The Cinema Museum, London

Kennington Bioscope presents Siegfried (1924)

Wed 11 Jan 2023 @ 19:30 · Events

The Kennington Bioscope is a regular cinema event featuring live accompaniment to silent films that takes place at the Cinema Museum.

SunkissedTo kick off our first show of the New Year we have a classic from Fritz Lang. As a curtain raiser, we are very pleased to welcome back the American social sculptor and silkscreen artist Julia Vogl, now living in South London with her latest multi-coloured silent film.

Julia has produced her latest opus Sunkissed using her own developed method of silkscreen printing on to clear 35mm film.  She will introduce her short film and on this occasion we will be screening the original 35mm film.

SiegfriedSiegfried (1924). 16mm print, German with English titles. Produced by Erich Pommer for Decla-Bioscop and UFA. Directed by Fritz Lang. Written by Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou. Cinematography by Carl Hoffmann, Günther Rittau, and Walter Ruttmann.

The film has been praised for Carl Hoffman and Gunter Rittau’s ground-breaking cinematography, Otto Hunte’s spectacular set designs, Paul Gerd Guderian’s extraordinary costumes and Lang’s exceptional sense of framing and composition. Die Nibelungen: Siegfried is part one of The Nibelungs’ Saga, part two being Kriemhild’s Revenge. The screenplays for both films were co-written by Lang’s then-wife Thea von Harbou, based upon the epic poem Nibelungenlied written around 1200 AD. Die Nibelungen received its UK premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London, where it played for 40 performances between 29 April and 20 June 1924.

Siegfried (Paul Richter), dragon slaying son of King Siegmund of Xanten, travels to Worms, capital of the Burgundian kingdom, to ask King Gunter for the hand of his sister, the beautiful Kriemhild (Margarete Schön).

In 1974, in an interview with Focus on Film, Lang said: “When I made my films I always followed my imagination. By making Die Nibelungen I wanted to show that Germany was searching for an ideal in her past, even during the horrible time after World War I in which the film was made. At that time in Berlin I remember seeing a poster on the street, which pictured a woman dancing with a skeleton. The caption read: ‘Berlin, you are dancing with Death.’ To counteract this pessimistic spirit I wanted to film the epic legend of Siegfried so that Germany could draw inspiration from her past …”

Die Nibelungen could be considered something of a fantasy genre trendsetter since it contains themes and aesthetic choices similar to other future fantasy titles like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, and Die Nibelungen was released thirteen years before Tolkien published The Hobbit. It’s also no secret that Tolkien took a lot of inspiration from Germanic myth when creating the world of Middle-Earth.

Piano accompaniment for both films will be performed by Costas Fotopoulos.

Silent film with intertitles which may be suitable for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Tickets & Pricing

£7. Seats are limited, so please arrive early or request an invitation using the email