The Adventures of Prince Achmed

Our first special event of 2020 would have taken place on the 21st of March in Pand P, Eindhoven. On this night, the silent silhouette/shadow/animation film THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED would have been shown and musically accompanied LIVE. However, due to the corona virus, we’ve decided to cancel the event – and move it to a later date.

After five years of intense manual labor, German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger finished the beautiful animation film THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED. She’d cut out figures, towers, animals and entire landscapes, photographed them, one frame at a time (also called the ‘stop motion technique’).

Her team involved other avant-garde artists who’d later become famous themselves: Walter Ruttmann would make the documentary-silent film BERLIN: SYMPHONY OF A GREAT CITY (1927), Berthold Bartosch would push the boundaries of animation further with THE IDEA (1932), which starred a naked woman as the main character, and Carl Koch remained very active within the movie industry until 1954, as director, cameraman, writer and producer.

THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED is not the oldest animated film ever that has survived (that honor goes to GERTIE THE DINOSAUR from 1914), it is however the oldest surviving feature length animation. The film is based on the folk tales of One Thousand and One Nights, so we’re witnessing flying horses, extremely long snakes, people transforming into animals and vice versa, and of course Aladdin with his magic lamp.

We would have shown the film on Saturday, March 21, 2020, but unfortunately we’ve had to cancel the event, due to the corona virus. We will move the film to a later, yet to be determined date. Check this page or sign up for our newsletter (which is both in Dutch and English) for new information.

 

THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED
GER, 1926
65 minutes
Director: Lotte Reiniger

March 24, 2019: SEVEN YEARS BAD LUCK

Sunday 24th of march, at 19:30, the NSFF presents a special event: SEVEN YEARS BAD LUCK. This evening, in Pand P Eindhoven, two silent comedies will be screened, with live musical accompaniment by the NSFF Trio: Daan van den Hurk (piano), Bart Soeters (bass) en Frank van der Star (drums). A redo of the popular Slapstick Saturday, but on Sunday, for everyone who can’t wait until January 2020!

Program:

Buster Keaton in THE HIGH SIGN (1921)

A comic of a weird secret society which will turn your theatre into a merry lodge of mirth

Feature Film: SEVEN YEARS BAD LUCK (1921) with Max Linder

David Robinson on Max Linder and SEVEN YEARS BAD LUCK:
‘Max Linder was the cinema’s first international comedy star, and a prodigious inventor of gags and routines that have continued to enrich every comedian’s repertoire. Yet his reputation was eclipsed by the horror of his death in an apparent double suicide with his young wife. As a result of the taint of mystery and scandal, he was practically eliminated from film history for four decades, until his daughter Maud – who as a baby was in her parents’ suicide room – set out to reclaim his name and to rediscover his films. It is Maud Linder (who died in 2017 at the age of 93) we have to thank for the reclamation of the film we shall see today. He called this film Seven Years Bad Luck. Max’s personal bad luck lasted longer, but our happy rediscovery of him may now make some posthumous recompense.’

January 5, 2019: RICHARD WAGNER (1913)

Preview of NSFF 2019 during the concert series ZOLDERKAMERTJESKLASSIEK

5 January 2019, 7:30 PM

RICHARD WAGNER (DE 1913)
Carl Froehlich, 72′

With original music by Guiseppe Becce

Performed by Daan van den Hurk (piano) and Maaike Peters (cello)

Guiseppe Becce as Richard Wagner

Director Carl Froehlich made this ‘biopic’ in honour of the 30th bereavement of Wagner. The life and work of Wagner are shown, somewhat dramatized as it should be in a movie. In this literally colourful film, we see Wagners journeys, his banishment to Switserland, his encouters with Franz Liszt and Giacomo Meyerbeer and all his major operaworks, which are shot in a fairylike manner.  

Like all films before 1930, this film is accompanied by live music. The talented film composer Guiseppe Becce (also the interpreter of Wagner) was assigned to make the music for this film. The original music of Wagner was originally meant to accompany the opera’s in the film. However, the filmmakers suffered a setback after finding out that the rights on Wagners music weren’t expired and Wagners heirs asked a gigantic amount of money for the music. But Becce found a solution. He composed and arranged music in Wagner’s opera style to accompany the film, he imitated the original melodies in such a way that they were still recognizable. Daan van den Hurk found a photocopy of Becce’s score, including the Wagner-imitations, in the archive of the EYE Film museum. The film will be accompanied by this original music, adapted to a version for piano and cello.

 The portrayal of Wagner is in line with how he was looked at in 1913. Wagners heirs, in particular his wife Cosima, and the daughter of composer Franz Liszt did everything to hold up Wagners reputation as high as possible. Therefore, the filmmakers are not to blame for the historically inaccuracies, they probably didn’t know any better. However, the broad lines of the film are historically accurate. Above all, the film is an ode to beautiful music, and for us, 100 years later, an ode to the beautiful music of Guiseppe Becce.