The Last Laugh
Drama, by F.W. Murnau, Germany, 1924.
Jannings is the doorman of the Atlantic hotel in Berlin, happy with his role and his uniform. But his boss thinks he is too old to receive customers at the entrance and sets him up to clean the bathrooms. Jannings, deeply troubled by what happened, gets drunk in the evening to forget what happened and tries to hide his new degrading job from family and friends. But the next day he is discovered. Absolute masterpiece by Murnau, in balance between expressionism and kammespiel. The camera comes to life in an incredibly avant-garde style of visual experimentation.
Food for thought
For the ego, uniform and respectable work can be an absolute value. For the ego, being put to clean toilets can be the worst of humiliations. Because the ego reasons according to the opinions of others and wants us to conform to their scale of values. For our deepest selves, however, it may be more fun to clean bathrooms than to be a doorman at the hotel entrance.
LANGUAGE: German (captions)