Metropia (2009) Poster

Metropia (2009)

  • Rate: 6.1/10 total 2,944 votes 
  • Genre: Animation | Sci-Fi | Thriller
  • Release Date: 27 November 2009 (Sweden)
  • Runtime: 86 min
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Metropia (2009)


Metropia 2009tt0985058.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Metropia (2009)
  • Rate: 6.1/10 total 2,944 votes 
  • Genre: Animation | Sci-Fi | Thriller
  • Release Date: 27 November 2009 (Sweden)
  • Runtime: 86 min
  • Budget: SEK 32,000,000(estimated)
  • Director: Tarik Saleh
  • Stars: Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis and Udo Kier
  • Original Music By: Krister Linder   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Future | Conspiracy | CGI Animation | Depletion Of Natural Resources | Exploding Bomb

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Fredrik Edin  idea
  • Fredrik Edin  screenplay
  • Martin Hultman  idea
  • Stig Larsson  screenplay
  • Tarik Saleh  idea
  • Tarik Saleh  screenplay

Known Trivia

    Goofs: Factual errors: When Anna is doodling on the mail, it is clearly seen that the debt collection agency has spelled its business as "dept collection".

    Plot: In the near future, oil reserves are nearly depleted and Europe is connected by series of underground tunnels… See more »  »

    Story: In the near future, oil reserves are nearly depleted and Europe is connected by series of underground tunnels. While navigating these tunnels, Roger hears voices, one in particular. Seeking a way to rid himself of the voice only leads Roger deeper into a bizarre conspiracy of control – mind and body.Written by Pusan International Film Festival  


    Synopsis: METROPIA is taking place in a not-so-distant, terrifying Europe. The world is running out of oil and the net of undergrounds has been connected, creating a gigantic web underneath Europe. Roger (Vincent Gallo) from a suburb of Stockholm tries to stay away from the underground. He thinks it’s unpleasant and sometimes he hears a strange voice in is head.

    One day Roger finds out that his life is controlled in every detail. He tries to break free. To succeed he needs super-model Nina (Juliette Lewis) to help him. Or is it maybe Nina that needs Roger?


    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Gunnar Carlsson known as co-producer: Sweden, Swedish Television
    • Tomas Eskilsson known as co-producer: Sweden, Film I Vast
    • Birgitta Holmar known as co-producer: Sweden, Sandrew Metronome
    • Mikael Olsen known as co-producer: international, Zentropa
    • Eric Vogel known as co-producer: international, Tordenfilm
    • Jon Wigfield known as line producer
    • Kristina Åberg known as producer
    • Elin Erichsen known as co-producer (uncredited)

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Vincent Gallo known as Roger (voice)
    • Juliette Lewis known as Nina (voice)
    • Udo Kier known as Ivan Bahn (voice)
    • Stellan Skarsgård known as Ralph Parker (voice)
    • Alexander Skarsgård known as Stefan (voice)
    • Sofia Helin known as Anna (voice)
    • Shanti Roney known as Karl (voice)
    • Fares Fares known as Firaz (voice)
    • Fredrik Eddari known as Mehmet (voice)
    • Doreen Månsson known as Asylum TV-Hostess (voice)
    • Indy Neidell known as Wayne Marshal (voice)
    • Joanna Mikolajczyk known as The Metro (voice) (as Joanna Zofia Bard Mikolajczyk)
    • Goran Marjanovic known as Asylum Seeker (voice)
    • Magnus Skogsberg known as Roger's Boss (voice)
    • Lotta Bromé known as News Anchor (voice)
    • Annelie Persson known as Trexx Commercial (voice)
    • Sandy Mansson known as Office Gossip (voice)
    • Michael Mansson known as Old Man Buying Ticket (voice)
    • Jon Wigfield known as Annoying Customer (voice)



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Lillis Hemmingsson known as makeup artist

    Art Department:

    • Mâns Adolfsson known as character designer
    • Li-Chuan Chang known as storyboard assistant
    • Anja Cronberg known as props
    • Jonas Dahlström known as additional graphic designer
    • Jonas Dahlström known as senior character designer
    • Sofie Dillon known as props
    • Regina Dubiel known as senior character designer
    • David Giese known as background designer
    • Finn Hallin known as character designer
    • Erik Holmquist known as background designer
    • Martin Hultman known as concept designer
    • Anders Karlén known as character designer
    • Christian Ryltenius known as storyboard artist
    • Leonardo Sedevcic known as background designer
    • Hanna Storby known as props
    • Jim Tegman known as character designer
    • Maria Trovatten known as senior character designer
    • Erik Âberg known as prop designer: APA
    • Andreas Örhalmi known as additional storyboard artist




