First of all, I did not really enjoy the movie. It dragged. There were a good thirty minutes that easily could have been left out, with little detriment to the film. Being a re-imagining of the tale of Faustus, the film enters that dangerous territory of hit-or-miss. And for me, it missed; I prefer the more succinct original version. Though to be fair to the film, the ending was sufficiently German. Happy endings are for schwächlinge.

That aside, the scene I’m analysing is the Villa Wedding Scene, wherein Hendrick is married to some German whose name I never caught. I apologise. I particularly enjoyed the opening, establishing shot, that shows the Villa behind a set of iron bars. Obvious imagery, Hendrick living in a gilded cage, nonetheless effective. The camerawork throughout the scene, leading up to the arrival of the general, is highly reminiscent of traditional love scenes: the bride and groom walking down the stairs, the tracking shots, people watching quietly. It serves as a ironic reminder of how twisted Hendrick’s life is. He isn’t marrying for love, but marrying because the Nazi party, perhaps subtly, told him to.

The final reminder that the Nazi party is truly in charge is the arrival of the General. On a night that should be all about the bride, (and I guess the groom) all activities stop for the general. All eyes are on him, and he even just strolls into their home, gives his approval, without being prompted, and departs.

The sound in the scene was deceptively extra-diegetic. We are shown shots of a band, but the instrumentation in the band did not even remotely match the music we were hearing. In the middle of a muted trumpet solo, the alto sax player was hamming it up. Definitely faking it. Film was terrible about that.


3 thoughts on “MeFausto

  1. Truthfully I felt the same way regarding this film. It was very dragged out and I did not thoroughly enjoy it. Certain scenes could have been condensed.
    The Villa Wedding scene is a very unique scene within this film. It is interesting that you mention how similar the scene is to traditional love scenes. The spectator sees a tracking shot of the newly weds coming down the stairs while everyone around them is simply watching. I had not thought about it, but it is true that Hendrick is not marrying for love at all. Once again he is merely just following orders given to him by the Nazis.
    I too certainly noticed how much this scene emphasized the power of the Nazi party and the Nazi general more specifically. When the party arrives, attention immediately shifts from the married couple to the Nazis. The band also stops playing and does not continue until given permission by a Nazi upon their departure.
    I could be wrong, but I thought the sound present in this scene was actually diegetic. I could have very well been deceived, failing to recognize that the band was not actually playing anything similar to what we were hearing.

    • I probably was not too clear on that “deceptively extra-diegetic” part. What the band on screen is playing never matched up with what music we were hearing. I cannot say why, though.

  2. I agree with your statement about the film being a bit dragged out. There were some portions during which I almost felt myself nodding off… Until the scenes started getting choppy again, with all the cutting from scene to scene and such.
    The wedding scene intrigued me as well; it strikes me that Hendrik is not marrying for the sake of love or passion, but for the sake of appeasing the state – especially emphasized by the general’s statement towards his wife, which was something along the lines of (trying to remember from memory), “May you bear many healthy German boys.” Furthermore, the almost ridiculous grandiosity of the scene as well as the great emphasis placed on the general’s and the Nazi’s appearance only serves to bolster the portrayed power of the Nazi regime, as it dominates not only in the political sense (nationally) but even within the German household. Also, I find it important to note that the music stopped playing and immediately began upon the corresponding arrival and departure of the Nazis; the members of the party almost acted collectively as puppets of the political regime, even within the boundaries of such a personal event.

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