WOMEN FILMMAKER PIONEERS
Early in her childhood, Reiniger demonstrated both her fascination with the Chinese art of shadow theatre and her creativity and craftsmanship, building her own puppet theatre, so that she could present shows for her family and friends.
As a teenager, she was influenced by the special effects of Méliès films and, later, by the films of actor and director Paul Wegener – best known for "The Golem" (1920). In 1915, when participating in a lecture by Wegener on the fantastic possibilities of animation, Reiniger becames fascinated with this art and joined the theatre group "Max Reinhardt's Theater" to which Wegener was a member.
She starts working behind the scenes, making costumes and props, as well as silhouette portraits of the various actors around her. In a short time, she started making elaborate title cards or intertitles for Wegener's films, namely for the film "Der Rattenfänger von Hameln" (The Flutist of Hamelin). The success of this work made her be accepted at the Institut für Kulturforschung (Institute of Cultural Research), a studio of experimental animation and short films. There she meets her future husband and creative partner, Carl Koch, as well as other avant-garde artists, including Hans Cürlis, Bertolt Brecht and Bertold Bartosch.
Besides cinema, Reiniger designed costumes and sets for theatre and opera, staged puppet shows and shadow plays and illustrated books, newspapers, and magazines. The study of the documents that she left behind indicates that she was an accomplished artist working in ink as well as watercolour, as well as a writer and a poet. In addition, she occasionally gave public lectures on the animation process and experimental film history.
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED
Germany | 1926 | 81 '
When The Adventures of Prince Achmed premiered in Germany on 1926, it was hailed as the first full-length animated film. More than seventy-five years later, this enchanting film still stands as one of the great classics of animation – beautiful, mesmerizing and utterly seductive.
Taken from The Arabian Nights, the film tells the story of a wicked sorcerer who tricks Prince Achmed into mounting a magical flying horse and sends the rider off on a flight to his death. But the prince foils the magician’s plan and soars headlong into a series of wondrous adventures.
"A masterpiece! She was born with magical hands." – Jean Renoir
"An incredible animated kaleidoscope" – Wesley Morris, San Francisco Examiner
Original Title "Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed" Script Lotte Reiniger Background Artists Walther Ruttmann, Berthold Bartosch Animations assistent Alexander Kardan, Walther Türck Cinematography Carl Koch Production Comenius-Film Production Live score by Space Ensemble
Narration TAS – Teatro Animação de Setúbal