Sunday Silents Presents FW Murnau’s “Faust”

Sunday Silents Presents FW Murnau’s “Faust”

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

2:00 pm | (1926) | Live accompaniment by Marta Waterman | Fantasy, Horror | 1h 56m

“Rejecting “realism,” the director employs filmic elements not to photograph the world but to re-envision it as a liquid canvas where the fantastic continuously infuses the mundane.” (Fernando Croce)

“The world of Faust is never intended to define a physical universe, but is a landscape of nightmares.” (Roger Ebert)

Emil Jannings stars in Murnau’s masterpiece of fantasy in the role of Mephistopheles. Who, after betting an Archangel he can corrupt a righteous man’s soul and destroy in him what is divine; offers the aging Faust an opportunity to relive his youth. The price being Faust’s soul and Mephistopheles’ dominion over earth.

Although faithful to the original in many ways, Murnau’s version does not exactly follow Goethe’s story:it actually combines Goethe’s work with Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and outraged some audiences by the “liberties” with the story. The result, however, is the ultimate of Expressionist chiaroscuro that is often overlooked in favor of other German Expressionist works–such as Murnau’s own Nosferatu. Which is puzzling,especially since it did nothing less than draw upon some of the most iconic imagery of good vs. evil in the world. Today, it is considered one of the most well shot and put together silent films.

A box office hit, Faust was Murnau’s last German film. Directly afterwards, he moved to Hollywood, under contract to William Fox, to direct Sunrise.

“Sunday Silents” is made possible by the generous support of:
UlsterCountyAlive.com
Jim DeMaio State Farm Insurance Agent, New Paltz
Just-A-Buck of New Paltz