On Lotte Reineger

Apparently it took Lotte Reineger three years to make The Adventures of Prince Achmed, and after she would only work on shorter films. Watching, I kept drifting in and out of the narrative: she must have been dreaming the expressionistic blurs and oriental patterning.
There are some great sequences: the sorcerer seems to give birth to himself and then conjures his magic horse. He screws in a “lever” in its hindquarters which he pulls to fly downwards. But only he knows this: when he tricks Prince Achmed onto his horse and sends it up, it’s not until they reach the stars that he chances upon how to fly back to earth.
You watch this – the first full-length animated film – with a feeling of being detoxed. Just black silhouettes against monochrome. Simple techniques: a bit of blurring to indicate distance; so much cutting out. Lotte’s fingers must have ached every night.
It was the opening sequence: the lava-lamp-like bulges and sandy comings-together. Two balls of black danced together like something from the video for My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Throughout the story, there came pulses of energy of anger that radiated out like widening rings from, the magic lamp. A finger directing malevolence.

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About grahamcliffordpoet

Graham is an award winning poet, based in London. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA in Creative Writing, and has since published nationally and internationally, winning many awards and performing at some of the most prestigious and well known Literary Festivals. His debut collection, The Hitting Game, is published by Seren.
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