Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. An Homage

October 25, 2016 – February 26, 2017

With essay films by

Alexander Kluge 

Ulrike Ottinger

Guy Maddin / Evan Johnson

Luc Lagier

Narges Kalhor / Jonas Neumann / 
Friedrich Rackwitz / Felicitas Sonvilla

"Nosferatu", "Faust", "The Last Laugh", "Sunrise", "Tabu": Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (1888 – 1931) wrote film history. 
Between 1919 and 1930, he shot twenty-one films on location in Germany, the United States, and Tahiti. The leading director of 
the silent film era was born Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe. He adopted his alias under which 
he became famous after spending a wonder­ful summer in Murnau in Upper Bavaria, 
where the "Blue Rider" and the modernist 
arts scene congregated. As part of its on-
going exploration of the phenomenon of expres­sionism, Lenbachhaus devotes an 
exhi­b­ition project to Friedrich Wilhelm 
Murnau paying homage to his innovative 
film language and the unique global impact 
of the early art of film.

The exhibition presents film through the lens of film. Lenbachhaus invited contemporary directors to engage with Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s work. Five essay films and shorts 
by Alexander Kluge, Ulrike Ottinger, Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, Luc Lagier, 
and a team from the University of Television 
and Film Munich harness the specific means 
of film to each examine one work by Murnau. 
The selection —including "Nosferatu", "Faust", 
and "Tabu"—also guided the choice of 
materials that complete the exhibition: 
drawings and photographs by Murnau as 
well as some of his collaborators, such as Albin Grau, Hans Natge, and Robert Herlth.

Concurrently with the exhibition at Lenbachhaus, the Munich Film Museum presents a comprehensive retrospective of Murnau’s oeuvre, offering visitors a rare opportunity to see all existing films in carefully restored versions accompanied by internationally renowned silent-film musicians.

In cooperation with
Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Wiesbaden
Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen, Berlin
Filmmuseum München
Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film, München
Versicherungskammer Kulturstiftung

Curated by Karin Althaus