The Indian Tomb
(Das indische Grabmal)

Screening on Film
Directed by Fritz Lang.
With Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walter Reyer.
West Germany/France/Italy, 1959, 35mm, color, 101 min.
German with English subtitles.

In the sequel to The Tiger of Eschnapur, the lovers of Fritz Lang’s first installment are now swept more forcibly along an adventure with supernatural detours and horror film annexes. Lang’s childlike fascination is both complicated and heightened by hypnotic set design and increasingly dizzying architecture. Traversing deeper into the jealous Maharajah’s obsessive psyche, the pursued Seetha and Harald are aided by Harald’s sister and her architect husband who must secretly investigate a labyrinth of inner chambers while officially designing the ultimate “Tomb of Love.” Meanwhile, the Maharajah’s trusted brother devises a coup d’état and has his own plans for the desired dancer whose seductive powers culminate in an exotic dance with a beautifully faux cobra. With no irony or pretension, Lang’s Indian duet transcends average B-movie kitsch and blossoms into its own uniquely convoluted Langian dystopia in which the darkest characters perform some of the most selfless deeds and paradisiacal temples turn out to be tombs.

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