Friday, 14 November 2014

M (1931)

A ball rolling from the bushes and a balloon caught in the telegraph wires signal the child murderer has struck again. The appetite for news, the paranoia, the violence; nothing has changed in the intervening years. We clamour for the news knowing that if someone else child is dead then ours is safe... at least for the time being. It really is amazing how little has changed in the intervening years. The police procedures of fingerprinting, profiling, radius sweeps, riot squads, the pressure from the top. Even reliance on pseudo-science such as graphology still occasionally raises its head.

Naturalistically filmed with ageless themes of fear and hate, M wouldn't look out of place if it was filmed, shot-for-shot, now. Everything about this film resonates with our current fears and anxieties. Hands up who doesn't feel slightly self-concious watching children play nowadays.

Oh,and for those wondering about the status of Fritz Lang, watch for the amazing cut from the board of crooks to the board of politicians and police at around 36:11. Lang was a genius.

"Thou shalt not think any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a paedophile. Some people are just nice." -- Scroobius Pip vs. Dan le Sac - Thou Shall Always Kill

Original letterboxd review

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