METROPOLIS — the Lost Tomorrow of Yesterday

The 1927 silent film METROPOLIS was released a few years ago in a restored version, with long missing scenes put back in place. The film includes visions as strange and prophetic as anything an astrologer could dream, including a tower fittingly called “Neubabelsberg” or “The New Tower of Babel” and including the Twelfth Night masquerade deception of a machine man dressed as a maiden.

I have been eagerly yearning, if not salivating, to own this restored version, ever since I heard the rumor of it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, METROPOLIS is the masterpiece of the German Expressionist film maker, some would say genius, Fritz Lang, who also made “M” and the DOCTOR MABUSE films. If you do not know who Fritz Lang is, if you have ever seen, perhaps on an old FLINTSTONE’S cartoon or a skit from the CAROL BURNETTE show,  the image of a Hollywood director in jodhpurs with a German accent and a monocle—that German is Fritz Lang. That stereotyped caricature of a Hollywood director in a monocle is Fritz.

Note Prussian Monocle

Fritz Lang himself fled Germany the same night he was offered a post by the Nazis in their new regime. During the Weimar years, between the wars, Germany was the center of the brief but brilliant and seminal silent film Golden Age, producing such masterworks as THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI and DAS NIBELUNGEN and NOSFERATU. Silent films were easier to export than later talkies, because only the title cards needed to be changed. Unfortunately, it also made them easier to edit.

METROPOLIS was the most expensive film ever shot in its day (some five million Reichsmarks) and it opened in a lavish theater, with a live orchestra playing an original score. It was originally 153 minutes long, but was cut—I would say butchered—into a shorter 90 minute version, and the plot changed—I would say mutated into grotesque illogic, if not lobotomized.  The American version was rewritten by the playwright Channing Pollick, whose name should live in infamy, or, at least, serve as a warning to science fiction visionaries not to allow mundane minds a chance to meddle with our work.

About a fourth of the original film was lost, apparently forever. Brave efforts were made to deduce what the original plot had been when antiquarians would find, for example, the wording of the original title cards in old records in the German censor’s office, or notations on the orchestral score, where brief descriptions of the action on the screen were written in the margins to tell the orchestra leader when to play certain themes, high notes, or flourishes to match the screen action.

Then, in 2008, one canister in a forgotten museum collection in Buenos Aires was noticed to be too large. The label listing the running time showed that this version of METROPOLIS was some thirty minutes longer than any surviving copy. In great excitement it was discovered that the missing scenes were back.

Why such excitement? This was the first and biggest and most lasting depiction of the future on film. I will be bold enough to say that the visual images we still carry in our heads of what the future in the year 2000 will be (images that are now oddly retro-futuristic) of elevated roadways and soaring super-skyscrapers and flocks of biplanes darting between the towers, visualizations of video-telephones, mechanical men and mad scientists and massive machinery looming in Morlockian underworlds, all derive from the art direction of METROPOLIS.

I suggest that the magazine cover images from the days of pulp adventures and popular science come from this film, not the other way around. Hugo Gernsbeck’s magazine AMAZING was founded in 1926, only twelve months before the release of Lang’s film.

Look at the visual imagery of everything from THE JETSONS to the Trantor-ripoff imperial world-city Coruscant in STAR WARS. To this day, when one thinks of the lands of the future, one imagines superskyscrapers, elevated highways, and flying machines.

The modern filmgoer who lives in the days of computer graphics, deeply impressed with the visual splendor of James Cameron’s AVATAR is no doubt wondering why anyone would be interested in the clunky and unconvincing visual effects of a silent movie. As to that, all I can say is that the visual effects here were done with care and craftsmanship and imagination, and my eye, at least, is fooled by the models and cunning tricks with mirrors.  For example, to make the traffic move on the imaginary elevated roadway, the city scene was painted on glass, the road was left clear, and a mirror behind set the reflect a tabletop model on which the prop vehicles moved.

Also, the opening shot shows an expressionist painting of a cityscape where the shadows slide across the walls and windows of the image. This is, in fact, the first known example of stop motion animation, a process invented for this shot. I can speak for no other viewer than myself, but whenever I see the first time some technique has been done, it still seems fresh and wonderful to me, even if I had seen it done countless times before.

