(Faust: Eine Deutsche Volkssage)

  • Judith Rosenberg
    On Piano

Emil Jannings, Gösta Ekman, Camilla Horn, Yvette Guilbert,

Black-and-white cinematography was redefined in Murnau’s Faust: this is a film shot in darkness and light. Lotte Eisner’s elegiac description sets the mood for Murnau’s version of the legend, starring Emil Jannings as the subtly mischievous Mephistopheles, and Swedish actor Gösta Ekman as a subtly homoerotic Faust: “This film starts with the most remarkable and poignant images the German chiaroscuro ever created. The chaotic density of the opening shots, the light dawning in the mists, the rays beaming through the opaque air, are breathtaking. . . . No other director, not even Lang, ever succeeded in conjuring up the supernatural as masterfully as this. The entire town seems to be covered by the vast folds of a demon’s cloak (or is it a gigantic, lowering cloud?) as the demoniac forces of darkness prepare to devour the powers of light.”

  • Hans Kyser
Based On
  • Goethe, Marlowe, and German folk sagas

  • Carl Hoffmann
  • Silent
  • with German intertitles and English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 107 mins
  • Murnau-Stiftung