Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cuture*, Cutura* (for Culture, Cultural, etc.)

Ordinarily, it's the outtakes that wind up on the cutting room floor, but for the extraordinary German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger, cutting was at the very heart of her art. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (based on a story from The Thousand and One Nights) employed a silhouette technique involving cardboard cutouts that was invented by Reiniger herself. Released in 1926, it is the oldest surviving animated feature film in the world. There were actually a lot of women directors at that time, but Reiniger's contribution to film culture was unique. Cuture* appears eight times in OhioLINK and Cutura* 23 times. Note that the former could also be a typo for the word future. (Still frame from The Adventures of Prince Achmed, courtesy of the Method Shop.)

Carol Reid

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