But one must be warned that silent films are an acquired taste. The “acting” consists of broad pantomime motions meant to be seen by theater’s back row. To indicate that a man was falling in love, for example, the actor clutches his heart with both hands and goggles his eyes like a sick cow, holding the pose frozen for many lingering moments.

Because one cannot hear the actress scream, she must gape her mouth and roll her eyes, arms overhead, fingers spread, and fling herself from one side of the frame to the other, hyperventilating in hyper-terror for many lingering moments.

This is after she walks through the catacombs for lingering minutes with a candle, being chased by a circle of light from a flashlight. The key word here is lingering. Fritz Lang was not the master of the MTV style “quick cut.” The film is slow, moody and atmospheric, and could be called a Gothic as easily as a Science Fiction piece.

Futuristic Gothic

The convention of female film beauty in the 1920’s is as odd to the modern eye as the conventional makeup of a geisha girl: flatchested, thin-hipped with pale and narrow-lipped faces like something from an Aubrey Beardsley ink drawing, and wearing your greatgrandmother’s hairstyle.

One should also be warned that, while the main scenes are crisp and remarkably clear, the recovered scenes are grainy and streaked—even though, in my judgment, containing memorable and striking images.

The sinister Thin Man — Even When Grainy, This Guy Creeps Me Out

Appreciating the plot of a silent film is also an acquired taste. The story has to be told almost entirely in images, with only brief one-sentence snatches of dialog. Consequently plots tend toward broad operatic melodrama.

The screenplay was written by Prussian actress Thea von Harbou, Lang’s wife, who apparently favored the Ayn Rand approach to putting across her point. Here, the moral of the story is showed to the audience in the opening, repeated throughout, and forms the final curtain line. BETWEEN THE HEAD AND THE HANDS THE HEART MUST MEDIATE. If the moral had been written on a two-by-four and smashed into my head between the eyes over and over again, it could not have been made more obvious. Subtlety is not the strong point of this screenplay.

Nonetheless, my appreciation of the restored version  is precisely because the butchered version of the plot made no sense. More on this later.

Thea von Harbou later joined the National Socialist or Nazi Party, and her view of the relation between workers and owners is correspondingly socialist: the proles are mere worker ants despised and crushed by the plutocrats who live in sybaritic decadence.

Trudging Workers

The Dashing (pun intended) Rich Sons

The main plot tension is between the ultra-rich owning and ruling class of the futuristic mega-city, personified in Joh Frederson (called John Masterman in the English version) and the downtrodden proletarian workers, who trudge in endless drudgery in their buried caverns and subterranean factories, personified in the beautiful Maria.

The Angelic Maria

The handsome son of Frederson, Freder, falls in love at first sight with Maria, and his conscience is provoked by her tale of the brotherhood of man, and by pity for the wretched overworked and dangerous lives of the dispossessed, compared to the endless gaiety and frivolity of the life of the sons of wealth and privilege, such as his own.

Freder Sees the Horror

The proletarians are meeting in secret, murmuring against their oppression, inching toward violence (despite the voice of Maria, who preaches mediation and reconciliation), and Frederson is taking steps to quell the discontented, but not quelling the discontent.  These steps include turning to Rotwang the Inventor, and maimed and brilliant genius, who has invented a machine-man that can perfectly impersonate a human being. So Freder is torn between his duty to his father and his feelings for his beloved.

This admittedly simplistic tale of socialism and social conscience is told in luxurious Biblical imagery that I simply did not expect to see: The metropolis of Neubabelsberg is the Tower of Babel, a work of ambition displaying the greatness of Man, but destined to destruction at the hands of the workers, agents of divine vengeance, in an Apocalypse brought on by the Whore of Babylon, who in this case is the femm-bot invented by Rotwang the Inventor.

Tower of Babel

Whore of Babylon, Complete with Dragon

The only hope to avert destruction is the voice of divine conscience, personified by the virgin Maria, who preaches in the underground catacombs as if still hiding from the persecution of Nero, with the crosses of Calvary rising in the background.

Note Unsubtle Crosses of Goodness

Note Unsubtle Pentacle of Evil

The statues representing the Seven Deadly Sins and the Grim Reaper spring to life in one hallucination sequence, and the final fight between the hero and the mad inventor takes place on the sloping roof of a Cathedral, beneath the scowling stone eyes of Apostles and Archangels.

