Film Micrœview #73: Faust (2011)

04.24.2014 § Leave a comment

Faust

…or is Hell slanted?

Rating: Shrug.

I admit it. This movie totally lost me. To be fair, I was lost in it, as well. Some movies like this, I might say of them: they followed their own logic. But this one didn’t really follow logic so much as whim. I was unimpressed by the composition and editing, in fact, I feel that the scatterbrainedness of the continuity on a micro level worked against the film’s power to draw me into a dreamlike other world. Yet certain images and moments stand on their own as indubitably eye-catching and unnerving. Opening LOTR style shot, Mephistophales’ body in the bathhouse, the geyser…

Sokurov uses his prismatic lenses or whatever again here (as in other films of his) to achieve the weird distortions and tilts and selective focuses, which would have been more impressive were I not prepared for that. I can’t think that I’ve seen a more primarily narrative film of his before, and so as expected the characters and events flow more like poetry than prose.

I wish I was literary enough to comment on this in the context of other interpretations of Faust, but I shouldn’t pretend at that; I have seen Murnau’s film but not read either Goethe nor Mann’s books.

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