    Production Companies:

    • Atmo Media Network
    • Canal Television AB (co-production)
    • Film i Väst (co-production)
    • Sandrew Metronome Distribution Sverige AB (co-production)
    • Sveriges Television (SVT) (co-production)
    • Tordenfilm AS (co-production)
    • Trust Film Sales 2 ApS (co-production)
    • Zentropa Productions (co-production)

    Other Companies:

    • APA  prop design
    • ATN  production accountant
    • Canal Plus Image International  funding
    • Det Danske Filminstitut  funding
    • Digital Fotografen  color calibration consultant
    • Eurimages  funding
    • Fido Film AB  green screen studio (as Fido Film)
    • Filimekonomi  production accountant
    • Film Finances Scandinavia  completion guarantee
    • Film i Väst  funding
    • Filmtecknarna  green screen studio
    • Handel Sbanken Koping  bank
    • Klippegangen ApS  post-production company: UK
    • Levels Audio Post  voice recording studio
    • Ljudligan  voice recording studio
    • Mainstream  sound facility: UK
    • Mainstream  voice recording studio
    • Media Insurance Brokers  insurance
    • Nordisk Film- & TV-Fond  funding
    • Norsk Filmfond  funding
    • Red Pipe Sound Design  voice recording studio
    • Sandrew Metronome Distribution Sverige AB  distribution and marketing: Sweden
    • Sluggerfilm  storyboard and animatics (as Slugger Film)
    • Svenska Filminstitutet (SFI)  funding


    • Sandrew Metronome Distribution Sverige AB (2009) (Sweden) (theatrical)
    • Sandrew Metronome Distribution (2010) (Finland) (DVD)
    • Sandrews (2010) (Sweden) (DVD)
    • Sandrews (2010) (Sweden) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
    • Tribeca Film (2010) (USA) (all media)



    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • Boulder Media (additional animation services)

    Visual Effects by:

    • Kristian Bjureby known as compositing supervisor
    • Karolina Brobäck known as compositor
    • Per Cardell known as rigger
    • Alina Constantin known as rigger
    • Alina Constantin known as visual effects compositor
    • Robert Eskekarr known as compositor
    • Isak Gjertsen known as supervising technical director
    • Finlay Hogg known as compositor
    • Florentin Ionita known as compositor
    • Patrik Lindberg known as rigger
    • Andreas Lindmark known as rigger
    • Martin Malm known as head of compositing
    • Simon Martinsson known as compositor
    • Bo Nordin known as rigger
    • Bo Nordin known as visual effects compositor
    • Leonardo Sedevcic known as rigger
    • Leonardo Sedevcic known as visual effects compositor
    • Lindor Tidâng known as rigger
    • Josefine Truedsson known as compositor
    • Julian Nazario Vargas known as compositor
    • Loka Vegborn known as compositor
    • Loka Vegborn known as visual effects compositor

    Release Date:

    • Italy 3 September 2009 (Venice Film Festival)
    • France 16 September 2009 (Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival)
    • Finland 20 September 2009 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
    • Spain 5 October 2009 (Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival)
    • Poland 9 October 2009 (Warsaw Film Festival)
    • South Korea 9 October 2009 (Pusan International Film Festival)
    • UK 21 October 2009 (London Film Festival)
    • Brazil 23 October 2009 (São Paulo International Film Festival)
    • Sweden 20 November 2009 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
    • Norway 24 November 2009 (Oslo International Film Festival)
    • Sweden 27 November 2009
    • United Arab Emirates 11 December 2009 (Dubai International Film Festival)
    • France 31 January 2010 (Gérardmer Fantasticarts Film Festival)
    • Sweden 4 February 2010 (Göteborg International Film Festival)
    • Belgium 17 April 2010 (Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival)
    • Russia 22 April 2010 (DVD premiere)
    • Finland 5 May 2010 (DVD premiere)
    • France 9 May 2010 (EuroCine 27)
    • USA 12 May 2010 (New York City, New York)
    • Denmark 10 June 2010
    • Poland 11 June 2010
    • South Africa 23 July 2010 (Durban International Film Festival)
    • Germany 20 August 2010 (Hamburg Fantasy Filmfest)
    • France 11 October 2010 (Cinessonne Film Festival)
    • France 29 March 2011 (Alès Film Festival)



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


    1. Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
      30 Mar 2012, 10:21 am

      Tarik Saleh, who made Metropia, is a Turkish graffiti artist living inSweden and who made an effective 2005 documentary on Guantanamointerrogation techniques called Gitmo. Now he's turned to Orwelliansci-fi, with nods to Kafka and Hitchcock. The opening text of his gray,photo-realistic animated dystopia, which premiered at Venice and wasshown at the London Film Festival, reads: The end of the millenniummarked the end of many things. Natural resources dried up, the globalfinancial markets crashed and the crisis that connected the fate of allpeople, still left the individual isolated in his ruin. It's 2024.We're in Sweden. Oil has run out, hence the construction of "Metropia,"a new pan-European subway system. This computer animated film is builtup out of actual photos using real people's faces and things.Everything is somber and dark and murky and grayish blue, but hey, it'sSweden; and there's a kind of beauty in the drabness, at least atfirst; visuals are not the weak point of this film. Where it bogs downis in its meandering and ultimately uninteresting plot.

      Protagonist Robert (sensitively voiced by Vincent Gallo) is a dullcall-center worker whose expressionless face and big soulful Keane eyesexude a preternatural calm; or is there massive Valium in the watersystem? After Roger starts hearing Big Brother (actually StellanSkarsgard) talking in his head and responds by following pert,tough-talking Nina (a cold, slinky-voiced Juliette Lewis), which leadshim into a meeting of gangsterish world leaders and their overlord,Ivan Bahn (the naturally ghoulish Udo Kier), head of the TrexxCorporation, which owns everything and is pushing an ominous (?)shampoo, whose ads feature Nina. The in-your-head talkers turn out tobe nice lookalikes who take coffee breaks and have their own jobinsecurities. But somebody is plotting with Nina. Yes, this is one ofthose worlds where paranoia seems justified; but the dangers don't seemvery imminent. This computer-animated photo-based animated film startsout promisingly and has an appealing (if transcendently drab) look withmemorable visuals right up to the end, but the nearly-comatose qualityof the main characters and the failure to generate suspense or build toa strong climax leads to a ho-him final feel.

      Seen as one of three features in the San Francisco Film Society's 4thAnnual Animation Festival in November 2009, this film was part of theLondon Film Festival in October. Metropia has been nominated forseveral prizes. It won the Future Film Digital Award at the Venice FilmFestival and is slated for theatrical release in Sweden December 27,2009. It is a production of Atmo Films.

    2. soncoman from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 10:21 am

      I just screened this in advance of its showing at the San FranciscoInternational Animation Festival. It's an interesting film, more forits technique than its narrative. Set in the not-to-distant future in aVERY bleak world, it tells the story of one man's fight against an evilcorporation's machinations. Nothing really new narrative-wise, but theplot really isn't the point of this film. It's the animation. Theprocess uses photomontage as its basis, and is quite creepy in itsexecution. The voice work is well done, and it's always good tosee/hear cult film fave Udo Kier. If you enjoyed "1984" or "Brazil,"you might want to check this film out.

    3. Mdln DeHond from Canada
      30 Mar 2012, 10:21 am

      It's a story somewhere in the lines of 1984. Dystopian is a genre initself and it's part of the New World Order conspiracy which has beenthe theme of many cinema and literature since the 50ies. So yes thecore of the story is an old one and all has to come from the graphics,characters and small storyline differences.

      In that aspect it's not a masterpiece but it is surely nothing tosneeze at. The animation is very okay. The characters are very averagehuman beings which makes them easy to relate to and likable. The factthat the story is not completely new is not disturbing. Very much worthwatching.

    4. samkay1 from Canada
      30 Mar 2012, 10:21 am

      Take a trip to Europe in the year 2024. This is a dark age, where theautomobile is no longer in use, replaced by a cross country subwaysystem. and the most popular product on the market (in fact pretty muchthe only item) is a shampoo manufactured with a secret mind controllingchemical, which the major corporations use to monitor the public inGeorge Orwell fashion.

      In an age where animation can do anything, the decision to to almostnothing certainly stands out in film. Metropia is without doubt thebleakest animated feature I know; a murky institutional world, withouta drop of color or sunshine, and everywhere we go is under lit. Thismakes enough sense when taking into account that this is a future wheresociety is low on energy.

      Not everything however feels credible. The absence of people in greatnumbers is unusual. The few people who do wander in and out of frameare almost hollow shells. They have no soul, but more importantly theyhave no movement. Metropia uses the least amount of energy possible togive life to illustrations. To attempt to describe it is notimpossible, but it's something that is better off seen for ones self.Metropia is a haunting experience. It's almost a ghost world, not justfrom the absence of sight, but from the absence of sound. Metropiamakes effective use of silence in all the right places, accompanied byan effective, very new age score.