Gothic Imagery, Anyone?

It is strange for a man living in a post-Christian and Christophobic era to see a film made in a Christian era, when the audience was assumed to be familiar with the Bible and Biblical imagery, and to react not with scorn and derision, but with affection, to those images. A modern and openly Christian film would not introduce such images so unselfconsciously, without any explanation, because the modern audience must be assumed to be ignorant and hostile. The vocabulary of images is closed to them.

The inventor, Rotwang, is simply the icon of the Mad Scientist. He is the first and the best. He is played by Rudolf Klein-Rogge, an actor of brutally handsome features who also played the arch-villain in DOCTOR MABUSE THE GAMBLER (A film that got Fritz Lang in trouble with the rising Nazi Party bosses, for its portrayal of unscrupulous powerlust against a backdrop of decadence).

The First Mad Scientist, Still the Best

I will wager that the average reader, reading the words “Mad Scientist” unknowingly conjures up a mental image that was invented by Rotwang the Inventor. Here we can see what the stylized overacting and the stylized expressionism of silent film are trying to accomplish: you, the audience, are able to tell at first glance which is the Mad Inventor and which is the stoical Arch-Industrialist.

Which of these two men is the Mad Scientist?

The deep and staring eyes that range from brooding to maniacal, the egotism, the wild hair, the soulless genius: all come from here. Like Davros the creator of the Daleks from DOCTOR WHO, Rotwang is a cripple, the imperfection of his flesh an unsubtle symbol of inner imperfection. Like Doctor No from the Bond film of the same name, Rotwang sports a creepy mechanical hand. (Futuristically enough for a 1920’s film, this is a prosthetic or cyberorganic hand, not a mere hook.)

The Mad Inventor — Brooding Phase

Mad Inventor — Manic Phase

There is even a scene where he cackles, exalting, that the loss was well worth the triumph of learning to create artificial, mechanized life. An imitator of God who creates a golem or mockery of life is a shade of Doctor Victor von Frankenstein.

It was WORTH being maimed! FOR SCIENCE!

As befits the Gothic look of the film, the lair of Rotwang the Inventor is a crooked medieval alchemists’ workshop, crammed with books (or should I say “grimoires”?) and decorated with satanic pentacles. In the middle of an Art Deco city of skyscrapers and aeroplanes, crouches a single house from the Dark Ages.

Is This the House of a Scientist or an Alchemist?

I am guessing “Scientist”

The first time I saw this film (if memory serves, on a PBS station when I was a teen) it was of course the butchered version, not knowing there once was (or once was supposed to be) any other. Since I was used to sudden leaps of illogic in the badly-done monster films that passed for sci-fi back in the old days, I did not see anything amiss.

Having seen the restored version let me report that I am now personally offended at Mr. Channing Pollick, and would be willing to lead a Orwellian “Two Minute Hate” excoriating his name, because I now see what was cut and changed.

Both versions open the same way. We see the proles marching, heads bowed, likes slaves to the silver mines, in shambling lines to the elevators descending into the underworld, where they tend giant machines designed to explode whenever momentary inattention allows a clearly-labeled thermometer or pressure gauge to reach the clearly-labeled “explode immediately” position.

The Explodie Machine — Blows Up Real Good

In shining towers high above, young noblemen indulge in athletics and flirt with gardens of courtesans. Our heroine, Maria, leads a dirt-smudged gaggle of Oliver Twist lookalikes up through an elevator to gaze at the gardens, and our hero falls in love at first sight, as symbolized (see above) by clutching his heart in both hands and gazing like a moonstruck cow. She is tossed out by footmen, and he goes into the depth to look for her.

Like Buddha seeing life outside the pleasure palaces of his father for the first time, Freder encounters the misery and death on which his city, the Tower of Babel, is built: he sees an industrial accident, transformed before his hallucinating eyes into a vision of the great idol Moloch eating chained victims by the score.


Young Freder has a tendency to hallucinate frequently in this film, which one would think would give his father pause for concern.

Freder exchanges clothing with a worker, and spends a ten hour work shift pushing to arms on the pointless rotating thing machine. I am sure something will blow up if he fails to move the arms fast enough. Then he hallucinates that it is the ten-hour clock counting down the minutes to the shift change. As I said, Freder hallucinates a lot.

