The Last Laugh (Der letzte Mann)

[silent film, F.W. Murnau (1924)]

live-music: turning pages [2008] by IzP


duration: 85'

(first performed: june 04th 2008, Essen / Germany)


The old doorman of the Hotel Atlantic owes his self-esteem and recognition to his magnificent uniform. One day, however, the manager demotes the elderly man to restroom attendant. Since the doorman dares not to make such a descent from his milieu, he steals his doorman uniform so that he may keep up appearances. Nevertheless, his efforts are unsuccessful, and his life becomes unbearable. 


A dull, dark, drum-computer Moloch comes back incessantly. A Tantalus-like gesture, like the one comprised by the bass ostinato in the Crucifixus of Bach’s B Minor Mass — namely, the inevitable descent into the grave — crushes the protagonists, their vitality ebbing away with each attack.

Music for amplified accordion, fretless electric bass (as cello simulator), live electronics, drum computer, keyboards, kalimba, and prerecorded sound.


[translated by Eric Flesher / USA]


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