Siegfried Review

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Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Günter to win Krimhild, a mask that makes him invisible proves to be very us


For some reason, distributors have chosen to release only half of Lang’s two-part retelling of the saga of Nibelungs, just as Part One of his his Dr. Mabuse came out last year and has not been followed by Part Two. The experience is severely incomplete: Siegfried is designed to be seen in close proximity with the follow-up, Kriemhild’s Revenge. The magical and fantastical tone of the first part (which features a dragon, a haunted forest, gimmicks like a “web of invisibility” and hideous dwarves) is supposed to contrast with the more realistic, historical Dark Ages feel of the second film. Solemnly silent (though obviously intended to be accompanied by Wagnerian music), the film evokes the mists of legend with awe-inspiring visuals, in which castles suggest the primal origins of the city in Metropolis, but presents a collection of the most venal, violent, craven and scheming characters ever assembled. Even the heroic Siegfried (Richter) is a thief and a rapist, and everyone else concentrates on doing dirty deeds except the heroine, who goes mad in Part Two. Essential, but wait for the full set.

Brilliant addition to an almost faultless oeuvre