metropolis (1927), its reception on first release in Germany and then abroad. The film’s influence on the genre of science fiction to the present day is noted. The film’s ambiguous themes are of particular interest especially when considered in the light of world events in the late 1930s and the different career trajectories of the film’s director, Fritz Lang, and the film’s screenplay writer Thea von Harbou. However, of equal significance is how the film stands as a case study in archiving, preserving and restoring fragile film media with the aim of recouping the film’s importance as a work and as a document to the time of its production.