#78 (DF) - Faust

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Released as a Dual format August 2014. 

Synopsis: 

Murnau's last German film features astonishing photography, magnificent art direction, and special effects which retain the power to amaze. Freed from the constraints of psychological narrative, Murnau s mastery of cinematic technique places Faust, eine deutsche Volkssage [Faust: A German Folktale] at the pinnacle of the silent era, its barrage of visceral and apocryphal imagery contrasting with the simplicity and directness of its spiritual theme. In collaboration with the screenwriter Hans Kyser, Murnau fused Faust s script from German folk legend and the works of Goethe, Gounod, and Marlowe (particularly using the latter s tone). Faust s tale is a classic one of a man who sells his soul to the devil. In an attempt to gain control of the Earth, Mephisto (Emil Jannings) wagers an angel (Werner Fuetterer) that he can corrupt the soul of the elderly professor Faust (Gosta Ekman). As the Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride demonically through the sky, Mephisto towers over Faust s hometown unleashing a plague that spreads amongst its inhabitants. Faust, unable to find a cure for the citizens who are dropping dead around him, renounces both God and science invoking the aid of Satan through a mysterious book that he chances across. Murnau, a perfectionist, shot multiple takes of each scene with only prime takes making the final German domestic cut of Faust. Only the prints made for export outside Germany were seen until recent times; indeed this version was at one time thought to be the only version (it used discarded takes, errors, less impressive special effects, and human stand-ins for real animals). Using the nitrate duplicate negatives printed by UFA in 1926 (and an array of international sources) Murnau s favoured domestic German version of Faust has now been meticulously reconstructed by Luciano Berriatua for Filmoteca Espanola from which this newly restored transfer is sourced. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to be able to present the original German domestic cut of Faust for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK. 

Special Features:

  • Gorgeous 1080p transfer of the domestic German print, with original German intertitles and optional English subtitles
  • Full-length audio commentary by critics David Ehrenstein and Bill Krohn
  • A 20-minute video piece with critic Tony Rayns discussing the film
  • 40-PAGE BOOKLET with an essay by Peter Spooner, writing on the film by Éric Rohmer, and rare archival imagery
Faust
Can't wait to get this

Can't wait to get this release too, the inclusion of the domestic print is fantastic as well as the presentation of the International cut! 

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Incredible for it's time

Has been on my "to watch" list for a long time and was so pleased MoS released this one in all it's Blu-ray glory.

Saw this for the first time a few days back and was gobsmacked at some of the effects. Truly amazing for it's time. Exceeded all expectations.

Purchased this painlessly through the new website. Super quick delivery as always.

Can't wait to order the upcoming releases!

Beautiful job by Eureka

I recently bought this, really on the strength of Murnau's other work, since I'd heard of this version but never seen it.  I'm quite familiar with Goethe's play, and the story intrigues me;  although this turned out to have relatively little in common with Goethe's telling of the story, I thoroughly enjoyed Murnau's and Kyser's version in its own right.  Murnau's screen language Is often visually amazing, but the film is also entertaining as a narrative.  And it almost goes without saying that Eureka has done a brilliant job with both the transfer and its presentation.

All in all, a very happy purchase.

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What advice would you guys give to a first time viewer? Domestic or international cut?

Domestic...

uses the best shots from the principal camera and tighter editing.... no contest. 

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