By Tony Sokol
Berlin-based American underground filmmaker Zeena Schreck is beginning work on the restoration of her 1992 film Germania: The Theory of Ruins. To commemorate May Day, Zeena released an excerpt from the original movie. The scene was filmed 25 years ago during the crossover from Walpurgisnacht to May Day, the feast day of Saint Walpurga. Cameras caught the celebration as it was performed at the top of the Harz Mountains in Germany, home of the original Walpurgisnacht.
“In this clip, the personification of the May Queen ushers in Springtime with a speech of rejuvenation for the Pagan New Year, the day after Walpurgisnacht,” reads the official synopsis at Zeena’s YouTube site.
“The raw footage of GERMANIA: The Theory of Ruins is being digitally rescued from old VHS master tapes for re-release in a series of theme-oriented short films and sound art recordings. The subject matter of these installations will focus on the history of German music, cinema, art movements, pagan lore, natural landscapes and architecture.”
Zeena’s cinematic works are an extension of her mystical and magical life. Her godfather is the cult filmmaker Kenneth Anger, a former child actor who wrote the Tinseltown exposé Hollywood Babylon, and who got Mick Jagger to score one of his seminal invocative films. Anger‘s cinematic mentor was Maya Deren, one of the only female underground filmmakers at that time. Zeena also cites her long friendship with Curtis Harrington for educating her about more commercial filmmaking. She appeared and helped him with his last film Usher.
Zeena majored in drama at the City College of San Francisco and the San Francisco School of Dramatic Arts.
Zeena was co-director, composer, musician, lyricist, singer, artist and art director of Radio Werewolf between 1988-1993. All of the musical unit’s recordings on Zeena’s discography bear her artwork and art direction, including the Radio Werewolf/Werewolf Order logo.
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