FAUST (JAN SVANKMAJER, 1994) - 5/5
The Czech surrealist animator, Jan Svankmajer, adapts the familiar story of Dr Faustus, a discontent who sells his soul for 24 years of voluptuous living, power and knowledge. Served by Lucifer’s minion Mephistopheles, Faustus, living through a puppet play enjoys the unholy riches of the dark arts and temptation. The morality play setting cast with wooden puppets emphasises his hollowness as a character and foreshadows his capacity for eternal fires. Leaving repentance too late, the sinner follows what appears to be his set destiny; a trap of damnation from which he could never have escaped. Svankmajer, a craftsman of the creepy, once again inspires a deeply unsettling rendition of a classic story. Masterful and terrifying.