      As for the storyline, it is familiar, but not painfully so. It'ssimilar to Brazil, which itself is the product of George Orwell'sinfluence. The climax here feels a bit rushed, and easy, leavingMetropia a bit shorter than I think it should've been, but it remainsan entertaining experiment.

    5. SiilentMiike from StarBox
      30 Mar 2012, 10:21 am

      Metropia gives us a story taking place in a world that's destroyed andchaotic, similar to the game Metro 2033, and Andrey Tarkovskiy's filmStalker. Bleak two dimensional tones displaying a post apocalypticworld, ruins of what was once a functioning society, undergroundtunnels connecting the last few functioning societies and theoccasional shard of color all keep the viewer engaged in Metropia'sstory of exploration and discovery. Straight from Swedish minds, theanimation style is unlike anything you've ever seen before, with astyle resembling rotoscoping mixed with cut out collage stop motionart. Characters are wide eyed, as if their eyes have been peeled open,motions are slow paced, as if mirroring natures recovery in such anaftermath, and were given a sense of collusion, as if everything isbeing watched closely by a big brother type figure.

      Leaving behind his home of Stockholm, Roger embarks on a journeythrough underground tunnels to decode the voices in his head and find asuper model by the name of Nina. Not before long, Roger comes intocontact with Nina, who appears as a run down, make-up smeared slut. Wealso see the caption, "Listen To Your Inner Voices", on billboards, popculture objects and even as a voice in Rogers own head throughout hisjourney underground. Soon Roger learns that these persuasive voices arenot his own and that a greater, all controlling conspiracy whichmaterializes from Shampoo is actually controlling the entire world.Joining up with Nina, they venture into the core of thisall-controlling force, while fighting off the controlling voices intheir heads.

      Metropia may have a cool animation style never seen before outside ofvideo game art, but it's uneventful story and poor voice acting makesfor a mostly forgettable film. There are films that thrive frompowerful story and acting, but aren't visually memorable, and thenthere are films that thrive from unique style and animation, but sufferfrom no story, or spirit. Metropia falls in between, with just enoughstory and adventure to keep you watching and a unique animation stylethat's new and fresh. Metropia is worthy of a single viewing.

      -SiilentMiike (

    6. Scott Radtke from Milwaukee, WI
      30 Mar 2012, 10:21 am

      One gets accustomed to certain styles of animation, not to mentioncertain themes. It's either for kids or adults, and it's either 2D or3D. Of course there are exceptions but for the sake of simplicity, thisManichean duality dominates the market. It's rare that a film emergesthat challenges these notions but Tarik Saleh's Metropia does that infairly interesting ways. The style is an bit of a mash-up between 2 and3 D – the frames are digitally composited from head shots that havebeen stretched and squashed then placed on smallish bodies creatingcreepy caricatures of the actors being photographed. The effect,visually, is of the puppetry in a Thunderbirds (or Supercar) episode asdesigned by Drew Friedman, with a heavy dose of dark Gilliam"esquire."despair. The animation is stiff, stylized and intentionally rough andjerky. Metropia is not super deep at it core, but it reminds me of theHeavy Metal comics I used to devour when I was a teenager, and that'snot at all bad.

      It's 2024, the world is running out of oil, and Europe has beenconnected via a huge subway system. The skies are always gray and itrains all the time. Roger, our protagonist, a bald, hydrocephalic,stoop-shouldered everyman, is afraid to take the metro because he hasbeen hearing voices. He lives with his girlfriend who seems to alwaysbe on another planet. One morning, Roger is forced to take the metrobecause his bike (which he was using illegally anyway) has beendestroyed. Sure enough, he begins to hear voices, a voice that has beenseeping into his life away from the Metro, on top of everything. Onthat fateful subway ride, he sees Nina, the spitting image of the girlon his shampoo bottle – a shampoo called Dangst, if that gives any clueas to the relative depth of the film in question. On impulse – despitethe urging of the voice in his head – Roger follows Nina, and discoversthe world, not far beneath the surface, is not quite what it seems.

