Last night, No.6 Cinema, Portsmouth held a screening event of Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) in aid of an Oska Bright event, a charity that encourages and helps people with learning disabilities to achieve their creative ambition. The film was accompanied by a live piano score and proceeded a short film called Johnny Dreams, a stop motion shadow silhouette animation made by amateur filmmakers with varying levels of diabilities.
Before The Adventures of Prince Achmed was presented, I provided a short introduction to the film, its status as a landmark of animation, its incorporation of German Expressionist stylistics, the creative processes involved in its creation, and its influence on contemporary animated films. This was my second pre-screening talk at No.6 Cinema (a link to my first, an introduction to Pride (2014) can be found HERE), and whilst I do not think it went as smoothly as my first, (which I put down mostly to my tiredness at the time and perhaps nerves, although I felt much more confident than when I gave my Pride talk – my hands weren’t shaking this time! Also, when trying to swap to the second sheet of paper, I failed to separate the sheets, despite it going smoothly during practicing, so perhaps I should memorise it by heart next time), I still think it went well and I had a very positive response! People thanked me for the talk and told me that it changed how they viewed the film, seeing it as a critical piece of work rather than just a pretty, children’s film. One of the people attending the film has met Lotte Reiniger a couple of times, so it the event was brilliant and brought with it a lot of interesting responses to the film.
A video of my pre-screening introduction can be found below. I hope to also offer more introductions in the future, and become much better at them whilst doing so: