Wednesday, March 17, 2010

#24. [PRE-BLOG] The last laugh / The letzte Mann (1924)

In detail: IMDB Wikipedia
Watched: 5
Remained: 996 to go
Days: 5
Watched on: 2006.
Place: at home.
Today we continue talking about Murnau with another of his masterpieces: The last laugh.

The story revolves around a man who is respected and admired in his community due to his work as a doorman in a luxury hotel. As he gets old, they transfer him to a post in the toilets. Moreover, they strip him off the uniform. This uniform represented, more than any other thing, his position in the community. Shamed by his new position, he steals the uniform every night to make believe to his neighbours that he is still a doorman.

The style is that of an expressionist film: the distorted scenario, the exaggerated gestures, etc.; but its social theme and the playing with the camera make it a somewhat unclassifiable film. Some author labels it as a Kammerspiel film, a short life movement.

I find very interesting the depiction of a German society fascinated by authority and social status; moreover when this same society was just about to be devoured by its fears.

It is claimed that American audiences didn't understand the film because a cleaner earned more money than a doorman.

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