” Paul Wegener saw me cutting silhouettes behind the stage in Reinhardts’s theater, and he became interested. He liked my silhouettes; he thought they showed a rare sense of movement. He therefore introduced me to a group of young artists who had started a new trick (animation) film studio. Here, I first began to photograph my silhouette figures, just as drawings are photographed for the cartoon film, and I was successful in making a film with my shadow figures.
This was in 1919, and the work was so interesting that from that time I have rarely done anything else. In the meantime I married one of the artists and we started working together as we have continued to do till the present time. That is my story.”
Sight and Sound, Spring 1936
Lotte Reiniger had devoted her life to silhouette figure animation, creating, directing and completing the first feature length animated film in 1926 after three years work. I was surprised to come across “The Marquise’s Secret” which is an early cinema commercial for Nivea soap which had been created for the Julius Pinschewer Agency in 1920.
For further information on Lotte Reiniger, there is a dvd edited by the British Film Institute that contains her masterpiece, “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” as well as a one hour documentary on her life and work, written and directed by Katja Raganelli.