The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart.


Another project I have lying around is this one, a squad of Futuras from Infamy: The Big Smoke. These are part of Nikola Tesla’s faction in the game, but I wanted a Rotwang to lead them, so I made one out of a Heresy Miniatures War Doctor (Dr Payne), Tesla’s glove, and the head of Doc Brown from Crooked Dice.

In the movie Rotwang is the villain of the piece, but it’s interesting to note that he was also a potential hero within the theme of the story:

As the audience learns, Rotwang not only invents the robot, but physically creates it as well. In the novel and original screenplay, the audience learns that Rotwang loves Hel, the woman who married Frederson and died giving birth to Freder. Rotwang creates the robot in the metallic image of this woman in an attempt to ease his unrequited love for her. Here is the heart that motivates his mind to cooperate with his hands in the creation of a robot to look like Hel. When the robot is first created, we see a man finally at peace after the loss of his love. As such, he is a mini-version of the peaceful potential of the Metropolis, far too alienated by his nonconformist religion, unaccounted-for class, and physical separation from the rest of the Metropolis to remedy the class-conflict.

The robot is the external expression of this peace. It is created with the intention of uniting the classes by replacing the workers. The robot offers the possibility of the workers joining the class of the rich and live idle and enjoyable lives. It is created to eliminate the sole difference between the classes: work.

However, once Rotwang is instructed by Frederson to make the robot in the image of Maria, this balance is disturbed. He creates the android without the element of his heart, as we see no love for Maria and therefore no heart to mediate the muscle and brain that is the robot. Here is not a casual or friendly relationship. Frederson’s affiliation with Rotwang is mind commanding the hands, and for the ten minutes where Rotwang creates the Robot, he is reduced to the status of an ordinary worker. He loses his mind/heart/hand unity when he surrenders mind and heart to Frederson’s irrepressible commands. In the scene where the imitation Maria is created, Rotwang moves mechanically, much like a worker in the factory, a cog in the giant machine that is the Metropolis. He becomes a worker in his own factory as he mindlessly pulls the switches and operates the machine. At this point it is apparent that Rotwang will not be the mediator with his creation

The Balance of Hands, Mind, and Heart: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis