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Two FAUSTS For The Price Of One High Quality DVD.,
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This review is from: Faust - Masters of Cinema series [DVD]  (DVD)
For many years F.W. Murnau's FAUST was known to me only through a few stills and a poster. About 15 years ago I came across a public domain video copy which had poor picture quality and Vivaldi's FOUR SEASONS as its soundtrack. Even with these handicaps I could tell that it was something very special and I longed for the day when I might see a better print of the film. A few years ago Kino International released a high quality DVD of FAUST with a newly commissioned score and I was ecstatic as I could now see the film close to the way it must have looked in 1926. Now Eureka has come out with this double DVD set which allows us for the first time to see the film the way Murnau intended. The Kino edition was based on the export version which differs in a number of ways from the original domestic version made available here. The biggest difference is in the way a number of scenes are treated. They are more expanded in the original and have a sharper picture quality than the export version. The ending of Faust and Gretchen ascending to Heaven is missing which seems rather strange as that is key to the film's theme of redemption through forgiveness. Thanks to this set you can view both versions and see the differences for yourself.
The performances especially by Emil Jannings as Mephistopheles and Camilla Horn as Gretchen are remarkable and the various special effects used are outstanding for the time and still have the power to astonish. As I said in an earlier review most silent film buffs think PANDORA'S BOX with Louise Brooks to be the apex of German silent cinema and maybe it is but I cast my vote for FAUST. Murnau was a true cinematic poet, a German Cocteau if you will, and all of his considerable skill as a cinematic storyteller went into the making of this film. Because of FAUST Murnau was brought to America where his next film would be SUNRISE. I have one minor quibble with this otherwise outstanding offering from Eureka. The new harp score for the domestic version lacks the power of Timothy Brock's orchestral score for the export version and although you have the option of using the Brock with the domestic version, it doesn't always match up because of the differences between the two films. Nevertheless if you love German silent cinema in general, Murnau's films in particular or romantic fantasy overall then this edition of FAUST is a must.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Jan 2011 02:30:48 GMT
Darren Bradley says:
Is the Faust - Masters of Cinema DVD playable in region 1 DVD players? The product description says it's region 2, but since the reviewer Chip Kaufmann has his location listed as North Carolina I'm holding out hope that it may actually be a region free disc.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2011 13:33:46 GMT
Chip Kaufmann says:
This particular DVD is Region 2 but Kino Lorber has a Region 1 one available which you can find on amazon USA or at Kino Lorber's website.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2012 20:20:28 BDT
ive just ordered this
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