Siegfried, the first part of Lang's epic, based on the same myth cycle that inspired Wagner's Ring, is a slow, grave pageant in the form of a ballad. The visual style is as monumental as the narrative, with forests and castles modelled on 19th century Romantic paintings, and the whole is based upon an intense pleasure in spectacle, compounded by the inspired trick-work: a magical dragon, fiery landscapes for Brunhilde's Northern home, and Walter Ruttmann's interpolated Dream of the Hawks. In the second part, Kriemhild's Revenge, as Kriemhild and the Huns destroy the Burgundians who have murdered Siegfried, so the emphasis on fatalistic design, plotting and architecture is replaced by the furious, crowded movement of the battle which comprises most of this half. The mix of desire, death and revenge is common in Lang, but here, with the distance of myth, the concentration on violent spectacle, and - most important - the woman as focal point, the impression is of pure, passionate nihilism running riot.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Thea von Harbou|
Hans Adalbert von Schlettow