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The Film

Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau is the author of some of the most incredible works not only of silent cinema, but of film history. His are Nosferatu, The Last Laugh, Sunrise and Tabu, as dissimilar as pioneers in their aesthetic ambitions, as was Faust, his last film made in Germany. In a Germany plunged into crisis, Faust was a blockbuster made from money overseas at a time when the Europeans who had emigrated were building Hollywood, the factory of myths and dreams. An adaptation of the popular myth (sifted by Goethe) of the sage who sells his soul to the devil, which hid a fierce social critique among his folds. The impressive images are the fruit of the chiaroscuro of photography, the mastery of the framing and the pictorial illusion and the expressionist theatrical illusionism, that evokes the time of Murnau in the company of Max Reinhardt. The acting is a highlight: one of the greatest German actors, Emil Jannings (The Blue Angel) as the iconic Mefisto, the legend of the Swedish theater Gösta Ekman as Faust, and stars like William Dieterle, Camilla Horn and the dancer of the Moulin Rouge, Yvette Guilbert, immortalized by Toulouse-Lautrec.

The restoration

Luciano Berriatúa (in a collaboration of the Spanish Cinematheque with the Federal Film Archive of Berlin, the German Institute for Film Studies and the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation) was responsible for this restoration, the fruit of a thorough research and a rigorous look. At the beginning of the process, Berriatúa found several versions of the film from six different negatives, a consequence of a standard practice in the superproductions of the time in which it was usual to shoot with several cameras at the same time to have several negatives and thus to provide prints to the international market. The restoration was made from the shots and the frames with which Murnau made the edition released in Germany in 1926.


Fausto will be given a live soundtrack by the Galicia Symphony Orchestra, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2017. On this occasion the OSG will be directed by José Ramón Encinar and the singers will be the soprano Ilduara Perianes and the mezzosoprano María Rivera. The score that the Orchestra will play is the one composed by Jesús Torres, winner of the National Music Award in 2012, whose works have toured the most prestigious institutions and festivals in the world. A score released in 2009 at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, which is a creative work by right, beyond the simple underline and incidental music whose ambition equates it with an opera or a symphony. Torre, who structures his piece in nine movements, uses strategies such as contrast, an ascending structure and a special use of the human voice to give a personal and autonomous dimension to his work, which manages to offer a new aesthetic experience and open a new dimension in Murnau’s film.

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