Analysis for Movie M

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Yucheng Zhao Mike Civille HATM 540 Mar 5, 2014 Analysis for M The 1931 German movie masterpiece “M” by Fritz Lang, with avant-garde demonstrating techniques, depicts a vivid image of the societal condition in old Germany, and delineates a thrilling story of how a society reacts to, resists, and eventually captures a serial children murderer. “M” is Fritz Lang’s first sound film, and a very important aesthetic reference in sound film history. In addition, this movie is the first criminal movie, and the first serial killer movie in the history. Through showing the turmoil and fears, Lang has done a great work on demonstrating the darkness of the society, the vulnerability of people, and the inability of justice, the police force. When police is doing stupid and useless errands on chasing the murderer, the underground force exerts its unnoticed but efficient methods to eventually capture the murderer. This result magnifies the police’s incompetence and the underground power’s mightiness. On the other hand, based on the time frame of this movie’s production, the underground force is implied to be the Nazi, whose ambition and ruling power are on rise. At the beginning of the movie, some children are standing in a circle playing a “pick and kill” game along with a song singing horrible serial murderer. This opening scene is crucial for setting up the societal background as a story trigger of the movie. This scene conveys complex information that leads to the subsequent story developments. First, this scene reflects the prosaicness and backwardness of the society. The society does not have many kinds of entertainment like nowadays. People are not enjoying lives, but surviving lives. Kids do not have many choices of fun for leisure time. What they do most is simply playing with other kids. Second, kids in the old times are so naïve and simple. They are

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