F. W. Murnau: Voyages into the Imaginary

January 8–February 27, 2022

This series, featuring the lyrical cinema of one of the most admired and influential directors of the silent era, F. W. Murnau, showcases restored versions of his extant work with live piano accompaniment.

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  • Faust

  • Sunrise

  • Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror

  • The Last Laugh

  • Phantom

  • The Haunted Castle

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Upcoming Films

  • Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

    F. W. Murnau
    United States, 1927
    • Saturday, January 8 7 PM
    • Friday, February 18 7 PM
    Judith Rosenberg on Piano January 8; Bruce Loeb on Piano February 18

    F. W. Murnau handpicked Janet Gaynor to star in his first Hollywood feature, a masterpiece of silent cinema widely considered among the greatest films ever made, which tells an elemental tale with virtuosic visual invention. 

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  • Journey into the Night

    F. W. Murnau
    Germany, 1921

    Digital Restoration

    • Wednesday, January 12 7 PM
    Judith Rosenberg on Piano

    This reconstruction of the earliest surviving F. W. Murnau film represents a major rediscovery of a work that, even upon its release, was hailed as a milestone in the art of cinema.

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  • The Haunted Castle

    F. W. Murnau
    Germany, 1921

    Digital Restoration

    • Saturday, January 15 7 PM
    Judith Rosenberg on Piano

    Before plumbing the depths of horror and despair with films like Faust, F. W. Murnau tested the waters with this moody drama of a stormbound manor and the grim mystery that lurks within.

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  • The Burning Earth

    F. W. Murnau
    Germany, 1922

    35mm Archival Print

    • Sunday, January 16 2 PM
    Bruce Loeb on Piano

    “Murnau proved a master both at interior design . . . and at stunning exterior shooting. The fire at the oil-well, ‘the burning earth’ surrounded by snow, is an unforgettable image of hell on earth” (TIFF Cinematheque).

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  • Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror

    F. W. Murnau
    Germany, 1922

    Digital Restoration

    • Saturday, January 22 7 PM
    Judith Rosenberg on Piano

    Still among the most unnerving and poetic of horror films, investing the natural world with eerie incandescence, Nosferatu stars Max Schreck as an unforgettable vampire—a living death, a walking ruin.

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  • Phantom

    F. W. Murnau
    Germany, 1922

    Digital Restoration

    • Friday, January 28 7 PM
    Judith Rosenberg on Piano

    Long believed lost, Phantom, made after Nosferatu and before The Last Laugh, is considered a key work in F. W. Murnau’s development, with its variety of montage and trick effects that conjure a nightmarish world.

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  • The Last Laugh

    F. W. Murnau
    Germany, 1924

    Digital Restoration

    • Saturday, January 29 5 PM
    Judith Rosenberg on Piano

    A proud hotel doorman falls from grace in F. W. Murnau’s classic of German Expressionism, whose roving camerawork and hallucinatory imagery “changed the way that movies were made” (Dave Kehr).

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  • Tartuffe

    F. W. Murnau
    Germany, 1925

    Digital Restoration

    • Saturday, February 5 5:15 PM
    Judith Rosenberg on Piano

    F. W. Murnau revisited Moliére’s fable of religious hypocrisy, in which a woman (Lil Dagover) tries to convince her husband (Werner Krauss) that their morally superior guest, Tartuffe (Emil Jannings), is in fact a lecherous, imbibing hypocrite.

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  • The Finances of the Grand Duke

    F. W. Murnau
    Germany, 1924

    Digital Restoration

    • Saturday, February 5 3:30 PM
    Judith Rosenberg on Piano

    F. W. Murnau’s venture into the world of comic irony was greeted with delight by contemporary critics. Working from a screenplay by Thea von Harbou, he crafted a playful espionage thriller reminiscent of Ernst Lubitsch. 

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  • Faust

    F. W. Murnau
    Germany, 1926

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, February 13 5 PM
    Judith Rosenberg on Piano

    F. W. Murnau’s version of the Faust legend is a masterwork of chiaroscuro lighting, and it helped redefine what black-and-white cinematography could accomplish. Emil Jannings stars as a subtly mischievous Mephistopheles.

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  • City Girl

    F. W. Murnau
    United States, 1930
    • Friday, February 25 7 PM
    Bruce Loeb on Piano

    Until the late 1960s, City Girl was considered lost; when it was found, film scholars were amazed to discover F. W. Murnau’s complete silent version,“a dazzling work which adds much to Murnau’s already monumental reputation” (Richard Koszarski, Film Comment).

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  • Tabu: A Story of the South Seas

    F. W. Murnau
    United States, 1931

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, February 27 3 PM
    Bruce Loeb on Piano

    F. W. Murnau joined forces with documentarist Robert J. Flaherty, and they fashioned an emotionally rich story of the flowering romance between a young man and woman, filmed on location in Tahiti.

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