Film, Foreign, Sydney Film Festival — June 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

SFF Film Review: Faust (2011)

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Dr. Heinrich Faust (Johannes Zeiler) is poor and hungry and philosophical physician, spending more time on performing autopsies than helping people in his impoverished village. He visits a money-lender, who is the devil in disguise, and the two embark on a strange existential odyssey, occasionally interrupted by Faust’s lust for a young maiden.

I was running a bit late to Faust, tripped down the steps inside the cinema to slump into a seat at the very front. I wasn’t the last person in, but I made an impression on the screening that I’m pretty sure surpassed anything that was projected on the screen for the next 2 hours.

Faust is extremely boring. Based on the Goethe play, it became Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov’s 4th film in his Men OF Power tetralogy (I haven’t seen the previous three) and was nothing like what I had expected – which I suppose was something grandiose and gothic like the F.W. Murnau film of the same name.

Known for his single-shot spectacle Russian Ark, Sokurov did not appear to bring his marvelous eye to SFF this year. The copy of the film that screened was in 4:3 and was a little grainy. More than likely, this was the distributer’s fault.

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