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.
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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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.