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Faust (1994)

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Faust + The Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer + Alice
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Import, NTSC
  • Subtitles: Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Imports
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007WU3FB2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,815 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

A very free adaptation of Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus', Goethe's 'Faust' and various other treatments of the old legend of the man who sold his soul to the devil. Svankmajer's Faust is a nondescript man who, after being lured by a strange map into a sinister puppet theatre, finds himself immersed in an indescribably weird version of the play, blending live actors, clay model animation and giant puppets.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantasy to dream with again and again. January 21, 2000
Wonderful blend of real-time and stop-motion storytelling by a master of the surreal. An apparently ordinary everyman is led by curiousity into a dilapidated building which turns out to be a strange cross of theatre, a puppeteer's workshop, and an alchemical laboratory. Suddenly, he finds himself becoming the legendary character Dr. Faust, selling his soul to the devil to gain magical powers.
Jan Svankmajer is the real sorcerer here and blends stage sets with real settings, seven foot puppets with live actors, and makes magic of it all.
The film has been dubbed for English audiences, but I have never seen a less obtrusive film dub. The voice performances are excellent and actually add to the surreal quality of the film.
Just one caution: This is not a "family" film. There is some adult material, so don't confuse this with Bass and Rankin style claymation.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faust - as dark as it can get July 17, 2002
The thing about Jan Svankmajer is that he makes you rethink how you view reality. When dealing with the supernatural, this plays perfectly.
I need not go into the details of the story of Faust (this takes from 2 of the legends of Faust). What I will say is that it does what a great thriller film should do... scare without disgusting. The problem with modern horror is the intent on lots of blood and gore. That's not to say that is absent here, but it's used in such a surreal way that goes beyond the concept of hollywood. The use of Puppets (marionettes are used a lot) makes this unique. In fact, the puppets look so worn down, it adds to the atmosphere that something evil is lurking here.
There are many elements that don't make sense while watching this. However, when the end arrives, you will understand everything that happened. No loose ends are left for the imagination, but at the same time, everything is left to it as well. Brilliant.
This is, to an extent, an "Arts" film for the US, especially since it's foreign. Don't let this disuade you from checking it out, and don't give up on it early because it's wierd. Sit it out, and you should be pleasantly suprised in the end.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark alchemy August 14, 2002
Jan Svankmajer was during the 70's the headmaster of the black theater of Prague and actually the mind of the surrealist group in this same city. Black humor, hermetist thought, shocking analogies, traditional czec puppets and different animation techniques are the common elements in his films that normally work like a deformed mirror of human behaviour using fine irony and caricature to show us the absurd of social conventions and its repressive effects, and the thin border that separate man and automaton in mechanizied societies.

Goethe's and Marlowe's Faust, an opera of french composer Gounot and dark alchemy are the inspiration of this surreal, original and disturbing film, where he transfers to the famous myth his anguish about human alienation, blending live-action and human puppets with cool stop-motion animation and combining much of the ingredients and techniques of his previous films. In my opinion this film and his Jabberwocky, a free adaptation of Lewis Carrol's absurd poem, are two excellent examples of the posibilities of imagination and cinema .
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pay's worth it! February 29, 2004
This was simply the most visually and conceptually mesmerizing film I've seen in many years. It seamlessly melds the classic "Faust" story (a man selling his soul to the devil for a lifetime of earthly powers but who desperately regrets it at the end of his days) with modern-day capitalist society seen from the arresting perspective of Prague, The Czech Republic---where communism fell only recently, in 1989, and where people are still adjusting to the monumental cultural shift therein.
Even though the film is mostly silent, it's hard to take your eyes off the screen. Svankmejer is almost never predictable, and the surrealism and magic realism he infuses the film with keeps you constantly guessing what's coming next, and usually finding yourself unable to do so correctly. Much of it reminds me of "Alice in Wonderland"---you are transported into a parallel universe where all sorts of bizarre inexplicable things keep happening, it all makes no sense yet it does make sense. Of course, Svankmejer's famoust clay-mation plays a HUGE part in creating this surreal otherworld (he did the clay-mation for a couple of Peter Gabriel's videos, most famously "Sledgehamer"). After a while you simply give up and just sit back and just EXPERIENCE the film without trying to put it into any sort of predictable logical structure---which is exactly how you later start to see one emerging.
Truly, cinematic artistry of the highest order.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uniquely Czech twist on the classic tale December 23, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This is a very good retelling of the FAUST legend, borrowing evenly from Goethe & Marlowe's versions...but it is also a unique entity in itself, in that it mixes in the Surreal--yes, but not just any surrealism but a surrealism with a distinctly CZECH flavor...This film certainly pays indirect homage to Franz Kafka, and has a wry, dark, very Czech sense of humor to it all throughout. This film made me laugh out loud with wicked laughter more than once. If you've ever read/liked Hasek, Hrabal, Kundera, Monikova, et. al. you will love this movie.
I must state in conclusion that my review is biased; I'm positively in love with most all of Svankmajer's works, and with Czech writers/literature/cinema in general. But his version of FAUST is by far my favorite. (That someone could give this film only 1 star blows my mind; That's verging on slander, IMHO)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, quirky amusement.
Definitely one of the weirdest films I've come across, but that's not a complaint. The director, whose name I'm too dumb and lazy to spell, has created a truly unique vision of the... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Joe Finsternis
5.0 out of 5 stars Standard for good surrealist art.
I gave a five star rating for the following reasons:

1. Scholarship: I own have read the original stories that this movie was based on and I think the film adaptation is... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Razor
4.0 out of 5 stars Outrageous adaptation!
Jan Svankmajer made a clever adaptation about one of the everlasting classics of the literature, Faust. Read more
Published on January 10, 2011 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Please continue to distribute this stunning and wonderfully sinister...
This is perhaps one of the most sucessful movie adaptions to the Faust legend or play of all time and so far the most honest I have ever seen. Read more
Published on July 27, 2009 by The Hermit
5.0 out of 5 stars ingenious
Filmmaker Jan Svankmajer is a genius at what he does... Another obvious thing to say here is "Faust" is absolutely essential viewing to anyone that loves stop-motion and... Read more
Published on June 18, 2009 by 2 cents
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern retelling of the Faust myth
This quirky movie bears seeing more than once. For one thing, it's filled with characters that appear repeatedly, something that could be hard to recognize unless you have the... Read more
Published on January 13, 2009 by wiredweird
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazon Recommends III: Jan Svankmajer's Faust
Hello again from this particular aisle of the abstract retail market.

Along with the Jiri Barta collection, the recommendation of Jan Svankmajer's Faust comes as no... Read more
Published on November 19, 2008 by PolarisDiB
5.0 out of 5 stars Did get it the first time round.
I purchased this title on a bit of a whim, and after viewing it for the first time I put it on my shelf thinking I would never watch it again. Read more
Published on August 5, 2008 by Jared Turner
3.0 out of 5 stars SLAP IN THE FACE
I believe that a dubbed soundtrack in such a high level movie resembles something like a slap in the face of the viewer. Read more
Published on November 11, 2007 by Rodrigo P. Cesar
4.0 out of 5 stars "How Should I Know, It's Latin" ~ A Demonic Guide To Higher Truth
A flyer passed out by some innocuous stranger on the street containing a roadmap to a location circled in red, an egg unexpectedly found hidden in the middle of a loaf of bread... Read more
Published on May 6, 2007 by Brian E. Erland
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