Critic Consensus: It strays from the source, but whatever it might lack in fidelity, Aleksandr Sokurov's lengthy, ambitious Faust more than makes up in fresh energy and ideas.
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Employing elaborate camera movements, a dense soundscape, intricate production design and spectacular locations, FAUST conjures up a unique and phantasmagoric vision of the Faustian legend. Faust, played by Johannes Zeiler, is a man in search of the ideals of the Enlightenment but he becomes obsessed with the lovely Magarethe (Isolda Dychauk) and eventually sells his soul to the Devil (Anton Adasinsky) also known as the Moneylender, so that he may possess her. Comic, cosmic, painterly and stunningly beautiful scenes abound as the Devil takes Faust on a strange, unforgettable journey that ends in Hell itself. (c) Leisure Time Features … More
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Critic Reviews for Faust
A grueling side show of a film, a morbid, mightily uninvolving piece ...
The movie expands in its frame, surpassing simple comprehension and continuing to grow in your mind - and perhaps to blow it - long after it's over.
Aleksandr Sokurov's demented, gunky take on the Faust legend tumbles from one scene into the next with loping, loopy energy.
Settle in, because this requires your charity, but you'll dream it all back up the next night.
Audience Reviews for Faust
A medieval doctor who's bored with life sells his soul to a Moneylender in exchange for one night with a beautiful young woman. A fairly surreal and occasionally confusing version of Goethe's classic, Aleksandr Sokurov's adaptation is rewarding, but not intended for literary novices.
Big, weird, bold, wonderful, literary, challenging and alive are all adjectives that can be attributed to Alexander Sokurov's "Faust", arguably the most important adaptation of Goethe's story concerning a man who sells his soul to the devil since F.W. Murnau's benchmark 1926 silent film of the same name. But if that description is too vague and fragmented to wholly imagine, think Tom Hooper should he decide to go completely against the grain of Hollywood prestige pictures, amplify it by a thousand, and bathe it in acid. Sokurov's "Faust" isn't easy on the eyes -- shot in 4:3 ratio by a wandering, slightly inebriated lens, it puts hair on the chest of the classic German tragedy, and follows more so the rhythm of its own visual narrative than it does recite a by-the-books reading.
All the better. "Faust" absolutely won't work for everybody; it in effect puts the viewer in the awkward position of acting midwife to a creation being birthed from hell. It sprawls, bites, burns and consumes entirely the respective landmark works from Goethe and Murnau by riddling the tale's "characters" (and I use that label loosely) in the bleak, fathomless bottom of an atmosphere of unquestionable, unwavering evil, and does it all with a slimy, toothy grin. You'll either laugh at its pain, or be hopelessly anguished by the ripping snort it seems to be having on behalf of itself. (79/100)
Little to do with the story of Faust proper, the dr. no longer seeking infinite knowledge but money to pay the rent, buy some food, carry on his experiments and musings, and gain some carnal knowlege of the luminous sister of a man he kills in a bar. Though to be fair the devil put the knife in his hand. The devil is a money-lender("where there is money you will always find him") with a body like wadded up chewing gum and a small dick growing out of his back like a vestigial tail (but you'll see for yourself), who hobbles around like Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum, constantly jostling and bumping into people. More then the philosophical discussions into morality, honor, and death and the stunning landscape views toward the end of the film, I remember mostly the slapstick of it all. How no one seemed capable of walking out of a doorway without getting stuck between two other people, this wasn't so much funny after awhile as grueling and sufffocating; the sheer overcrowding of the frame with bodies makes the devil's misanthropy all the more appealing. So mostly the film is Faust and the Devil palling around some filthy village, getting into trouble and chatting. souls dont exchange hands til late in the film, but Faust's willingness to hang out with the devil, makes the actual transaction anti-climatic, as if he had already signed on at the beginning of the film, and it just took awhile to process the paperwork.
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