After Siegfried's dead, Kriemhild marries Etzel, the King of the Huns. She gives birth to a child, and invites her brothers for a party. She tries to persuade Etzel and the other Huns, that... See full summary »
After Siegfried's dead, Kriemhild marries Etzel, the King of the Huns. She gives birth to a child, and invites her brothers for a party. She tries to persuade Etzel and the other Huns, that they kill Hagen, the murderer of Siegfried, but he is protected by her brothers. A fierce battle begins to force her brothers to give Hagen to her. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Die Nibelungen" (1924), Lang's five-hour, two-part epic is quickly becoming my quintessential experience with Lang. The two films are all-encompassing: the first plays more like a fairytale (that translates well to filmic special effects), the latter more like "Hamlet" and its ilk. Siegfried is necessarily blank as a character, in fact he seems more like a characterization of virtue than flesh and bone; Kriemhild, too, is like white space in the first film, but is transformed by revengeful hate to a driven character of great psychological power. The second film is thus far more internal in its drama.
Not to say it wouldn't have some of the most amazing action sequences ever put to film. In fact, the riding of Etzel (Attila) and his men across the valley, the siege, the ensuing battle and climax are so well-done and full of so much real danger that the effect is dumbfounding. Where in modern cinema can we find risk in this manner? Herzog's "Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes" (1972) or "Fitzcarraldo" (1982) don't really fit the classification.
Indeed, the climatic fire is so visually violent that not even Kurosawa topped it in "Ran" (1985). I was breathless in awe and wonder and fear by witnessing it, sure that a huge rafter would crush the actors.
It's a beauty to behold on Blu-ray. We're lucky to have the restoration on both Region A (Kino) and B (Masters of Cinema series).
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