      As I mentioned, the concepts are pretty thin. The requisite globalcorporate conspiracy, the rampant consumerism in a dysfunctionaldystopia, and the soul-dead protagonist in a souls dead world, arerequisite tropes for a film like this. Of course, They have beenexecuted more competently, and in more depth, elsewhere, but thestrength of Metropia is its visuals. It is animated for a reason. Tothat end, the spare, creepy animation style suits the film perfectly.By now, whiz-bang 3D animations are the norm, the rule, so it's atfirst disconcerting to see animation used so sparingly, minimally andstrangely. But this is the point. The world has had all the life andenergy sucked out of it, it's no wonder there's not much energy leftfor the inhabitants of said world. The familiar grey palette allows foreven the most subdued tan coat and blonde hair of Nina's to stand out.This lack of movement is also a symbol of conformity. Literally, don'tstand out.

      Despite its familiar themes, Metropia is worth screening for the simplemarriage of form and function it represents. It's a brave filmmaker,who, in this age of Avatar, chooses to make a quiet, simple, creepyfilm. Saleh, gives us a film, not breathtaking in it's scope, ornecessarily ground breaking (except for what it doesn't strive toachieve: mindless spectacle) but calm, understated and worthy, forserious fans of animation, and the brand of sci if familiar to fans ofHeavy Metal (the magazine, not the movie).

    7. Charles Herold (cherold) from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 10:21 am

      I love the look of this movie. It looks like they took photographs,made the heads bigger than the body and the eyes bigger than theyshould be and animated the result. It is purposely non-fluid andwonderfully conveys a grim, claustrophobic quality. I also thought thebasic premise was cool, but I'm going to put in a spoiler section tocomplain about how little sense it made, ultimately.

      ********* SPOILER SECTION BELOW ************ In the movie, theprotagonist hears a voice speaking paranoid thoughts. For example, ittells him his girlfriend might be cheating on him. But he doesn't feelthey are his own thoughts. Is he going crazy? It's a cool idea, andit's cool to discover that as a matter of fact he is not going crazy; acorporation has developed a shampoo that allows operatives to usepeople's brain for communicating and receiving, meaning you can seewhat is happening in someone's life and comment on it through amicrophone that broadcasts into their brain.

      That's awesome, but here's the problem: why is the guy on themicrophone telling the protagonist his girlfriend is cheating on himand other paranoid thoughts? He's not a sadist, so he's not just doingit to be mean. Presumably this is his job. But it appears that theshampoos purpose is actually for mind control, to convince people tobuy certain products or vote certain ways, so how is this goalachieved? The filmmakers seem to have liked the idea of someonebroadcasting paranoid thoughts into someone else's brain to the pointwhere they didn't care if it made any sense in terms of the story, andthat annoyed me. But I still thought it was a cool movie.

    8. dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
      30 Mar 2012, 10:21 am

      Dystopian tale of a man unwittingly picked to play a part in an attemptto bring down a giant corporation that controls Europe via an allencompassing subway and shampoo (don't ask).

      I saw this animated film on the pay per view of the Tribeca FilmFestival. Actually I saw it three times to make sure that I wasn'twrong in being disappointed (the film was picked by severalpublications as one of the films to see), unfortunately that's fourhours I'll never get back.

      I think much of the good word is based on the visuals, which are photorealistic characters that are based upon random people on the street.It makes for a unique look but the animation itself is a bit odd, itreminds me of the website Jib Jab.

      The real problem here is the story. Its not only too slender for itsbrief running time, its also not interesting enough to warrantwatching. Actually any story about giant evil corporations controllingus through their products has been done to death. If you are bringingthat to the table you need to bring something better to the tablebeyond the addition of giving a source to the voices in our heads.Actually what really bothers me about the film is that the film seemsto confuse darkness (this is a dark film) and silences for meaning andmystery.

      Somehow I don't think so.

      A rental at best, though I'd think you should wait for cable.

    9. the_wolf_imdb from Prague
      30 Mar 2012, 10:21 am

      I do love dystopia movies, but they must be stylish, intelligent andpowerful. This movie is only stylish and not in great manner. It isslow, visually and thematically very depressing. This could beacceptable – think "1984" style visuals.

      Unfortunately the plot is very stupid and bizarre. I mean – it has nosense, even remotely. There is a bit of pro-multi-culti propaganda, abit of economical nonsense and a whole lot of total mind controlnonsense. The movie never tries to explain anything, it actually onlybuilds one layer of depression over another. It leads to nowhere, youwill never know why the persons are doing what they are doing.

      In the end it is way too boring to watch and its message is toounclear. You know, if you want to make good dystopia movie, you shouldsomething important to say – like in Blade Runner or Soylent Green. Itis not enough to make story about "how big corporations are bad" and"everyone has boring job" and "everyone wears gray clothes" to makeeven acceptable movie.

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