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3.7
1,148 Ratings

Faust

Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov
Russia, 2011
Drama
  • German, Romanian
  • English, Romanian, Turkish

Synopsis

A version of the German legend in which a man sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge. Aleksandr Sokurov’s Golden Lion winning film thematically follows his previous Taurus, Moloch and The Sun as dream-like meditations on the search for power.

Our take

Aleksandr Sokurov’s fervently stylized version of the German legend of Faust. This Venice Golden Lion winner gleefully bounds over its medieval Czech locations with obscene frenzy to imagine the Faust’s fantastic path.

Faust Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov
Two weeks removed from this screening and its majestic oddness still eludes me. If Taurus is Sokurov’s most straightforward film,Faust is at the opposite end of the spectrum, a slippery concoction whose visuals – alternating between show-stopping moments of clarity traceable to iconic European paintings and inebriated, claustrophobic trudges in soft-focus through damp, dark interiors – seem beamed from another world.
January 22, 2014
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FAUST, perhaps all at once [Sokurov’s] most Tarkovskian feature and the one that works hardest to undermine his master’s work, Sokurov’s powers are at their height. FAUST, perhaps all at once his most Tarkovskian feature and the one that works hardest to undermine his master’s work, Sokurov’s powers are at their height.
December 20, 2013
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Faust is an infinitely complex film toward a search to the failure of human nature’s desire for knowledge that does not define great men, but all of us. “Good does not exist, but evil does,” a character warns the Herr Doktor. Such trifles toward the search to comprehending the heavens within the language below it can only lead us to our useless search through the desert. Knowledge is nothing without the faith to believe it.
November 28, 2013
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What are people saying?

  • Stefan Drees's rating of the film Faust

    Sokurov’s „Faust“ is difficult to appreciate without knowing the other three films of his tetralogy (about Hitler, Lenin and Hirohito) and recognizing this last one as kind of prequel. After watching it in cinema some years ago I gave it a second chance and found many parts very intriguing. I like the references to Murnaus „Faust“ (see especially the beginning) but also the detailed scenario.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Faust

    Definitely a challenging film. There are bodies in constant motion, though they don't always seem to know where they're going. People spin around each other with a gravitational force. The frame itself lends itself to the claustrophobia that seems self-imposed. All of this can lead to a kind of confusion as to what exactly is going on. Faust's journey is to find what he will sell his soul for.

  • Jason's rating of the film Faust

    A major undertaking and something more than a minor achievement (though extremely tiresome). More like Terry Gilliam than it is like Murnau (w/ some typically Sokurovean lens-porn). Granted, it may have struck me as the greatest motion picture of all time had I seen it in a movie theatre under the influence of psilocybin. Watched the last chapter of the Blu-ray a couple times. That end bit is rad!

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Faust

    A difficult movie to process, which is why (I suspect) most positive reviews dwell on the form—the deftly cluttered direction and lush, sulfuric atmosphere—rather than on any coherent message that emerges thereof. It's clearly the work of a master, but whether the master has something valuable to say is up for debate. All an agnostic can guarantee are the sensations—and in this case, they're enough. 4 stars.

  • Nadin's rating of the film Faust

    Being German, I was skeptical, but the film turned out to be a great. Various scenes from the original book have been altered, so it's by no means a 1:1 adaptation. However, Sokurov conveyed the message brilliantly. His choice of varying colour palettes were outstanding; the use of consistent off-screen voices was particularly interesting, and, above all, Mephisto was depicted fabulously. Well done, Sokurov!

  • Dzimas's rating of the film Faust

    A moveable feast of sight, sound and even smell in this deeply evocative interpretation of Dr. Faustas. There is virtually constant movement in this film, as Faust is led through every nook and cranny of his medieval by a devil of a man, until emerging into unknown terrain.

  • WhatsUpWill's rating of the film Faust

    Herzog, Kurosawa, Bunuel, Bergman, Tarkovsky... Sokurov takes the best qualities of these directors and creates his own film from them. What an introduction to his filmic worldview! The first thirty minutes made me want to walk out, but I'm glad I stayed. Brilliant work.

  • Max Seqgar's rating of the film Faust

    Were all Faust after all... The experience itself was almost Lynchean, but still very Sokurov! Nice!

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