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Notebook Reviews: Aleksandr Sokurov's "Faust"

  • MUBI
Aleksandr Sokurov's tetralogy of power, previously dedicated to real biographical subjects (Lenin, Hitler, Hirohito), unexpectedly concludes with a legendary fictitious man: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust. The Russian director has loosely—one might even say wildly, fervently—adapted Goethe's play with a barely contained gleeful passion.

The mise en scène breaks out of the fetid, murmuring stasis so evocative of Molokh (1999), Taurus (2001) and The Sun (2005) and is freed to wander in a malleable, Ruizian manner around a sumptuously dirty and worn old German town of stone and earth. After beginning with a Forrest Gump-like descent of the camera from mirrored heavens, flying down to the grimy, sprawling town, the second shot after this luxurious, fantastical opening introduces Faust (Johannes Zeiler) via the decomposing ash-purple penis of a corpse he is dissecting in poverty and philosophical inquiry. With no money for food (let alone gravediggers), the doctor first approaches and then is chased,
See full article at MUBI »

Review: Sokurov's Faust, An Extraordinary, Hallucinatory Trip

Alexandr Sokurov's interpretation of Faust is one extraordinary, hallucinatory trip. It starts with Dr. Faust (Johannes Zeiler) dissecting a corpse, looking for/failing to locate the exact location of the soul. Living in extreme poverty, he tries to pawn his ring to a dark eyed, deformed, devilish pawnbroker (Anton Adasinsky). Instead, the pawnbroker convinces Faust to sign away his soul in blood (ink is expensive!) in exchange for one night with virginal Magarete (Isolda Dychauk), whose brother he just killed during a fit of rage in a bar brawl. Shot by renowned French cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel (Amelie, Harry Potter and a Half-Blood Prince, Inside Llewyn Davis), Faust is an amazing looking film. Even though it is not shot all in one take like Sokurov's festival favorite, Russian...

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See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Capsule Movie Reviews (Nov. 13): 'Sunlight Jr.' and five more

New Release

Sunlight Jr.

Not Rated, 1 Hr., 35 Mins.

So relentlessly bleak that you’d have to be a masochist to make it to the end credits, Sunlight Jr. stars Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon as doomed Florida lovers who can’t catch a break. He’s a drunk drowning in self-pity in a wheelchair while she busts her hump working the graveyard shift at a convenience store. Here’s one snapshot of the Sunshine State that no one wants a postcard of. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) C- —Chris Nashawaty

New Release


R, 1 Hr., 45 Mins.

After Superstorm
See full article at - Inside Movies »

Film Review: ‘October November’

Film Review: ‘October November’
In his superb 2008 thriller “Revanche,” Goetz Spielmann followed his characters from the seedier streets of Vienna to a quiet rural hideaway. The Austrian filmmaker again makes resonant use of the tension between town and country, albeit to far gentler effect, in “October November,” a carefully constructed and beautifully acted tale of two very different sisters brought together when their aging father falls seriously ill. Old resentments resurface and long-kept secrets are duly excavated, but in a measured, compassionate manner that yields a persuasive and nuanced portrait of broken but not irreparable family ties. Spielmann’s storytelling remains too restrained for breakout international success, but its low-boil excellence should find a discerning arthouse audience.

Spielmann’s script takes its time introducing two women whom we eventually learn are sisters, although their lives are so different as to almost suggest otherwise. Cool, dark-haired beauty Sonja (Nora von Waldstatten) is based in Berlin,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Alexander Sokurov's 'Faust' Acquired By Leisure Time Features

Alexander Sokurov's 'Faust' Acquired By Leisure Time Features
Leisure Time Features, the independent film distributor based in New York City, has acquired all U.S. rights to "Faust" by Alexander Sokurov. Winner of the 2011 Venice International Film Festival's Golden Lion, "Faust" is a hallucinatory period piece set in the early 19th century and loosely based on Goethe's play. "Faust" concludes Sokurov's ambitious "Men of Power" tetralogy, which included films on Hitler ("Moloch" 1999 ), Lenin ("Taurus" 2001) and Hirohito ("The Sun" 2005). The director is perhaps best known to North American audiences for his acclaimed "Russian Ark," famously shot in a single take. Sokurov's latest film is a riff on the Faustian legend starring Johannes Zeiler in the title role as a man who sells his soul to the devil. Leisure Time Features plans a summer 2013 release for the film.
See full article at Indiewire »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2013: #10. Gotz Spielmann’s Oktober November

