Book Review: Metropolis by Ellie Midwood

A Must-Read For Film Lovers

Ellie Midwood peers behind the camera in this must-have novel for fans of silent and classic film, if not film period. Exploring the world of Weimar Berlin and German cinema through the eyes of Margot, Grafin von Steinhoff, Ms. Midwood allows readers to go behind the scenes in one of the most ground-breaking films of the silent era, Fritz Lang’s brilliant masterpiece Metropolis. As someone who has seen the titled film, I was curious how Midwood would approach this novel, and I wasn’t disappointed.

What I loved about this book is how it captures what was so revolutionary about silent film: the presence of diversity within the industry, especially women behind the camera. Before the Hays Code overtook in the mid-thirties in Hollywood, the scope of subjects was unparalleled. Margot and her companions richly bring this to life as the reader gets swept away into the bohemian world of musicians, filmmakers, actors, models, and photographers. While reading I could easily hear a Kurt Weill song sung by a chanteuse, all while undertoned by the shadow of pending fascism represented in the brown shirts that would sweep the country just a few years later, forboding the exile of many filmmakers and actors that would become part of Hollywood legend. Those legends, such as Lang, would leave lasting imprints on filmmaking that we feel today. I can’t wait to read the next novel in this series! Highly recommended!

Review rating: 5 stars

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