One of Fritz Lang's earliest extant films (1919), Die Spinnen is a fascinating bit of juvenilia, though it no longer plays particularly well. Already at this primitive stage in his development Lang was conjuring vast international conspiracies and drawing his hapless heroes into intractable webs of fate. The form is here, the meaning would come later. The visuals too are stamped with Lang's personality; no one carved up screen space with his precision and expressiveness. The rambling, episodic plot—which has something to do with hidden treasure—was originally conceived for a serial, but only two episodes were made.
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