What could the significance of this doubling of the gaze be? Who is looking at whom here and what might the reflection symbolize? Feel free to refer to Brockmann’s reading of this scene but also try to go beyond it.
What could the significance of this doubling of the gaze be?
M Fritz Lang
LINK TO MOVIE: https://iu.app.box.com/v/MFritzLang
Carefully look at the picture above which shows a key moment in M Fritz Lang. In what context does this scene appear in the movie? What is happening here? Describe in detail what you see in the image. The image seems to be staring back at us. What could the significance of this doubling of the gaze be? Who is looking at whom here and what might the reflection symbolize? Feel free to refer to Brockmann’s reading of this scene but also try to go beyond it.
What do you think of Beckert? What are some of his characteristics, and do you think he develops over the course of the movie, i.e. is he a static character (no development) or a dynamic character (noticeable development)? Why? How would you characterize the murderer, who indirectly gives the film its title M?
What is the connection between sound and madness? How is insanity depcited in the film? Please compare this to the depiction of insanity in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Considering that this is Lang’s first non-silent film, discuss the use and importance of sound in M. What effect did it have on you? How would you compare this film to your experience of watching The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis?
Lang’s M deals with what the director himself called “the most heinous crime” (Brockmann 119). Can you think of other movies or books on this topic? Compare and contrast how these narratives address this difficult topic and the social critique they might entail.
In regard to the fate of Beckert, M is open-ended. Why do you think Lang chose to end the film this way? Did you like the ending? Why or why not? What other solutions would have been possible and why do you think Lang decided to end the film the way he did?
Compare the setting of M to the settings in the two movies of German Expressionist Cinema that we have watched. How do the settings of the films compare and contrast with each other?
Think about the title of the film – M. What do you think the title might mean or symbolize? How does it relate to a main message or a theme in the film?
What role do female characters play in the film and how are they depicted?
After watching both Metropolis and M, if you could ask director Fritz Lang one question, what would you ask? What do you think his answer might be?