Another movie at the Melbourne International Film Festival!
So here is my review of Faust. I’ll keep it brief because, as this film ironically demonstrates, life is short and should not be wasted.
This adaptation of Goethe’s Faust takes one of the seminal works of German literature (and literature in general) and subverts it – by which I mean it takes a fascinating story about man and the essence of mor(t)ality, and de-fascinatingerises it into a blubbery two-and-a-half hour snail ride that appears to have been directed by a comatose Fellini impersonator.
Faust depends heavily on its European style (and length) to provide the illusion of substance. This is particularly tragic, because every single moment of the film looks stunning – hats off to cinematographer, Bruno Delbonnel.
Performances vary from good to average, but the material is so inane, contrived and pretentious that you’ll find yourself pretending the cast are awful just so you can give your enemy a face.
Faust was directed by Aleksandr Sokurov, who had already made me slightly grumpy in the past with his gorgeous lump of video-art, Russian Ark.
Highlight: Gangrenous body parts in the first five minutes successfully mortified me.
I recommend checking out the F. W. Murnau version, from 1926. A masterpiece: