Virtual Screening Room: Faust

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1994 • dir Jan Svankmajer w/Petr Cepek • 97 minutes

Famed Czech surrealist Jan Svankmajer is one of cinema’s most distinctive and influential animators. He also happens to be a favorite of Brattle programming, so we are pleased to present this streaming debut of one of his most engaging features.

Svankmajer’s retelling of the infamous fable of temptation and damnation borrows freely from Marlowe, Goethe, ancient folktales, and timeless myths. Told in his inimitable, phantasmagoric style, the film follows a lonely Czech businessman who sells his soul to the devil in return for 24 years of self-indulgence. A visually fantastic combination of live-action, claymation, puppet theatre, stop-motion animation, and other special effects, Svankmajer creates an unsettling universe presided over by diabolic life-size marionettes and haunted by sinister human messengers from hell.

“A totally bizarre mix of live action, animation and life-size puppets, there is both an unsettling nightmarish quality to this film, as well as an eccentric humour. Completely mad and not to be missed!”
BBC

“Throws you off balance more thoroughly than any other movie in town.”
The New Yorker

“A film which galvanizes the mind and astonishes the eye. In a word, magic.”
Time Out