Oktober November

Director: Götz Spielmann

Writer(s): Barbara Albert, Martin Gschlacht, Jessica Hausner, Antonin Svoboda/Götz Spielmann

Producer(s): Antonin Svoboda, Martin Gschlacht, Bruno Wagner, Götz Spielmann

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available

Cast: Nora von Waldstätten, Ursula Strauss, Peter Simonischek, Sebastian Koch, Johannes Zeiler

Soaked in dread, heavy on the atmospherics and with a production value of the highest caliber, his seventh feature film, 2008′s Revanche was one hell of a manner to introduce filmmaker Götz Spielmann to a vast number of cinephiles. We’re hoping for more of the same with this one.

Gist: Two sisters, very different. Their father, whose life is ending. A guesthouse in the mountains. A family history.

Release Date: Revanche was featured at the Berlin Film Fest, and while this won’t be ready in time for Cannes, I’m thinking it’ll be submitted to Venice

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This week's new films

Dark Shadows (12A)

(Tim Burton, 2012, Us) Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley. 113 mins

Another expensive pop-gothic fantasy (remake) for Depp and Burton's gallery – how long before either they get bored or we do? This time Johnny's an effete 18th-century vampire, reawakened in 1972 to reunite with his dysfunctional Addams-like descendants and marvel at the modern world. Expect fish-out-of-water silliness, a light shade of darkness, and the usual descent into messiness.

Café De Flore (15)

(Jean-Marc Vallée, 2011, Can) Vanessa Paradis, Kevin Parent, Hélène Florent. 121 mins

Music and mystery add a great deal to this well-made emotional drama, which switches between a present-day DJ and a 1970s mother (Paradis) whose child has Down's syndrome.

Beloved (15)

(Christophe Honoré, 2011, Fra/UK/Cze) Chiara Mastroianni, Ludivine Sagnier, Catherine Deneuve. 139 mins

Using flashbacks and musical moments, Honoré tells the story of a former prostitute, her daughter and the men in their lives.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Faust – review

Sokurov's version of Goethe's tragedy is part bad dream, part music-less opera, with hallucinatory flashes of fear

Aleksandr Sokurov's Faust is a version of Goethe's tragedy that won the Golden Lion at last year's Venice film festival; it is being presented as the last part of a "cinematic tetralogy" with three earlier films, Moloch (1999) about Hitler, Taurus (2001) about Lenin and The Sun (2005) about Hirohito. Generally, when directors claim this, it is a transparent ploy to shift the back-catalogue DVDs, but this surely can't be true of such a distinguished film-maker, and there is some dramatic interest in linking fictional Faust with three historical figures, each pondering power, destiny, heaven and hell.

The Austrian actor Johannes Zeiler is Faust, dissecting grisly corpses in a vaguely delineated central Europe in what looks like the 16th century of Marlowe's Faustus. He is brooding over the location of the soul (perhaps
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Faust Review: Ponderous and Disappointingly Spare

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Aleksandr Sokurov’s four-part meditation on the interplay between power and evil comes to a close with Faust, a challenging, dense take on Goethe’s famed text. With the previous three parts focusing on the travails of historical figures – Moloch on Hitler, Taurus on Lenin and The Sun on Hirohito – Faust might seem like a peculiar post-script, especially when it unfolds like a spiritual prequel, revealing just a little about what might have driven these men to unthinkable behaviours.

