PART I: SIEGFRIED
Dir. Fritz Lang, 1924
Germany. 149 minutes.

SUNDAY, JULY 7TH – 7pm
SUNDAY, JULY 14TH – 7pm
SUNDAY, JULY 28TH – 1pm

SIEGFRIED, the first half of Fritz Lang's DIE NIBELUNGEN, concerns its nominal hero (Paul Richter), an often shirtless young prince who, in Lang’s wildly overgrown concrete forests, learns how to forge his own iron. Broadsword in hand, Siegfried handily slays the dragon Fafnir and bathes in its blood, a signature sequence that sees our hero battling a 60-foot monster operated by nearly a dozen special effects artists, cocked and loaded with a real flamethrower in its skull! The battle with Fafnir begins a serpentine spree of conquest that sees him quickly rising to the top ranks of the savage metalsmith mutants of the mountain, the Nibelungen.

Of the two episodes, Siegfried is the more phantasmagoric – his travels take him from one jaw-dropping vista to another, ultimately joining the elites of Burgundy, where he begins a torturous love affair with the princess Kriemhild (Margarete Schön.) Lang’s first film in this massive gold-plated diptych ultimately becomes a story a pack of crazy-eyed romantics; Siegfried makes for a surprisingly dark-sided hero, equally propelled by a romantic desire and a bottomless thirst for power. The ensuing love triangle between him, Kriemhild and her warrior-princess sister-in-law Brünhild (Hanna Ralph) steers the second episode’s course forever.

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