Watching that Clock for the Shift End

Uber-plutocrat Joh Frederson goes to Rotwang the Inventor carrying a fragment of map found on the body of a dead proletarian (killed in the aforementioned industrial accident) and wishing to know its meaning.

A Concerned Joh Frederson

At this point, the two versions part ways.

In the Channing Version, For no particular reason, Rotwang displays to Frederson his latest invention, the machine-man, which is supposed to be able to replace the workers at their dangerous tasks. Boasting about how his machine-man is the ultimate labor saving if not life saving device, Rotwang appears to be screaming in anger for no reason, his eyes aflame with arrogance, while Frederson hears him with stoical and understated grief.

Since this would, in fact, relieve the workers from the need to risk their lives tending the Moloch Machine, logically this would solve the problem driving the plot, and everyone would live happily ever after. But no.

Consulting the fragment of map, Rotwang and Frederson descend into the catacombs, and spy out a meeting of the proletarians. Maria tells of the legend of the Tower of Babel, and tells the proles to wait in joyous hope for a coming mediator or messiah, who will lead them peacefully to reconciliation with their brutal capitalist overlords.

Vision of Babel

Rotwang, but not Frederson, spots young Freder among the listening crowd, and slyly steps to block the father’s sight so that he does not see the son. This action has no meaning.

Frederson suddenly, and for no apparent reason, orders Rotwang to make the Machine Man into a perfect replica of Maria the leader of the proletarians. There is no hint beforehand that Rotwang, or anyone, has this technology. Maria, it must be emphasized, is asking the proles not to resort to violence, but Frederson now orders Rotwang to have the false Maria provoke the as-yet-peaceful proles into a violent rebellion. Against him. To overthrow him. Uh, what?

To prove to Frederson that the false Maria is convincing as a duplicate, Rotwang displays her to the lustful audience at Yoshiwara in the decadent red-light district, and Frederson looks on in approval as the sons of his fellow industrialists are provoked into murderous jealousy against each other. Duels and murders follow. Uh, what?

The Sons of the Owners Stirred by Lust to Wrath. Or Maybe its Gas.

Hugger-mugger and hurly-burly ensues. There are alarums and excursions. Freder falls ill for some reason I don’t recall, and he spends some time in his room, pursuing his favorite pastime, hallucinating.

The prole rebellion happens as planned, the proles wreck the Heart Machine in order to stop the pumps that prevent their underground worker’s town from being flooded. The flood that they brought upon themselves threatens their wives and moppets back in the dormitory.

Our Hero Freder, with the help from the real Maria, rescues the children of the workers from the rising waters. The Evil Robot version of Maria, whom I will call Nega-Maria, is captured and burnt at the stake as a witch, while Rotwang chases the real Maria across the roof of the cathedral.

The Nightmarish She-Golem LAUGHS While She Burns

There does not seem to be any particular reason why Rotwang, who was hired by Frederson to provoke the worker rebellion, to be pursuing Maria. But Freder arrives in time to save the day, and wrestles Rotwang. Since this was from the days before film makers knew how to capture a convincing fight scene on film, the scrimmage is awkward and unconvincing, but eventually Rotwang is flung to his death from the rooftop, and the girl is saved.

Joh Frederson and Grot the foreman are brought together by Freder the promised mediator, who makes them shake hands and vow to work together in love and brotherhood. BETWEEN THE HEAD AND THE HANDS THE HEART MUST MEDIATE. The End.

Uh, what?

As a child, pure and pure-hearted as all children, whenever I saw the movie IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, I always wondered why the evil banker, Potter, is allowed to keep the money he stole from the simpleminded Uncle Billy, rather than, as would have made more sense to my wee boyish brain and been more gratifying to my wee boyish heart, the avenging angel Clarence were to suddenly announce, “Potter stole the dough!” and all of Jimmy Stewart’s friends, whose number makes him the richest man in town, would form a brutal vigilante mob, descend upon Potter, drag him from the wheelchair, and and drown him in the swimming pool beneath the moving gymnasium floor. (I admit I was more gratified than the average viewer when SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, did a “How It Should Have Ended” type skit where something very close to these bloody events unfolded.)

