The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man’s soul.IMBD Synopsis
Maybe I’m a little biased, but I really enjoyed this movie! I studied German Expressionist filmmaking for my senior thesis in college and never got to see this classic film directed by F.W. Murnau.
If you are curious about German Expressionism, feel free to check out this article I wrote once upon a time. (Background and History)
The Germans, especially from 1919-1935, had a talent for creating beautifully stylized sets that stand the tests of time. I usually watch these movies alone because each film becomes a wholly new and wonderful experience for me.
Faust was no exception. I loved its aesthetically transporting visuals. I think this has everything to do with WHY Murnau made it. This movie isn’t about entertaining people as much as it is about relaying to its audience a powerful message about good and evil AND how love is the world’s strongest force.
Fellow German Expressionist artist stated,
It is not extreme reality that the camera perceives, but the reality of the inner event, which is more profound, effective and moving than what we see through everyday eyes. . . I cannot stress too strongly how important it is for a designer to shun the world seen every day and to attain its true sinews. . . he must penetrate the surface of things and reach their heart. He must create mood (Stimmung) even though he has to safeguard his independence with regard to the object seen merely through everyday eyes. It is this which makes him an artist.Paul Leni in regards to his film Waxworks (1924)
I didn’t have to slug my way through this movie. I breathed it in!
This film flowed seamlessly, except for one part. At least for me! I didn’t understand the point of the demon trying to mess with/ woo the woman. I thought maybe it was to show the contrast between Faust falling for and wooing Gretchen and the demon’s escapades.
Besides this, I didn’t really think about how to critique its pacing or the acting. I just enjoyed its story.
I admire films that reach out to teach profound lessons in their imagery and script. So much of this movie’s genius came from the sets and acting of course. But the true heart of this film lies in those still moments where we see humanity, and the common battle for each and every soul!
Personal Taste 9/10
It’s obvious I loved this movie. 🙂 Again, this might just be a case where I found a movie that was my taste.
It goes without saying I highly recommend this movie. Don’t be deterred by its age, or the fact it’s a silent movie!
My favorite moment is when Faust sits on a cliff’s edge after he’s tasted the world’s vices and temptations. At that moment he looked out, unsatisfied and just a little broken. I thought it gives meaning to the scripture “Wickedness never was happiness.”
Hope to see you again! Thanks for reading.