Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. An Homage
With essay films by
Guy Maddin / Evan Johnson
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
Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen, Berlin
Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film, München
Curated by Karin Althaus