XYLOS: Domagała / Klišys / Toporowski | The Last Laugh
A century ago, one of the most influential trends in world cinema was evolving just across our western border. It provided a pictorial representation of the dark recesses of the psyche, endowing human stories not only with depth but also with visual allure. Films like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis or Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari are spectacular films in their vision, but they are only one more familiar face of German Expressionism. In 1924, following the success of Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau took a sidestep: instead of exclusively delving into the very core of the human soul, he directed his gaze towards everyday life. The Last Laugh, depicting the story of a man desperately clinging to his job as a source of dignity, revitalized the somewhat outdated kammerspielfilm genre and delivered one of the most moving portraits of the common man in cinema history.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of The Last Laugh, Timeless Film Festival Warsaw will present F.W. Murnau’s legendary film with music composed for the occasion. On April 14 at the POLIN Museum, the XYLOS ensemble, made up of excellent musicians Piotr Domagała (acoustic and electric guitar), Darius Klišys (birbynė, electronics), and Marek Toporowski (harpsichord), will perform for the film. Hailing from diverse musical backgrounds such as jazz, improvised music, and early music, these artists share a common thread of color, sensitivity, and inspiration. Their instruments – birbynė, guitar, harpsichord – derive their sounds from wood, and their repertoire spans from Renaissance songs based on folk motifs to experiments with electronic sounds.
Piotr Domagała, Polish jazz guitarist, creator of original musical projects at the intersection of jazz, contemporary music, and folk, winner of master guitar competitions. He has five original albums, highly acclaimed by audiences and critics. Domagała collaborated with giants of the music scene: Marguerite Juenemann, Caren Caroll, Richard Ortmann, as well as with Piotr Wojtasik, Lech Dyblik and Krystyna Prońko. He took part in the world premiere of the Pat Metheny & NOSPR project, and collaborated with the Capitol Musical Theater, the Słowacki Theater in Cracow and the AST Theater. He teaches jazz guitar at the Department of Jazz and Popular Music at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice.
Darius Klišys, is a prominent Lithuanian birbynist (Lithuanian woodwind instrument). Since 1997, he has recorded 25 albums of diverse music: from baroque to experimental music (6-2 studio, The Orchard / Sony Music). Winner of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra competition (2009), as part of which he was invited to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra concert at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall. In recent years, he has collaborated with such eminent musicians and artists as Marek Toporowski, Kęstutis Vaiginis, Mettis Quartett, Chordos Quartett, Michael Blake, Sjaron Minailo, Maarten Warmerdam, the “Acusto” Vocal Ensemble, and Piotr Domagała. He has been a voting member of the Recording Academy / GRAMMY since 2023.
Marek Toporowski, Polish harpsichord and organist, chamber musician, conductor, and a prominent figure in Poland’s historical music movement. Author of dozens of albums, laureate of the Fryderyk Awards and 1st prize of the 1st National Wanda Landowska Harpsichord Competition. For many years he perfected his technique at foreign universities in France, Germany and the Netherlands. He has to his credit the first Polish performances on historical instruments of many masterpieces of classical oratorio music. Under his baton, many pieces of old Polish music were also performed for the first time. In this way, he ensures the historical continuity of the music.
April 14, 2024
The Last Laugh
Der letzte Mann
intertitles in German
COPY / EVENT TYPE
Emil Jannings (hotelportier), Maly Delschaft (niece), Max Hiller (bridegroom), Hans Unterkircher (hotel manager)
Karl Freund (black&white)
Edgar G. Ulmer, Robert Herlth, Walter Röhrig
#243 on the list of The Greatest Films of All Time by “Sight & Sound”