29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Murnau bring Goethe's classic to life.,
This review is from: Faust [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Most people know the director F. W. Murnau for the silent vampire film Nosferatu but few explore his other works. This is a great shame because in many ways Faust is at least the equal of the excellent Nosferatu but has been overshadowed into relative obscurity. Fast flowing and dramatic with excellent acting and superb directing this is definitely one of the greatest of all silent horrors.
The story follows that of Goethe's classic two part tragedy - an alchemist turns to the daemon Mephisto(pheles)for the power to help people. The daemon lures Faust into sin with the promise of eternal youth but true love wins out in the end and Faust ascends to heaven.
Murnau uses his skill as a director to ensure that the audience is enthralled by the storyline and that the characters are multifaceted and complex. He does this without confusing the viewer and with great subtlety, something has which earnt him much respect over time.
The special effects on this film must have been truly groundbreaking for its day. The way that Faust flies over the world on Mephisto's cloak is especially well carried off. In another great scene the giant Mephisto draws his evil wings around the town as if to block out the light of heaven.
All in all I would say that this is one of the best films I have ever seen and I feel that it only grows better with repeated watchings. The only real problem with the film is that it is exceedingly moral and a could be seen as a bit "preachy", this may put off non-christian viewers. However, to those who have read the Faust books it is clear that this is because this is essential to the understanding of the god-fearing minds of the characters.
I would reccomend this Faust to anyone who is interested in the Silent Era or horror films in general, and if you liked the film I would also reccomend the books.
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Initial post: 11 Oct 2012 19:51:19 BDT
casio smith says:
nosferatu comes across as ridiculous to a modern audience, whereas this faust stands rock solid
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