Sokurov’s film – which won the Golden Lion at least year’s Venice Film Festival – keenly plays fast and loose with the source material, changing plot structure, character machinations and location, rendering the project, for better and for worse, very much his own. The core premise of course remains the same; the well-meaning if frustrated Doctor Faust (Johannes Zeiler) visits a cantankerous moneylender (Anton Adasinsky), and after signing in his own blood,
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Faust Movie Posters

We have added all six posters for Aleksandr Sokurov directed free interpretation of the Faust legend, a modern interpretation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s literary masterpiece on the search for knowledge. The film’s Faustian seeker is a professor, played by Johannes Zeiler who sells his soul for the love of Margarete (Isolda Dychauk). Also featured is the [...]

Continue reading Faust Movie Posters on FilmoFilia.

Related posts:Venice 2011: Faust Movie Photos and Clip 2011 Venice Film Festival Winners Venice Film Festival 2011 Announcements
See full article at Filmofilia »

Vanessa Paradis/CAFÉ Du Flore, Faust, Arirang, A Separation: AFI Fest 2011

Jean-Marc Vallée's Café du Flore Chantal Akerman, Joseph Cedar, Béla Tarr, Nuri Bilge Ceylan: AFI Fest 2011 World Cinema Selections Arirang: Traumatized by a near-fatal accident during filming, director Kim Ki-duk offers a visionary self-portrait of a troubled artist reeling from an emotional breakdown. Dir Kim Ki-duk. South Korea. U.S. Premiere. CAFÉ Du Flore: In his follow-up to C.R.A.Z.Y., Jean Marc Vallée tells two parallel stories connected by music about a Montreal D.J. and a mother devoted to her special-needs son. Dir/Scr Jean-Marc Vallée. Cast Vanessa Paradis, Kevin Parent, Hélène Florent, Evelyne Brochu, Marin Gerrier. Canada. U.S. Premiere. Extraterrestrial: Timecrimes director Nacho Vigalondo’s surprising second feature finds an alien invasion providing the backdrop for one of the most delightful romantic comedies in years. Dir/Scr Nacho Vigalondo. Cast Julian Villagran, Michelle Jenner, Raul Cimas, Carlos Areces, Miguel Noguera. Spain. Faust: Russian Ark director
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Venice and Toronto 2011. Aleksandr Sokurov's "Faust"

  • MUBI
"Freshly awarded the Golden Lion at Venice, Sokurov's latest is pitched as an allegorical coda to his trilogy of historic tyrants (Moloch's Hitler, Taurus's Lenin, The Sun's Hirohito)," writes Fandor's Kevin B Lee at the top of our roundup following Daniel Kasman's review, wherein he notes that Faust "opens the group up, beginning and ending in a world outside man's spaces." Back to Kevin: "[H]ere the Faust legend is interpreted as a depressed Everyman's discovery of life's meaning through lust for sex and power. As Faust and Mephistopheles (bearing a tail shaped like a shriveled penis) walk and talk their way through several shaggy set pieces depicting worldly vanity, the meandering but playful proceedings at times evoke a Medieval Euro art film turned stoner movie (all the more amusing since Putin reputedly pushed this film to convey Russian values to European audiences.)"

"In some respects Sokurov's straightest, most linear effort,
See full article at MUBI »

Venice Results Are In: And The Golden Lion Goes To...

Venice Results Are In: And The Golden Lion Goes To...
Venice, Italy — Russian director Aleksander Sokurov's "Faust," a new take on the German legend about the quest for knowledge at all cost, won the Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.

"Faust" tells the tale of a professor, played by Johannes Zeiler, who craves knowledge and sells his soul for the love of Margarete, played by Isolda Dychauk. The Mephistopheles character is played by Anton Adasinskiy.

Dense and difficult to watch, "Faust" was nevertheless one of the critics' top choices among the 23 in-competition films at Venice this year. It marks the final chapter in Sokurov's four-film look at the relationship between man and power that began with "Moloch" in 1999 about Hitler, "Taurus" a year later about Lenin and the 2005 film "The Sun" about Japanese Emperor Hirohito.

At a post-award news conference, Sokurov made an impassioned plea for governments to continue supporting culture with state funds.

