PART II: KRIEMHILD’S REVENGE
Dir. Fritz Lang, 1925
Germany. 131 minutes.

SATURDAY, JULY 13TH – 7pm
THURSDAY, JULY 25TH – 7pm
SUNDAY, JULY 28TH – 4pm

KRIEMHILD'S REVENGE, the ominously titled second half, dwindles whatever fanciful spirit remains down to a nub in its slow march into catastrophe. Kriemhild uses the gold of Siegfried’s Nibelungen comrades as a bargaining chip to keep her own kingdom in check; soon a messenger arrives with a marriage proposal for her – from Atilla The Hun. Kriemhild travels east, and bears the famous death-mongerer a son – but even this is revealed as a mere gesture, part of her overall scheme to exact vengeance on her brother’s in-laws. Piling up dusty corpses on the steps of impossibly grand castles, Kriemhild teases the Hun and Burgundian empires into a bitter, sprawling deathmatch.

The insanity of Brünhild and the superhuman power of Siegfried meld into Kriemhild’s tunnelvision in a flash. For neither the first nor the last time in his career, Lang inverts a character’s deep well of personal pain into a force of blind, corrosive fury leaving none unspared. The director’s obsessiveness – stadium-sized ornamentalism, uncanny double-exposed sunflares, etc – apparently carried into the night of DIE NIBELUNGEN's premiere, when taxis delivered fresh-printed reels direct from his edit station to Germany’s biggest movie theater. It is indeed easy to imagine Lang reworking the film forever; every shot shimmers with perfection.

Trailer by Danielle Burgos

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