Returning to Berlin for the third installment of their acclaimed live-score performance to accompany silent film classic “Menschen am Sonntag” (1930), múm will also present a special treat during the upcoming Berlinale: The band’s label Morr Music will release a limited edition vinyl 10inch comprising of material that was recorded during previous installments of this extraordinary film/music event. Initiated by curators Ben Czernek and Hannes Frey for their genre-defying UM:LAUT live series at Radialsystem V in Berlin, the members of “what's possibly the most original band hailing from Iceland” (ByteFM) gained universal praise.
Joined by guest percussionist Samuli Kosminen, múm founders Gunnar Tynes & Örvar Smárason create stunning instrumental soundscapes to accompany and enhance the late-1920s action portrayed in the film, which was already considered a milestone shortly after its release. German daily newspaper taz praised the band’s live score after the 2016 performance, stating: “It worked so well that one can easily imagine the 74 minutes as an album.” Absorbingly rich in scope and cinematic in their own right, the four tracks that comprise this (significantly shorter) release work just as well without their visual counterpart.
Directed by Robert Siodmak & Edgar G. Ulme (and co-written by Billy Wilder), “Menschen am Sonntag” follows the lives of a group of Berlin residents on a summer’s day in a series of leisurely snapshots. A late-period semi-documentary silent film with a unique feel, it’s considered a pivotal work. The film feels quite opposite to the expressionist vehemence, that dominated German cinema within the 20s: “Menschen am Sonntag” is a modernist work, it feels calm and light. Watching it today however feels poignant, because it portrays a generation that was heading for the (then) unthinkable disaster.