Andrew’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's fun to look back at the future.
Made in 1936, this movie spans a centuries time period. Starting at the cusp of another world war, the story advances a decade showing the devastation that the war has caused. Society is in ruins. Only small villages are left. Technology is stone aged at best. Then a wave of technical progress and evolution takes holds. 80 years later, the threat is that now progress with smother out what it means to be human.
The immediate visual reference for this film is Fritz Lange's METROPOLIS. But unlike that movie, this film lacks any real sense of humanity or the struggles of man.
The acting in this film is so stilted and Shakespearean that it didn't have resonance for me. The performances were so grandiose that they didn't think they had to be plausible. And there are a lot of speeches in this film. It is a pastiche of speeches and montages of technology. The sets and models are impressive, but amount to very little with a story behind them.