Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Metropolis

A couple of days ago my toaster went on the blink in a bizarre red beans and rice incident.* It is one of the frustrating things of this modern age that when domestic appliances break down it is often more expensive to have them repaired than to replace them. With toasters this is evidently always the case as I have learned from past experience. So instead of even bothering to get a repair quote this time, I just gritted my teeth and headed off to David Jones to find a new one. My previous toaster was a Russell Hobbs two slice and I was completely happy with it. It did not for a moment occur to me that what I really needed was The Metropolis.

Film aficionados are aware that the amazing design in Fritz Lang's cinematic masterpiece Metropolis extends to all details of the production including the character props such as watches, clocks, jewellery and haberdashery, but it is rarely noted that even the kitchen appliances in the film are carefully crafted to complement Lang's futuristic vision. It is said that Lang himself, unhappy with the original maquettes for the toasters and blenders in the film, took an active part in their realisation.

Rough sketches of the toaster shown in the scene above still survive, penned by the unmistakeable hand of a director with a thousand things on his mind, but driven to perfect even the tiniest detail.

Now, after lengthy negotiations to secure access to these sketches, Italian company DeLonghi has been able to to create an almost perfect replica of one of Lang's favourite props.

I believe that DeLonghi also intend to release a blender modelled on the one that features in the famous sequence with the evil scientist Rottwang and the electrical activation of his robotic Maria. The company is being very secretive about it, so details are hard to come by, but you can rest assured that when the news breaks you will hear about it first here on The Cow.

*Don't ask.


Blogger weirdpixie said...

What is it with sexy kitchen appliances lately?


October 16, 2005 9:40 AM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Now I have Toaster Envy.

Word Verification Scrabble, anyone?

October 16, 2005 10:03 AM  
Anonymous UniversalHead said...

Nice work Pete, you really had me going there for a while.

October 16, 2005 10:48 AM  
Anonymous annearkham said...

I've always been partial to the Sensotoast Deluxe.

October 16, 2005 12:07 PM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Are you familiar with the fishing-related expression "hook, line and sinker?" Yes.

Let me put it this way. I'd never seen the movie, so I got the dvd version from our local public library. I watched it last night, and looked for the toaster scene.

Quite an amazing film.

I owe you one.

October 19, 2005 9:07 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

That toaster scene is something huh?

Lang was a big fan of toast, and often filming of Metropolis was brought to a halt so that he could make toast and marmalade for the cast and crew. The ensuing jollity is something we can only imagine.

October 19, 2005 9:14 PM  
Blogger ScroobiousScrivener said...

Was Metropolis sponsored by the Toast Marketing Board, mayhap?

Do love that toaster, anyway.

upghvyr: Croatian for "quitter".

October 20, 2005 8:04 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

That's a pretty good site Scroob, pity none of the links go anywhere...

rznhpd: Namibian term for the sinking feeling you get when you drop a piece of toast butter-side down on a passing aardvark.

October 20, 2005 8:15 PM  
Blogger ScroobiousScrivener said...

Those links don't, but if you track back to, there's all *kinds* of fun to be had.

(The website is the playroom of Jasper Fforde, who wrote/is writing a series of very odd books starring literary detective Thursday Next. The books are, of course, sponsored by the Toast Marketing Board.)

October 20, 2005 11:38 PM  

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