Metro Art Presents: The Adventures Of Prince Achmed

Union Station Historic Ticketing Hall

November 1, 2019 from 8pm to 10pm

Metro Art Los Angeles is pleased to present “The Adventures of Prince Achmed,” (1926, 66 min, Dir. Lotte Reigniger) with live music provided by Gamelan Merdu Kumala, as the first installment of our animated film series at Union Station.

This screening is free and open to the public. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Special guest introduction by artist, animation director and filmmaker, Lyndon J Barrois.

Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981) was a master of the animated shadow-puppet film, a stop-motion technique inspired by the theatrical shadow-plays originating in ancient China, India and the Middle East. “The adventures of Prince Achmed” tells the story of an African sorcerer, who is simultaneously a powerful magician and the ugliest person in the world. He falls madly in love with the beautiful daughter of the Caliph of Baghdad, the princess Dinarsade. The sorcerer uses his power of the magic arts to create a wooden horse that can fly and uses it to fly to Baghdad embarking on a magical adventure.

This series examines different animation techniques that have paved the way for the genre.

In nearly 70 films, made over a period of sixty years, Reiniger’s sensitive hands and flashing scissors fashioned distinctive, evocative characters from thinly rolled lead and cardboard hinged together by wire joints. Reiniger’s cutout shadow-figures were then laid flat upon levels of glass and translucent backgrounds lit from below, and manipulated incrementally by her hands, frame- by-frame, beneath the gaze of a movie camera.

Gamelan Merdu Kumala is a community gamelan ensemble founded by Hirotaka Inuzuka in 2014. Comprised of members with diverse backgrounds, the group has performed throughout the Los Angeles area at festivals and concerts such as World Rhythms at Descanso Gardens, Brand Library Plaza Concert Series, and Celebrate LA!, the LA Philharmonic’s 100th Anniversary celebration. All of the group’s instruments were made in Bali and have gone through a precise tuning process to present a unified sound.

From helping shape groundbreaking CGI visual effects on The Matrix Trilogy to directing sequences of the Oscar-winning Happy Feet, Lyndon Barrois’ thirty-plus year career in art and animation is marked by a practice in many corners of the field.