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The Adventures of Prince Achmed - Wellington Film Society


Mon 9 Apr 2018, 6:15pm–7:20pm

Where: Embassy Theatre, 10 Kent Terrace, Mt Victoria, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages Licensed

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  • Public by Donation at the door (Notes only):: $5.00
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Lotte Reiniger, Germany, 1926, 65 mins PG.

The oldest extant animated feature film, Lotte Reiniger's exquisite shilouette animation took her small team three years and more than 250,000 frames to create.

It was first exhibited in 1926, thus stealing a significant march on Disney's 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Scooping the flying and fantastical elements from a handful of Arabian Night stories, chosen to show off the transformative possibilities of Reiniger's delicate hand-snipped animations and settings, this is a wonderfully inventive piece.

It's far from a saccharine fairytale, its images jaw-droppingly pliable and protean for early animation. Watching the African Sorcerer stretch himself into a kangaroo or duel with the Fire Witch as a sinuous, snapping succession of animals (a sequence so effective that it was recreated in Disney's The Sword in the Stone many year's later), you can see an inventive fierceness about the film's set pieces.

Filigreed and elaborate, the figure outlines nimbly articulate their characters. Manipulated with balletic grace they swoop giddily through avant-gardist Walter Ruttman's tinted multi-plane landscapes, which give the film a more abstract feel than other Reiniger adaptations. - Kate Stables, Sight & Sound, October 2013

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