Thursday, June 30, 2011

#344: Faust

Directed by: F.W. MURNAU
1926, TSPDT Rank #438

As F.W. Murnau's last German film, and his film preceding the masterpiece Sunrise, Faust comes as a significantly disappointing experience. The visuals in this film are fantastic, and are why it is watchable enough for two hours. However the other elements of this film are both heavyhanded and too minimal. It feels as if Murnau is grasping for something grand and spectacular, and giving it to us with the visuals, but backing it up with thin drama and bad pacing. I personally think that the story of Faust in the way that it was approached was too much for Murnau, and he actually reached much higher heights with the smaller scale story of Sunrise in Hollywood (of all places) the following year. Basically, the difference between the quality of those two films is that Sunrise is a lasting and masterful work of art, and Faust relies too much on grand visuals and ambitions that may have been enough to carry the film in the 1926, but today it feels overbearing and unsatisfying. Not a bad film by any means, but it was disappointing based on my expectations.

(Rating: 6/10)

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