EW Staff
January 23, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

Faust (Movie - 1994)

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
performer
Petr Cepek
director
Jan Svankmajer

We gave it a B

FAUST Petr Cepek (1994, Kino, unrated, $24.95, in English) It’s not exactly ”Sledgehammer,” but fans of Peter Gabriel’s animated music videos may want to check out this cerebral riff on the Faust legend. Czech animator Jan Svankmajer (Alice) employs a dazzling mix of live action, claymation, stop-motion animation, and marionette puppetry to tell the story of a present-day Everyman (Cepek) who inadvertently sells his soul to the devil. Excerpts from Christopher Marlowe’s verse translation of Goethe can be hard to follow. Still, the startling surreal moments — brooms sweeping by themselves, a table that spouts wine — are undeniably imaginative, even if they don’t match the lurid grandeur of F.W. Murnau’s 1926 version. B

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