February 18, 2008 6:55 AM Subscribe
Shadow play has been a part of human civilization for tens of thousands of years. After its birth in China, it spread to many other geographical areas and cultures, most notably Turkey and Greece. Shadow theatre is seen as a predescesor to cinema; in fact, the earliest existing animated feature is Lotte Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1927). (YouTube has her hand cream ad, "The Secret of the Marquise".) Today, a few regional companies still practice shadow theatre. Animators such as Thanh Nguyen of 300 infamy and Aleksey Budovsky [flash] have taken the influence of Reiniger and shadow theater in their own directions, and film students make their own silhouette movies. Learn about the history of this fascinating craft [flash], or make your own.
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