When I first saw METROPOLIS as a youth, being as pure and pure-hearted as all boys, I had exactly the same reaction. Even after the film ended, I kept expecting there to be a final scene where someone, perhaps Grot the Foreman, instead of shaking hands and vowing to work in brotherhood with Joh Frederson would instead twist his arm behind his back and catch him by the throat.

After all, Joh Frederson is an arch-criminal madman who just hired a mad scientist madder than he to provoke the worker revolt that just deliberately led to the flood that almost drowned all the children, or, as we science fiction people call them, “Younglings.”

Indeed, I, for one, would have rejoiced to see Joh Frederson confronted by his son, or the police, or the princess Padma Amidala, crying in anguished disbelief, “You killed the Younglings?!” and see the villain without more delay dragged (rolling his eyes and shrieking in the lovable overacting way endemic to silent films) to the still-smoking stake to burn him in the shadow of the Cathedral as a would-be mass murderer, while little dancing children threw matches and their smiling mothers threw winebottles filled of gasoline. But maybe that is just me.

But this did not happen. Instead they shake hands, and evil powermad Joh Frederson, would-be mass-child-murderer, failing to have destroyed himself and his own city, lives happily ever after.

Such is the Channing Version that the English speaking world saw.

The father of science fiction, H.G. Wells, was among the reviewers who dismissed this plot as silly, and I, for one, agree with him. It is of course, the Channing plot he was dismissing, not the real plot.

In the Thea von Harbou Version, we see Uber-Plutocrat Joh Frederson go to Rotwang the Inventor, and, by mischance, Frederson comes upon a curtained alcove behind which he peers. In the alcove is an Art Deco larger-than-life death mask of his long-lost wife, Hel, staring down, immense, titanic, with blind eyes, set up as some sort of freakish love-idol.

Of Course I Worship my Huge Idol of your Dead Wife, Frederson!

Rotwang the Inventor discovers his widower-guest discovering his immense freakish love-idol to Frederson’s own wife. Rotwang was also in love with her, but she died giving birth to Freder, the hated son of his hated rival. Wrathfully, Rotwang now boasts that he can replace Hel with his machine-man, an artificial life form designed to be able perfectly to impersonate a woman.

Shake Hands with the She-Golem Meant to Replace your Wife to me, Frederson!

Next we see the machine-man, seated lifelessly beneath an occult pentacle, stir to an artificial mockery of life upon command, and stand, and walk. It turns its mask and regards Frederson with eyes as blind and eerie as the eyes of the titanic statue we just saw.

She Will Love me, Frederson!

The scene is creepy as all get out.

Bad enough to visit your ex-best friend’s house and find giant idol of your dead wife, but then to find your ex-best friend is building a life-sized doll version of her, and is tampering, using dark forces, with the secrets of life and death. Oh, and he hates you. And he burnt off his hand in some unnamed science accident, but laughs and claims it was worth the price. For science!

In this version both the anger of Rotwang and the stoical sorrow of Frederson make sense, since they are discussing a dead woman beloved of both, rather than merely discussing the wisdom of deploying a labor-saving device.

Also in the von Harbou Version, Frederson makes the much more reasonable request to Rotwang to use his robot to impersonate Maria for the purpose of quelling the proletarian discontent, and breaking up the dangerous meetings, not aggravating it.

In the scene in the catacombs, Rotwang steps to block Frederson’s view of young Freder among the workers listening to Maria because Rotwang means to betray Frederson, using the robot not to quell the discontent but rather to stir it up. Rotwang’s plan is to lure young Freder (who is in love with Maria) to his doom, because, as has been clearly established in this version, Rotwang blames Freder for the death of Hel.

There is also a second plotline, again, one that in this version makes sense. Once Freder is overcome with sympathy for the proletarians, his suspicious father orders a creepy character called only “The Thin Man” (played by an actor with the glorious name Fritz Rasp) to follow young Freder and report on his movements.

Rasp (if I may use that name) discovers the substitution mentioned above, when Freder changes clothing and lives with a worker named 11811. Ironically, this worker uses the opportunity, and huge wad of cash found in Freder’s suit, to visit the red light district called Yoshiwara, and fritter the night away in the soul-destroying pleasures of the upper town.


This location becomes significant later, as Rotwang’s femm-bot Nega-Maria uses her Weimar-era flapper charms to seduce the young sons of privilege into dueling and fighting each other. This scene, which was senseless in the Channing Version, here makes sense because Rotwang’s motive is to use the robot to destroy Frederson and his magnificent city the city from above as well as from below.

