Die Nibelungen * Fritz Lang (1924)

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A long time ago we bought a nice box in Germany with Fritz Lang’s Nibelungen epic. We had not watched it yet because of the length. I had some three hours in my head, but actually, Lang’s Nibelungen film are two films (“Siegfried” and “Kriemhilds Rache”) which are both well over two hours. Quite a sit!
The films are silent with pompous music and text-screens to show what people are saying. There are not very many of these text-screens so it helps a lot when you know the story. There is of course the continental Nibelungenlied that this film is based on, but the same story also makes part of the Eddas that were written down in Iceland. I think I know the Icelandic version better, since the film has some unexpected elements.
You may know that this is a love story in which dragonslayer Siegried falls in love with Kriemhild. When Siegried dies, Kriemhild takes violent revenge.
Like his “Metropolis”, this film of Fritz Lang looks wonderfull. The stages and the costumes are great, but not very medieval. There are all kinds of weird characters. For the time, there is the usual overacting, but Lang surely had an eye for detail and there is some interesting camera work.
In all, two times 2+ hours of a silent film, but a bit too much, but I am happy to have seen this classic.

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