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Lesson Faust (1994)

Faust (original title)
A very free adaptation of Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus', Goethe's 'Faust' and various other treatments of the old legend of the man who sold his soul to the devil. Svankmajer's Faust is a ... See full summary »

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6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Petr Cepek ...
Jan Kraus
Vladimír Kudla
Antonin Zacpal
Jirí Suchý
Viktorie Knotková
Jana Mézlová
Miluse Straková
Josef Fiala
Martin Radimecký
Ervín Tomendál
Frantisek Polata
Josef Chodora
Karel Vidimský
Petr Meissel
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Storyline

A very free adaptation of Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus', Goethe's 'Faust' and various other treatments of the old legend of the man who sold his soul to the devil. Svankmajer's Faust is a nondescript man who, after being lured by a strange map into a sinister puppet theatre, finds himself immersed in an indescribably weird version of the play, blending live actors, clay model animation and giant puppets. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

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Release Date:

7 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fausto  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Czech Republic's official submission to 67th Academy Award's Foreign Language in 1995. See more »

Quotes

Faust: How comes it then that thou art now out of hell with me?
Mefistofele: Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it. Thinks thou that I, who saw the face of God and tasted the eternal joys of heaven, am not tormented with ten thousand hells in being deprived of everlasting bliss?
See more »

Connections

Version of Faust (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Surrealist film that doesn't suck!
8 July 2007 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Surrealism tends to fall in one of 2 categories:

(1) Random, confounding, absurd images best enjoyed under the influence of psychomorphic drugs

(2) Careful, structured, lucid themes augmented by unusual visuals, all of which is designed to raise our understanding beyond what is "real"

Or, I could also say that Surrealism tends to fall in one of 2 categories:

(1) Sucky movies

(2) Awesome movies

I'm happy to report that in both cases, this film is a #2. It can be compared with the masterpieces of Jean Cocteau (Orphee, Beauty & the Beast), or if you prefer the modern stuff it can be compared with Terry Gilliam's early work. Svankmajer has that same creative spirit, the same eye for the bizarre and yet the same intelligence in presentation that makes for great art. He also has a slightly disturbing edge.

This is a great film for profound cinephiles as well as casual filmgoers in the mood for something completely different. This isn't simply a masturbatory showcase of "how much weird & pointless stuff we can throw at you", the way many famous Surrealists operate. Rather, this roots itself with a solid, philosophical foundation & excellent dialogue and takes it to the next level with creative visuals. Svankmajer has a fantastic sense of humour, too, so you never get the feeling that he's some pompous, pretentious jerk showing off what he can do with a camera.

This movie's hallmark, as with much of Svankmajer's work, is the fantastic use of puppetry. It can be both comedic and chilling, and it definitely puts you into a mind-warping state of mind which is perfect for a tale of this scope.

I'm rating this a 10/10, and you can see by my voting history that I don't give 10s casually. This is truly a fantastic work.

An important note: You should really read Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus" before watching this movie. And be sure it's the MARLOWE version (1604), not the Goethe version (1806) titled "Faust". Yes, the title of this movie is misleading.


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