Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (who Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »
Gabriel de Gravone
Based on stories from "The Arabian Nights." A wicked sorcerer tricks Prince Achmed into riding a magical flying horse. The heroic prince is able to subdue the magical horse, which he uses to fly off to many adventures. While travelling, he falls in love with the beautiful Princess Pari Banu, and must defeat an army of demons to win her heart. The entire film is animated using the silhouette technique, which employs movable cardboard and metal cutouts posed in front of illuminated sheets of glass.Written by
Lotte Reiniger cut figures out of black cardboard with scissors, and joined movable parts with thread in order to animate them. From 1923-26 about 250,000 frame-by-frame stills were made and 96,000 were used in the film. Her husband, Carl Koch, was responsible for the photography in all her films until his death in 1963. See more »
Prince Achmed was young and brave and not afraid of any adventure.
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In 2001, Primrose Film Productions Ltd. copyrighted a version restored by Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main (1998-1999) from various archive materials. Released by Milestone Films and shown on Turner Classics Movies in 2003, the film has a new music version of the original score produced by Klaus-Peter Beyer performed by Deutches Filmorchester Babelsberg, and conducted by Helmut Imig. Milestone's release runs 65 minutes plus about 1 minute of introductory comments and restoration credits. A fascinating account of the restoration is available online at http://www.fiafnet.org/pdf/uk/fiaf61.pdf See more »
Visiting earlier today the exhibition," The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America" at Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, I was very lucky to watch as a part of the exhibit Charlotte (Lotte) Reiniger's "Die Geschichte des Prinzen Achmed" (The Adventures of Prince Achmed"), completed in 1926, which makes it THE oldest surviving animated feature film. Lotte Reiniger (June 2, 1899 - June 19, 1981) was a German (and later a British) silhouette animator and film director. Through elaborating articulated paper silhouettes set to an original score by Wolfgang Zeller, Reiniger combines in "Prince Achmed..." several fairy tales from the Thousand and One Nights aka Arabian Nights. Reiniger was ahead of Walt Disney by a decade using her innovative camera which separates foreground from background to produce 3-D illusion. She also experimented with wax and sand to create magical special effects. The result is simply stunning considering that the film is 80 years old. It did not age at all, it is paced extremely well, and its backgrounds literally hypnotize the viewers of any age. By the power of her creativity and imagination, Reiniger takes the viewers to the dream world of mesmerizing and magic characters and their incredible adventures.
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