Lotte Reiniger, using finely-made silhouette cutouts, made what may have been the first feature-length animated film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, begun in 1923 and finished in 1926. She also made many other short and long films using this technique. Unfortunately, many of the films are not available in their original form any more. Here you can read what William Moritz, the animation scholar, has written about Lotte Reiniger.
Papercutting is a folk art in many cultures (there are Chinese, Mexican, Jewish and other traditions of papercutting), and was often practiced by women. In Germany, it is called scherenschnitte. You can read a little bit more about the history of papercutting here.
I teach animation in Malaysia and it is exciting that the animation industry is growing. However, 2d, 3d and mainstream animations are stealing the focus away from fine arts animation, those with creative techniques and very experimental. Students over here are less aware of the many techniques of animation since technology is easily within their grasp and reach each day. I must say your blog has been inspiring, and your work in teaching and creating this awareness is as well.
Lotte reiniger is one of my favourites, do you have a link to any sites which her video is viewable?
Thanks for writing. My students and I are excited to hear from someone on the other side of the Earth! I cannot find any online clips of Lotte Reiniger with a quick search. But do you know that there is a beautiful DVD of Prince Achmed, complete with a documantary and background information on Reiniger? I don't tknow what format DVD's you can see in MAlaysia, but here is a link to the DVD at Amazon.com, US.
'The Adventures of Prince Achmed' is available in the rental catalogue at Netflix. I kept it for almost a month and watched it over and over. It also contains snippetts of Reinenger's other works, and has a very well-done background documentary as well. I'm in the US, So it was a region one disc.
Well worth checking out.
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