Originally commissioned by the Lincoln Centre of New York, composer Phillip Johnston and ensemble perform his exciting new musical score to director F.W. Murnau's silent German expressionist masterpiece, live at ACMI - as one of our showcase events for the 2008 Melbourne International Arts Festival
A big budget blockbuster for UFA studios, the film - with wondrous early special effects, startling visual design and a marquee cast including Emil Jannings as Mephisto - fuses Goethe and Marlow's literary vision of the Faustian bargain with vital elements of German folklore.
Rich and inventive cinematic inspiration for an equally dynamic new score - includes songs with lyrics by Australian playwright Hilary Bell. Performing live: Composer Phillip Johnston (piano, ukulele, and saxophone), Elizabeth Jones (accordion), John Napier (cello), Lauren Easton (voice).
"Johnston's work is characterized by its willful perversity -- its utter unwillingness to stay in one place, its defiance of genre, its universal embrace of the offbeat, its celebration of the quirky, dramatic and surprising gesture." - American music critic Seth Rogovoy