Green ball-shaped and amazingly beautiful princess Salomé, daughter of Herodias, urges for the prophet Iokanaan's head after he spurned her love. Breathtaking beauty combined with ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Christian Fuchs ...
Narraboth (voice)
Fritz Ostermayer ...
Herod (voice)
Christian Zagler ...
Page (voice)
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Green ball-shaped and amazingly beautiful princess Salomé, daughter of Herodias, urges for the prophet Iokanaan's head after he spurned her love. Breathtaking beauty combined with infatuating melody In the middle of a crisp arcade game world Written by Christian Zagler

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27 January 2006 (Netherlands)  »

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€100 (estimated)
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(RCA Sound System)

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1.33 : 1
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The 10 Minute "Salome"
8 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Salome In Low Land" (2006): Christian Zagler, Christian Fuchs, Fritz Ostermayer, using the recorded singing voices of Birgit Nilsson, Eberhard Wachter and Grace Hoffman with the Vienna Philharmonic, George Solti conductor....written by Christian Zagler, Directed by Christian Zagler.

In 2006, Austrian director Christian Zagler made this cute, short animated film (lasts approximately 10 minutes)entitled Salome In Low Land, modeled after the primitive graphics of a 1980's Nintendo video game. The result is a visually creative re-telling of the Salome story, but not as told in the Bible; this is the Salome of Oscar Wilde's famous stage play and Richard Strauss' opera. Zagler had done similar short animated films in Austria but this one garnered a lot of attention. In the span of 10 minutes, Zagler covers the whole plot of Strauss' opera, which is still a short one-act opera. Zagler skips much of the scenes involving Tetrach Herod's arguing with the Hebrews and Jochanaan's sermons and prophecies. All the major highlights are here - including the famed Dance of the Seven Veils. The music which was used for this animated short are excerpts from the classic 1962 Decca studio recording of Salome with Birgit Nilsson and the Vienna Philharmonic as conducted by Sir Georg Solti. The voices (other than the singers) are Christian Zagler himself in the humble part of a Page, Christian Fuchs as Narraboth who slays himself upon rejection from Salome and Fritz Ostermayer who speaks the part of King Herod. Even though it's short, the spoken dialogue is taken from the opera text. Herod has imprisoned John the Baptist (Jochanaan/Iokanaan) for having accused his wife of the crime of marrying him and murdering his brother. Herodias the Queen (voiced by singer Grace Hoffman) is jealous of her own stepdaughter the spoiled princess Salome owing to Herod's new found lascivious attention to her. Drunk at a big party, he asks that Salome dance for his guests. Salome will only dance to get what she wants. She has visited the Prophet John and experienced her own first feelings of lust (or love as she puts it). Because the Holy Man will not return her feelings, she becomes enraged and uses her Dance to get back at him. As a reward for her dance, Herod promises to give her anything she wants. Salome asks for the head of Jon the Baptist. He is decapitated and she rhapsodizes about how she can now finally kiss him and conquer him, albeit in a necrophiliac manner. Horrified by her actions, Herod orders her to be killed.

For anyone who has never seen the opera performed or heard any recording of it (there are several) this is a great introduction. Zagler must love this shock-opera and in particular the recording with Birgit Nilsson, whose high, sharp and dramatic voice can be exciting to hear, especially balanced with the dramatic flair of the Vienna Philharmonic under Georg Solti's baton. Zagler uses low-quality graphics which were once part of old Nintendo games, even naming his short film "Salome In Low Land" as if it were itself a video game. The greatest moment, though, comes when Zagler chooses to take us away from Herod's court when Salome does her Dance. She is in ecstasy and the music soars to passionate heights while we are bombarded with images of stars in outer space. Some conductors and artistic directors who work on Salome (Herbert Von Karajan for instance) aimed for this "transcendent" quality even though it's nowhere near what Oscar Wilde envisioned. It seems to work fine in this short film, even though it looks more like Salome is high on a drug and seeing things. A great short film, featuring great music and great voices and perfectly captures the spirit of the drama that is Salome.


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