Movie Diary 12/15/2008

faustFaust (F.W. Murnau, 1926). As is the case with so many movies I’m revisiting for an upcoming German cinema lecture series, I hadn’t seen this in at least twenty years, which is another way of saying it seems almost completely new. If it weren’t for a few second-hour longeurs, this movie would surely be regularly invoked, so to speak, with Nosferatu and The Last Laugh in ol’ F.W.’s upper tier. (Sunrise has a tier of its own.) The scenes of Mephisto appearing at the crossroads and then taking Faust on the flight over the German landscape show off Murnau’s rare twin gifts: meticulous craft and also a wild Romantic vision. He’ll give us a lot to talk about at the series.

Yes Man (Peyton Reed, 2008). Maybe. (full review 12/19)