Der Letzte Man (The Last Laugh). 1924. Germany. Directed by F. W. Murnau. Screenplay by Carl Mayer. With Emil Jannings, Olaf Storm, Max Hiller. 35mm. Silent, with English intertitles. Approx. 80 min.
“It was this film that constituted the revolution: it broke with the past both in technique and in theory. Hitherto, a discontinuous method of pictorial narration had been in general use. In The Last Laugh a new and continuous method of narration was used, for here appear prolonged stretches of uninterrupted and uncut images, in which the camera itself had moved to follow the progress of the action. It was actually, the joint product of four men—Murnau, the director, Freund the cameraman, Mayer the scenarist and Jannings the principal actor—who conceived and developed it (the film) as a pictorial unit, working with unusual freedom in a studio unparalleled anywhere, at that time.”