St. John's Chapel:
For the 21st Film Festival in 2012 we introduced the idea of using St Johns Chapel as an atmospheric home to present a series of Gothic/Horror themed silent films accompanied live on the organ by Ben Hall, professor of Music at the University of Chichester – we opened with the Lon Chaney version of ‘Phantom of the Opera’. With the support of Paul Stanley, projectionist, the immediate success of this initiative, became a regular highlight of the Festival each year, going on to include ‘Nosferatu’, ‘Cabinet of Dr Caligari’, ‘Vampyr’, ‘The Lodger’, and ‘Faust’ which Ben has selected to repeat to celebrate this venture. – Roger Gibson.
We are delighted to welcome back Ben Hall on organ to repeat his magnificent arranged composition for Murnau’s silent 1926 masterpiece.
Murnau’s last German film features astonishing photography, magnificent art direction, and special effects which retain the power to amaze. Freed from the constraints of psychological narrative, Murnau’s mastery of cinematic technique places ‘Faust, Eine Deutsche Volkssage’ (‘Faust: A German Folktale’) at the pinnacle of the silent era, its barrage of visceral and apocryphal imagery contrasting with the simplicity and directness of its spiritual theme.
In collaboration with the screenwriter Hans Kyser, Murnau fused the script from German folk legend and the works of Goethe, Gounod, and Marlowe (particularly using the latter’s tone).
‘Faust's tale is a classic one of a man who sells his soul to the devil. In an attempt to gain control of the Earth, Mephisto (Emil Jannings) wagers an angel (Werner Fuetterer) that he can corrupt the soul of the elderly professor Faust (Gosta Ekman). As the Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride demonically through the sky, Mephisto towers over Faust’s hometown unleashing a plague that spreads amongst its inhabitants.
Faust, unable to find a cure for the citizens who are dropping dead around him, renounces both God and science invoking the aid of Satan through a mysterious book that he chances across. Murnau, a perfectionist, shot multiple takes of each scene with only prime takes making the final German domestic cut of ‘Faust’.
Germany 1927 F.W.Murnau 107m
Tickets £10 (Friends/Students £8)
Tue 15 Oct 20:30 (St Johns Chapel)