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FAUST

Director: JAN ŠVANKMAJER

CZECH REPUBLIC • 1994 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY STEREO • 95 MIN


A MAN STEPS OUT OF THE PRAGUE SUBWAY, IS HANDED A MAP, AND SOON FINDS HIMSELF TRAPPED IN A BIZARRE WORLD INSPIRED BY THE FAUST LEGEND, COMPLETE WITH ALCHEMICAL SPELLS AND ENCOUNTERS WITH THE DEVIL.
Originally planned as a theatre production, Švankmajer’s reinvention of the Faust legend combines texts from Christopher Marlowe, Goethe, the German 19th century dramatist Christian Dietrich Grabbe, Charles Gounod, and the traditional Czech puppet play. Working with the stage and screen actor Petr Cepek, who plays the central role, Švankmajer sought a performance with no development, situated on the borders of dream and reality. A work of macabre humour and alchemical force, the film’s mix of life-size and miniature puppets, together with the clay heads familiar from Švankmajer’s short films, provides an extraordinary take on the nature of identity.

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