· Posted: 16 Mar 2006 17:13
This is my first post here. I have registered a long time ago, and I've been searching the forums to check what has already been posted in the past. I think what I am posting now is an original thread, but, please, excuse me if it has been brought up before.
In the forum I've seen several threads regarding inspirations of Hergé, or Hergé's sources of information, or fascination about occult and so on. I think I might have a general answer for all these kind of questions: Fritz Lang and his films.
I think there are a lot of striking similarities between Lang's cinema and Hergé's comics that just can't pass unnoticed. I was rather surprised that Farr only referenced Lang for the style of one picture in the Soviet's adventure.
So let me list some of these similiarities:
1. Check the Moon adventures and Lang's film Frau im Mond. You'll see that they really resemble each other, both in structure and in details.
In fact, Frau im Mond consists of two parts, the first with a spy feel and the second with a journey to the Moon itself. I remember when I first saw the film I could swear that Hergé just copied it.
There are of course differences, but you can feel the inspiration. Lang, like Hergé, did a lot of research and he used experts as consultants about the technical aspects of the film. In the end, he created a rocket that looks very much like the one in Tintin, and all the details of the trip are almost the same.
If I remember correctly, there were some stowaways in the rocket in Frau im Mond, so there wasn't enough oxygen for the journey back, like Tintin.
2. The train sequence in Prisoners of the Sun comes directly from the train sequence in Lang's Spione.
The hero stays in the last car of the train, no other passenger is there and the villains separate it from the rest of the train and the difference is that another train runs into it, istead of it being de-railed.
3. The performances by magicians in The Seven Crystal Balls and Alph-Art are strongly reminiscent of equivalent scenes in Dr Mabuse.
4. Mitsuhirato's hara kiri, although a cliche, can be attributed to Dr Matsumoto's hara kiri in Spione, or even to the film Harakiri by Lang. I admit that this is a little far fetched.
5. Opium dens have been used in Lang's films (Spinnen, Spione), in the same way it is used in Blue Lotus.
6. In Spinnen, Kay Hogh, the hero, discovers a contemporary Inca city, in the same way Tintin does in Prisoners.
7. The whole atmosphere of the first Tintin stories (from Cigars to Golden Claws) very much reminds me of Lang's early adventurous films - although this of course was a trend of the era.
Occultism and exotic adventures were very popular, as a result of many contemporary events, like the advent of psychology and psychoanalysis, the improvements in transportation which brought to light different exotic civilisations and the First World War, which ended with thousands of victims left unburied, which led to an increase in occultism and subsequently to expressionism.
8. Some of the dream sequences in Tintin, or hallucinations are expressionistic, and resemble equivalent sequences in Spione, or Dr Mabuse and so on. Although Lang didn't do expressionistic films, you can see expressionistic influence, especially style-wise.
9. In Spinnen there is a flash-back sequence, involving pirates and a treasure, much like the one in Unicorn.
There are probably more points, but I am afraid I haven't seen some of the films recently, and I don't have the comic books near me now.
What I would like to ask fellow Tintinologists is: is there any evidence to prove my point? Do you know of any reports about Hergé being a Fritz Lang fan?
I hope you see my points. Is there anybody out there who has seen the films and knows what I am saying?
If not, please see them: even if you don't agree with me, you 'll find they are excellent films. So, in fact, I am just sharing my passion about Lang with people who share my passion for Tintin.