"Culture is not a luxury!
See full article at Huffington Post »

‘Faust’ Wins Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival

‘Faust’ Wins Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival
Getty Actors Anton Adasinskiy, Johannes Zeiler, director Aleksander Sokurov, Festival Director Marco Muller, producer Andrey Sigle and guests attend the ‘Faust’ premiere during the 68th Venice Film Festival at Palazzo del Cinema on September 8, 2011 in Venice, Italy.

Russian director Aleksander Sokurov’s “Faust” won the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday night.

Sokurov has described “Faust” — a new interpretation of Goethe’s tragedy — as the last installment of his four films exploring the “nature of power,
See full article at Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal »

Venice 2011. Feel the Temptation

  • MUBI
Aleksandr Sokurov loosely—one might even say wildly, fervently–adapts Goethe’s Faust with barely contained, gleeful passion to conclude his tetralogy of power (previously, all real biographical subjects: Lenin, Hitler, Hirohito).

The mise-en-scène breaks out of the fetid, murmuring stasis so evocative of those three films and is freed to wander in a malleable, Ruiz-like manner around a sumptuously dirty and worn old German town of stone and earth. After opening first with a Forest Gump-like descent of the camera from mirrored heavens flying down to the grimy, sprawling town, the second shot after this luxurious, fantastical shot introduces Faust (Johannes Zeiler) via the decomposing ash-purple penis of a corpse he is dissecting in poverty and philosophical inquiry. With no money for food let alone gravediggers, the man first approaches and then is chased, accompanied and pursued by (and later pursues himself) the town’s money-lender (Anton Adasinsky)—the film's devil.
See full article at MUBI »

Venice International Film Festival Announces 2011 Lineup

The line-up of the 68th Venice International Film Festival, which runs August 31st to September 10th, 2011, has been announced; and as usual, we were pleased to see a few genre films included. Read on for the details.

Films of primary interest to our readers are listed below; visit the official Venice International Film Festival website for the full rundown. The daily schedule of screenings will be announced after August 15th.

Venezia 68 - International competition of feature films, presented as world premieres

Ami Canaan Mann - Texas Killing Fields - USA

Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jeffrey Dean Morgan Abel Ferrara - 4:44 Last Day On Earth - USA

Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Paz de la Huerta, Natasha Lyonne Aleksander Sokurov - Faust - Russia

Johannes Zeiler, Anton Adasinskiy, Isolda Dychauk, Hanna Schygulla

Out of Competition

Mary Harron - The Moth Diaries - Canada, Ireland

Sarah Bolger, Sarah Gadon,
See full article at Dread Central »

Venice Film Festival 2011 Official Competition: Roman Polanski, Tomas Alfredson, George Clooney

Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, The Ides of March Tomas Alfredson – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy UK, Germany, 127' Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt Andrea ArnoldWuthering Heights UK, 128' Kaya Scodelario, Nichola Burley, Steve Evets, Oliver Milburn Ami Canaan MannTexas Killing Fields USA, 109' Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jeffrey Dean Morgan George Clooney – The Ides Of March [Opening Film] USA, 98' Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood Cristina ComenciniQuando La Notte Italy, 116' Claudia Pandolfi, Filippo Timi, Michela Cescon, Thomas Trabacchi Emanuele CrialeseTerraferma Italy, France, 88' Filippo Pucillo, Donatella Finocchiaro, Giuseppe Fiorello, Claudio Santamaria David CronenbergA Dangerous Method Germany, Canada, 99' Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel Abel Ferrara – 4:44 Last Day On Earth USA, 82' Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Paz de la Huerta, Natasha Lyonne William FriedkinKiller Joe USA, 103' Matthew McConaughey,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

David Cronenberg, Roman Polanski, Philippe Garrel: Venice 2011

Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender, A Dangerous Method Roman Polanski's Carnage, starring Oscar winners Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, and Oscar nominee John C. Reilly; David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, with Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung, Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud, and Keira Knightley as the woman in-between; and Aleksandr Sokurov's Faust, featuring Johannes Zeiler in the title role and veteran Hanna Schygulla, have been "secured" for the 68th Venice Film Festival, according to Nick Vivarelli in Variety. The Venice Film Festival's website makes no mention of any titles as yet, but Variety affirms that two other films to be screened at the festival [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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