Faust

"Good"

Faust Review


Sokurov's fractured version of the Goethe play is something of an oddball masterpiece. It's meandering and fairly impenetrable in its madcap excesses, but is packed with eye-popping imagery and challenging ideas about human nature.

In a medieval German town, Dr Faust (Zeiler) is struggling with the meaning of life and the idea of God. Frustrated by the limits of his knowledge, he embarks on a quest that takes him to a chattery old moneylender (Adasinskiy), who gets his autograph and then follows him everywhere, pushing him into a variety of situations. Along the way, Faust falls for the young Margarete (Dychauk), although his chances with her are somewhat lessened when he kills her brother (Bruckner). But the moneylender can help. For a price.

The elaborate animated opening shot descends from the heavens to the village where the doctor is performing a seriously grisly autopsy, looking for a dead man's soul. Blackly comical interaction sits at odds with the doctor's darkly existential thoughts and the moneylender's manipulative bustle. So as the story progresses, moments of Pythonesque absurdity blend with provocative philosophical insight along the road to hell. Sure, money can buy almost anything, but sometimes people want to be bad.

The film is designed like an epic fairy tale, with sets that are packed with fascinating details and dreamlike sequences that angle and squeeze the images as if reality is shifting. Claustrophobic and crowded, scenes bristle with both silly slapstick and sinister foreboding. People literally climb the walls and each other. And the period is intriguingly timeless, with costumes that seem to span the past 500 years. At the centre, Zeiler has a terrific world-weary intelligence mixed with curiosity, while Adasinskiy's freakish physicality keeps everything off-balance.

Sokurov takes a rambling, askance approach to the traditional Faust narrative, and it's not particularly easy to follow. The actors never stop talking in circles, and keeping track of who's whom is a challenge. But the film is a visual feast, shot (by Bruno Delbonnel) and designed (by Elena Zhukova) with artistry and wit, allowing the actors to create vivid characters. We may not quite be able to follow everything they do or say, but their energy and emotions are unforgettable.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 85 mins

In Theaters: Monday 6th December 1926

Distributed by: MGM

Production compaines: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Athanor, Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), Heart of Europe Prague K Productions, Kominsk, Lumen Films, Pandora Cinema

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 8.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Andrey Sigle

Starring: Petr Čepek as Faust, as All Voices (voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.