The Last Faust, directed by Philipp Humm, is the newest manifestation of the Faustian covenant. Based on Faust I & II by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe set in a terrifying dystopian future. The technology of the world has turned against humanity, and Dr. Goodfellow (Berkoff) sits in seclusion recounting, for posterity, the story of his predecessor to his android, Paris (De La Renta). Through their interaction, the story of Faust’s bargain with the devil unfolds before us.
Steven Berkoff’s performance as the narrator of Faust’s (Handcock) journey through space and time in the pursuit of knowledge and pleasure is very stirring and full of passion. The Shakespearean cadence of his speech and storyteller will make you hang on his every word. The same goes for most of those involved, given their respective impassioned display of acting.
“…technology of the world has turned against humanity…”
The worst that can be said of this film is its editing. For the most part, it is as proper and immaculate as one would expect from a movie of such caliber. Yet there are one or two scenes that are cut so roughly that they seem more accidental than artfully inspired.
It is not shot like a conventional movie, but more akin to a stage performance set to film. And in this aspect, it is the most faithful to the source material as it was originally meant to be a play after all. Though its “modern art” method of performance will not be to the liking of all, the continued adherence to the spoken verse of the original text is still masterful.
Be you a patron of the theater, a longtime fan of Goethe, or simply seeking an introduction to the story of Faust, this movie satiates all. Even the casual observer will have a good time with this film.