Faust

Faust

Faust is a thinker, a mouthpiece for ideas, a transmitter for words, a schemer and a daydreamer. He is an anonymous man driven by simple instincts: hunger, greed and lust. Sokurov asks us to question how this literary character informs our understanding of the real tyrants who abused their position of power, and how an unhappy life can lead some to be seduced by monstrous ideologies. 3.3 out of 5 based on 9 reviews
Faust

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Drama
Director Aleksandr Sokurov
Cast Anton Adasinsky, Isolda Dychauk, Johannes Zeiler
Studio Artificial Eye
Release Date May 2012
Running Time 134 mins
 

Faust is a thinker, a mouthpiece for ideas, a transmitter for words, a schemer and a daydreamer. He is an anonymous man driven by simple instincts: hunger, greed and lust. Sokurov asks us to question how this literary character informs our understanding of the real tyrants who abused their position of power, and how an unhappy life can lead some to be seduced by monstrous ideologies.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

A rude, lewd take on a classic, and irresistible. Goethe believed that earthly life was a mirror image, finite and partial, of eternal truth, so Sokurov starts the film – stunningly – with a giant mirror suspended in the skies. Forever after, the action looks like some fugitive, glittering, mercurial reflection of reality. The story scampers on; we pant in its wake.

10/05/2012

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The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

The key to the film’s potency lies in its acceptance of the magical and the repellent. When a hard-boiled egg is produced from between a woman’s legs during a gynaecological exam, no one bats an eyelid. (Nonplussed, she eats it.) A sword plunged into a stone wall releases an arterial spray of red wine. Faust’s telescope shows a monkey scampering around on the surface of the moon and an admirer presents Margarete with a gently whimpering homunculus in a jar. Sokurov extends no special fanfare or emphasis to these fantastical sights, knitting them routinely into the film’s fabric. It’s that blasé approach that gives Faust its kick.

09/05/2012

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Total Film

Kevin Harley

A sense-scrambling work that conjures images of indelible potency: you won’t forget the dissection, the lyrical love scene, the pitiable homunculus, the chilling trek to hell or Adasinsky naked in a hurry.

10/05/2012

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

The drama becomes exhausting — its unsympathetic Faust and his enigmatic tempter talk and talk without the viewer ever getting a sense of the gravity of what’s at stake — but the unorthodox finale is worth waiting for.

13/05/2012

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Time Out

Dave Calhoun

Has a sly humour and down-to-earth mystery that make it cumulatively compelling and allow the themes of the story to burrow deep within the viewer. Moreover, the film’s look gradually takes on a hypnotic power as Sokurov’s constantly travelling camera offers images blurred at the edges.

10/05/2012

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The Times

Wendy Ide

There is definitely a time and a place for films which challenge and unsettle their audience; which rock the cinematic status quo. And Sokurov’s loose adaptation of Goethe’s tale is a profoundly uncomfortable experience. It’s a film which revels in ugliness ... To add to the disorientating effect, the dialogue is post-synced. The effect is like a window into the brain of someone having some kind of psychotic interlude.

11/05/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

It is being presented as the last part of a "cinematic tetralogy" with three earlier films, Moloch about Hitler, Taurus about Lenin and The Sun about Hirohito ... and there is some dramatic interest in linking fictional Faust with three historical figures, each pondering power, destiny, heaven and hell.

10/05/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

It is said that Vladimir Putin backed Sokurov's expensive film both morally and financially, apparently seeing it as a way of bringing the soul of Mother Russia under his own enlightened leadership to the rest of Europe. If so, Sokurov might be seen as Faust and Putin as his tempter.

13/05/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

Any viewers hoping for comprehensible narrative will soon lose patience, or consciousness.

13/05/2012

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