Der Fliegende Koffer (1922)

aka The Flying Koffer
Article 4716 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-23-2014
Directed by Lotte Reiniger
No cast
Country: Germany
What it is: Chinese fairy tale

A man visits a princess in a tower by using a flying trunk.

Several shorts by pioneer animator Lotte Reiniger have popped up on my hunt list, but this is the first one that I’ve been able to locate and see, thanks to YouTube. Unfortunately, the title cards were all in German, and I have to admit that the actual story eluded me; a reading of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale also proved not particularly helpful, as it doesn’t seem to quite match the story in this short. That being said, Reiniger’s silhouette animation technique is very striking, and if it doesn’t really manage to visually display plot details (those are hidden in the title cards), they do manage to express more than you’d expect; one can sense somewhat the emotional states of the characters. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Reiniger’s work, hopefully with English titles to help me as well.


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