Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Veidt and Lang

First up, a clip from a short film directed by reader Max Sacker:

Nice opening sequence. It's so tempting, I find, for modern directors to portray the silent aesthetic in an exaggerated way. Max didn't do that here. The influence, obviously, is Metropolis, (with a little Frankenstein thrown in, I'd say), but the mad scientist reminds me me of Conrad Veidt. Which got me to thinking: "did Veidt and Metropolis director Fritz Lang ever collaborate?" I couldn't think of any examples, but it turns out there is one:

Anyone seen this? I never have. Lang didn't direct it anyway--as you can see, he wrote it, along with his then-wife, Thea von Harbou, who also wrote Metropolis, among other screenplays.  I have seen (and reviewed) one of Lang's action-adventure pics, Spiders, which is about as close to Indiana Jones as you're going to get in the 1920s. And a pair of future Silent Volume posts will be dedicated to the first and second parts of Lang's lush and violent super epic, Die Nibelungen (1924), which, I imagine, bears some similarities. If you recommend The Indian Tomb (or know of any other obscure silents starring or directed by famous people) let me know.

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