She’s not HUMAN! Only a Robot Could Dance That Well!

Her Art Deco L33t mad dancing Skillz make all eyes rivet upon her, as demonstrated in one of the freakier of the German Expressionist shots in the film.

Freaky German Expressionism at its Freakiest

Rasp also discovers that Freder has saved from suicide and hired Josaphat, the private secretary of Frederson fired arbitrarily, and Josaphat is now Freder’s manservant.  Rasp is a ruthless operative, and forces Freder’s new found friends away from him. This point is significant, since Freder falls into a lingering fever in the middle act, and Josaphat is forced to betray rather than help him.

Also in the Harbou Version, the rebellion of the workers is established as a plot by Rotwang to the destroy the city, so that when Nega-Maria leads them to destroy the Heart Machine and flood the undertown, her purpose is to kill the workers, because (again) Rotwang is the arch enemy of Frederson and of the Metropolis.

The workers, convinced that they have been tricked by her into drowning  their own children, chase the real Maria (whom they blame) up through the streets to Yoshiwara, where Nega-Maria is dancing for the sons of privilege. The real Maria escapes, and the mob, mistaking one twin for the other, ties Nega-Maria to the stake, where, before their horrified eyes, her burning flesh peels back to reveal the inhuman mask of the machine-man beneath.

The real Maria is trapped in the Cathedral by Rotwang, who has gone magnificently mad (a perennial hazard for those in the Mad Scientific community) and now is convinced that Maria is the real Hel.

The ending of both versions is the same: Freder wrestles Rotwang. Rotwang plunges like Lucifer in downfall from cathedral roof. Frederson and Grot the Foreman brought together by Freder the promised mediator, handshake, love and brotherhood. BETWEEN THE HEAD AND THE HANDS THE HEART MUST MEDIATE. The End.

Shake Hands and Be Nice

This ending is somewhat more satisfying, because this time Frederson is the victim, rather than the boss, of Rotwang, and his only crime is his unwillingness to treat the proletarians with the simple dignity they deserve, and he is snapped out of that moral blindness by his loving son when he sees the tragic horror, manipulated by Rotwang, to which that cold-heartedness can lead.

The Channing Version cut out the character of Hel, the motive of Rotwang, and the whole plotline of twisted revenge by Rotwang against Frederson. Channing, in a surviving interview, commented that the idea of a man building a robot to be his substitute wife was absurd, even gross. Who would take a cold metallic body to the bridal bed?

Apparently Channing was too stupid to notice that in the climactic scene, the one best for which this film is best remembered, where the robot becomes the doppelganger of Maria, Rotwang has the ability to clothe the robotic skeleton with the flesh and blood form of any woman he desires.

The gross absurdity of the idea of marrying a moving machine-creature of one’s own devising is a feature, not a bug, of the science fiction plot—we are supposed to find Rotwang’s egotistical monomania for a dead woman creepy, and maybe a little sad.

But we are not supposed to think the goal is beyond his powers as a master of dark science. Rotwang was not planning on hugging and kissing the metal skeleton, as Channing thought. The Inventor was going to make her look like Hel, Frederson’s beloved, but instead decided to make her look like Maria, Freder’s beloved.

Since both versions show Rotwang perfectly able to make the femme-bot into a perfect impersonation of a woman, Channing’s grounds for cutting that part out, the idea that the idea was absurd, is itself absurd.

Best Mad Scientist pastime – Experiment on Girls

Happily, the restored version will now live in the hearts and memories of film fans and historians, and also in the history of science fiction.

The significance of this motion picture to science fiction buffs (or “Slans”) like myself cannot be overstated. Those pathetic creatures, no doubt produced by parallel evolution, who happen to share our planet, known as non-science fiction buffs (or “Muggles”) join us in appreciating this strange and monumental masterpiece. The endless war between Slans, who live in basements and eat burritos, and Muggles, who have jobs and girlfriends, is suspended for a season when we join in shared admiration for this movie.

Slans and Muggles must live together. They must come home from their jobs and we must come up from our basements and shake hands and live in brother-love forever. BETWEEN THE SLANS  AND THE MUGGLES THE HEART MUST MEDIATE.