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Courtesy of International Film Circuit

Law Building
1001 Bissonnet
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Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov

2011, in German with English subtitles

Russia

140 minutes

Showtimes

Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion, this idiosyncratic and playful reinvention of Goethe’s classic play marks the return of Aleksandr Sokurov (Russian Ark; Alexandra). Sokurov’s Faust immediately overthrows Goethe by adopting a broadly comic treatment grounded in scatological touches, slapstick, and a nonstop barrage of dialogue. Mephistopheles (referred to here as the Moneylender and played by Anton Adasinsky) is depicted as a clumsy and grotesque figure, while Faust is largely stripped of dignity and rendered absurd in Johannes Zeiler’s tour de force performance. Reversing and subverting the original in a number of other respects, Sokurov positions Faust’s craving of knowledge and power as the source of 20th-century evils. Distinguished by its elaborate camera movement, intricate production design, and rich location work, this Faust is a feast for the eyes. – Film Society of Lincoln Center