We all have an art form we prefer above others. Some people have an immense love for photography while others are more interested in watching a thrilling play and some of us can stare for hours at the most impressive paintings.
First time directors Philipp Humm and Dominik Wieschermann decide to bring those many forms together in one film while telling the story of Faust. “The Last Faust” might not be everyone’s taste but it’s certainly an intriguing, expressive and unique movie.
According to Humm, most of us are familiar with the first story about Faust but not so much with the second one. That’s why he wanted to tell both of them. “The Last Faust” takes you to the year 2059, to Dr. Goodfellow (Steven Berkoff) who will guide you through Faust’s story.
A story that starts when God and the Devil aka Mephisto (Glyn Dilley) bet that the latest can’t corrupt the good and faithful scientist Dr. Faust (Martin Hancock). Mephisto descends to earth and visit Faust in the form of a poodle. The encounter between Mephisto and Faust will change Faust’s life forever. Not entirely in the way he hoped for.
What he wanted was unlimited access to knowledge, he’s being confronted with unfulfilled lust, multiple deaths, beautiful women, betrayal and loneliness. Wanting to escape the unlimited and dissatisfied lust, Faust decides to travel back to the Greek mythology thanks to an AI Robot he created.
Throughout his journey there, he meets historic figures such as Helena of Troyes and a Greek emperor. Sadly, there are more tragic events coming his way. How much will Faust be able to take before he crumbles down completely?
During the Q&A, Humm mentioned that watching this movie feels very much like watching a Shakespearean play. That’s incredibly true as we got the same feeling. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is something we’ll leave up to you.
The reason why that ‘theatre play’ vibe is immensely noticeable in “The Last Faust” is because of the dialogue. Don’t expect modern phrases or abbreviations such as #YOLO or #FOMO. No, instead you get many of those “if thou…” and also rhyming text. It’s certainly a very unique experience watching a film that’s written like that.
Another reason why this movie is very refreshing is the way it was made. It’s mostly filmed from the front perspective and so it feels like you’re sitting in a seat at a theatre and watching the play from one angle. Berkoff is also speaking into the camera as he tells Faust his story and because of that, you get the impression that he’s addressing the audience directly.
What makes this film such a diverse one is the fact that the usages of many different types of art (making). You won’t only see powerful and energetic videos made by Wieschermann but there’s also expressive, moving and colourful photography involved. Both the videos and photos are being accompanied by stunningly performed abstract dance moves. This combination of film, photography, and dance is really what brings this movie comes to life.
While the story is both set in the future and the past, it still feels very modern. This is because of the feelings and references. Feelings like greed, love, lust, being lost and wanting power will always be in every society. Whether it’s the one in the future, the Greek one that happened thousands of years ago or the one we live in right now, those elements will always be there. Humm decided to give a small modern touch to this film with references to Harvey Weinstein and his allegations.
Berkoff (“Steven Berkoff’s Tell Tale Heart”, “44 Inch Chest”) was present during the Q&A and he talked about this project and Faust with a lot of passion and joy. That love shines through in his performance. As Goodfellow, he tells Faust’s story right before the apocalypse of the world and Berkoff does that with such flair, intensity, and professionalism. This results in a fascinating and excellent performance.
He’s not the only one who makes this film a pleasant one. There’s also Hancock as Faust and Dilley as Mephisto. Hancock (“Brakes”, “Rough and Ready”) puts on the most devious, sinister but also loving and grieving Faust thanks to his wonderful and entertaining acting. Dilley (“Crowhurst”, “Once Upon a Time in London”) brings that dark and humoristic side of Mephisto to this movie in an amusing but also evil-ish way.
There’s absolutely no denying that “The Last Faust” was made with immense passion, dedication, and craftsmanship. The result will not be loved by everyone but it’s still a very peculiar, unique, beautiful and expressive movie.
“The Last Faust” is available on all major digital platforms including Amazon, iTunes and Sky Store from the 2nd of December.