The following article outlines the economy of gender relations in Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927). I approach the topic of gender relations from a previously neglected perspective that examines connections between gender, sexuality, and work as conceptualized by Marx and the early Socialists who preceded him. Close analyses of several key sequences will demonstrate that Metropolis translates cinematically the inversion of causality between work and sexuality that Marx introduced after the Saint-Simonians, from whom he otherwise distanced himself. By keeping women either completely outside the cinematic space or relegating them to certain strategic roles within the narrative, Harbou and Lang move towards their own understanding of the relationship between work, gender, and sexuality, suggesting that cinema not only reflects, but actively participates in the creation and maintenance of the status quo.


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pp. 21-42
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