October 2017, arsenal cinema

Filmspotting. Exploring the Deutsche Kinemathek's Film Archive

DER LETZTE MANN, 1924

DER LETZTE MANN (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Germany 1924) shows the fate of an aging hotel porter at the turn of the 20th century in Berlin, who is demoted and has his uniform and main source of pride taken away from him. Murnau's outstanding silent film drama makes do with just a small number of intertitles, as the "unbridled" camerawork by Karl Freund creates a visual language that reflects the porter's inner life. Giuseppe Becce composed the music played at the world premiere, which has been re-edited for the restoration of the film. In the 20s, Becce wasn't just known as a composer for feature films, but also as the author of the "General Handbook of Film Music", in which he set out standards for the musical accompaniment of silent films. Music scholar Maria Fuchs made the handbook the basis for her investigation of the theory and practice of silent film music and will be presenting this work. (ah) (30.10.)