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Faust [DVD]

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Johannes Zeiler, Anton Adasinsky, Isolda Dychauk
  • Directors: Alexander Sokurov
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Aug. 2012
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007XV2JUI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,620 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Aleksandr Sokurov directs this German-language adaptation of the classic tale about a man who sells his soul to the Devil. The story, woven into the fabric of Western culture thanks to the influential theatrical adaptations by playwrights Christopher Marlowe and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, follows a scientist, Faust (Johannes Zeiler), in search of knowledge. However, while in Goethe's version Faust is in search of the secrets of the universe, Sokurov's scientist has far more base motives. Obsessed with the beautiful Margarete (Isolda Dychauk), Faust makes a deal with the Devil's representative on Earth, the Moneylender (Anton Adasinsky), to gain the secrets that will win Margarete's heart, but what price will the Moneylender extract in return?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The old German tale is cautionary. Whatever soul may be (integrity, for example), it's something to be prized and protected. Once lost in life, it's irredeemably lost and may be lost in other lifetimes as well if they exist.

Desire for earthly knowledge over that of the divine was the central theme of the original story. Here in this fine film version (Russian made, German dialogue) Faust mainly desires sex, not earthly knowledge. He is smitten by a young nubile beauty, the daughter of a coarse peasant who treats her daughter (known as Margarete) as a prized piece of property. Beauty such as hers must not be squandered. It must be used to acquire further property. And so the daughter, always dressed in tight corsets and cumbersome hooped dresses, is watched and protected. But lurking on the perimeter of social affairs in the village is Faust, a middle-aged professor of science and philosophy. Magarete notices this, her curiosity for him aroused. Bashful, modest and inexperienced she may be, but her innocence does not blind her to the ways of the world. She understands what Faust represents and wants.

Their glances are furtive, their chances to speak slim, as Margarete is always chaperoned when walking outside. Much of what they communicate is done almost telepathically.

In the local graveyard during a somber funeral and burial they stand next to one another in a small crowd. All eyes are on the coffin as it is lowered into the ground. Faust gently moves his hand toward hers. They touch. She looks up at him, a chaste smile on her beautiful, pure face. He looks straight ahead, not daring to be seen looking into her cheerful eyes.

After this we know what must follow. Faust does too, but Margarete cannot be procured by orthodox means.
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Angst ridden, beautifully detailed and rendered German film about the seminal myth, founded upon selling out the soul to the deville, and detailing the troubles which arise from the formal exchange.

Beautifully composed, replete with allegorical poetic symbolism rippling throughout, the film is a shaken mixture between the "Hourglass Sanatorium" and Tarkovsky's dreamworld with a dash of Haneke's "The Castle"; a type of left field wander through the layers of the mind into the interior.

If you have the patience, fortitude, intelligence and imagination to work your way through the cinema of the soul, then this will lead you around a philosophical labyrinth and then drop you off, onto a barren desolate world of an uninhabited interior.

Shot in an experimental exploratory style, set in a medieval city, but depicting life during the 1800's, it is a filmic treat of exploration.

A surreal journey into desires, dreams, wants and how it matches against reality. German with English subtitles, it is also a brilliant way to spreche sie deutsche, as the pronunciations bring the language back to the memory banks.

Look within the allegories, metaphors and myths to understand this film.
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Format: DVD
Excellent! Just one small secret: most probably you won't appreciate it fully after your first viewing.Be patient.When watching it next time,listen carefully to all the dialogues.You may have missed something important last time! For one thing Darren Aronofsky was right - it may become a life changing experience ("it's not about good vs evil, because there is no good left in this world"). It's deep, deep, deep...
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I bought this film because it won the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival (2011). The film was difficult. I mean it required a lot of attention and focus from the viewer especially with the added difficulty of reading the subtitles before they disappear. Though I am used to watching subtitled films, I found this one a bit challenging because the subtitles would disappear so quickly, and sometimes I had to rewind or pause the film in order to take in the dialogue. I think if the subtitles' pace was a bit slower and the font a bit larger, watching the film would have been a much easier and pleasant experience.

I think I made a mistake by watching the film without first reading Goethe's Faust and Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus. My background of the Faust legend was not sufficient to truly appreciate the film in its entirety. I really recommend those who want to watch this film to read more about Faust. At least, you should have some background information on the topic from the Internet; Wikipedia for example. What I am going to do now is to read Goethe's Faust and watch another Faust film directed by the F.W. Murnau in 1926.

The silver lining of this film is that it introduced me to this legend and made me curious to read and learn more about it and that's why I do not feel bad after watching this somewhat challenging film.

Watching this film reminded me of other directors such as Andrei Tarkovsky (Stalker), and Wojciech Jerzy Has (The Hour-Glass Sanatorium). If you have already watched for any of these directors and liked their films, then you are very likely to love this one, too.

The directing, acting, the cinematography, the setting, the costumes were all great and evocative of the era in which this story took place.
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