Faust is an interesting and artistic new take on the classic tale by Goethe. The tale is about a doctor/magician who sells his soul to the devil and pays a harsh price.
Dependent on the version you read, Faust is a tale of either a doctor who becomes involved in witchcraft, or a magician from the outset who gets in touch with a demon, or perhaps the devil himself, in order to gain knowledge. One classic version was written by Christopher Marlowe, and had Doctor Faustus travel through time and space to experience wonders. It was quite the tale.
This time, Faust is set in the 19th century, and Faust is a man concerned with knowledge. He studies whatever he can, but he wants to know the secrets of the universe, including the location of the soul. In order to find this location, he unearths bodies and rummages through their guts to find the soul. I doubt he has much luck.
Anyways, he comes across this film’s version of Mephistopheles, here named Mauricius, and the two see many parts of their town, including the seedier areas. At some point, Faust comes across Margarete, who is this film’s version of Gretchen, and he falls in love with her. At some point he decides sleeping with her and studying her will advance his knowledge very well, but he can only get some if he signs over his soul. He does so, but then lives in fear of Mauricius. At some point I think he kills Mauricius, but I’m not totally sure yet. He does kill Margarete’s brother. He ends the tale in a very similar fashion to most Faust stories, as he finally sees the error of his ways and wants out. Usually he isn’t given the chance to properly repent.
Aleksandr Sokurov wrote and directed Faust. He’s an experimental Russian director who made a film called Russian Ark that used a single steadicam shot for the entire 90 minute film. Ballsy.
Faust Release Date
On Demand May 11, 2012.
Who’s In It?
Johannes Zeiler … Heinrich Faust
Anton Adasinsky … Moneylender
Isolda Dychauk … Margarete
Georg Friedrich … Wagner
Hanna Schygulla … Moneylender’s ‘Wife’
Antje Lewald … Margarete’s Mother
Florian Brückner … Valentin
Sigurður Skúlason … Faust’s Father
Maxim Mehmet … Valentin’s Friend
Andreas Schmidt … Valentin’s Friend
Oliver Bootz … Valentin’s Friend
Katrin Filzen … Margarete’s Maidservant
Prodromos Antoniadis … Notarius
What’s Good About It?
I’ll say I’m intrigued by the trailer and the story is such a classic that I always want to see a new version. This might be awesome.
What’s Bad About It?
Faust could end up being super artsy and not so great for most audiences.
Our Clever Prediction
I don’t think Faust was ever intended to be a massive commercial success, but the film did win the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival. I’m looking forward to this interpretation.