6.7/10
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Faust (2011)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery | 15 November 2013 (USA)
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A despairing scholar sells his soul to Satan in exchange for one night with a beautiful young woman.

Director:

Aleksandr Sokurov

Writers:

Yuriy Arabov (book), Aleksandr Sokurov (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
15 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johannes Zeiler ... Heinrich Faust
Anton Adasinsky ... Moneylender
Isolda Dychauk ... Margarete
Georg Friedrich ... Wagner
Hanna Schygulla ... Moneylender's 'Wife'
Antje Lewald Antje Lewald ... Margarete's Mother
Florian Brückner Florian Brückner ... Valentin
Maxim Mehmet ... Valentin's Friend
Sigurður Skúlason Sigurður Skúlason ... Faust's Father
Andreas Schmidt Andreas Schmidt ... Valentin's Friend
Oliver Bootz Oliver Bootz ... Valentin's Friend
Jonas Jägermeyr Jonas Jägermeyr ... Valentin's Friend
Igor Orozovic ... Valentin's Friend
Jirí Hampl Jirí Hampl ... Valentin's Friend
Joel Kirby Joel Kirby ... Pater Philippe
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Storyline

A wise man sells his soul to Mefistofeles a Satan helper recognizing knowledge will bring no happiness to human life. A German Romanticism' portrait, on how love could overcome reason. Based on the true life of Dr. Johannes Faust, a German alchemist, who is supposed to have been killed when trying to discover the philosopher's stone.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Russia

Language:

German

Release Date:

15 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fausto See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,030, 15 November 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$58,104, 27 April 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Faust (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Salve Regina
(uncredited)
Gregorian chant
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User Reviews

 
disgusting = art ?
13 May 2012 | by Radu_ASee all my reviews

Well, I have to admit that I've never been much of a fan of Sokurov's work. Rather on the contrary, I've considered all of his films which I've seen fairly tedious. But, as in the case of 'Russian Ark', one cannot deny his talent for opulent visuals and creative camera movement. However, how one could possibly deem this very loose adaptation of 'Faust' laudable is completely beyond me - because there are far superior film versions of this well-known story, first and foremost among them Murnau's.

What has always bothered me about Sokurov is derogatory treatment of female characters and use of superfluous or gruesome details - in this case best exemplified by the opening shot of a man's penis, then revealed to be that of a corpse in the process of being harvested by Faust for research. Or a totally unnecessary scene involving two drunken Russians. All women here are mere furniture, especially Gretchen, who hardly appears enough to merit even a reduction to an object of desire. Instead, there are endless interchanges between a bewildered, impoverished Faust and a less-than-impressive Mephisto, who is portrayed more as a salesman than a demon, thereby depriving the tale of much of its zest, and unduly limiting the means of expression of the actor - definitely the worst Mephistopheles I've ever seen on either screen or stage.

What I find absolutely unforgivable though is the altered ending, which takes excessive liberty with the tale as it is - and I'm not talking about Goethe, even though it is already quite preposterous to title the film as an adaptation of Goethe's Faust, and then but quote a few lines from the play. While art, of course, is at liberty to interpret the lore of culture freely, one cannot let Romeo and Juliet live, for instance, because then the whole point of the story is gone.

That is pretty much what Sokurov does to Faust here - for the sake of demonstrating his ability as a director, he changes the entire story to the extent of being unidentifiable, with no regard to the audience, or just about any definition of taste. Unfortunately, such creative sadism meets with the masochism of entrenched festival juries, preferring the old and tiresome over the young and relevant, which to me is about the only explanation how this self-indulgent, boring, dreadful piece could win the Golden Lion - notwithstanding the fact that this award has already lost much of its luster.


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