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No, not Goethe's book, but FW Murnau's 1926 silent classic! The good folk at Masters of Cinema have very kindly sent on a copy of their Two-disc 80th Anniversary Special Edition of the film. And, for once, "special edition" actually means something: this is a "newly found domestic German print featuring completely different takes and much better resolution than the previously seen export print released outside of Germany". I'm going to review this on RSB soon and, if me and the Masters of Cinema folk can get it together, I'm going to review a good few of their other gems too.


Murnau, a perfectionist, shot multiple takes of each scene with only prime takes making the final German domestic cut of Faust. Only the prints made for export outside Germany were seen until recently, indeed this version was at one time thought to be the only version (it used discarded takes, errors, less impressive special effects, and human stand-ins for real animals). Using the nitrate duplicate negatives printed by UFA in 1926 (and an array of international sources) Murnau's favoured domestic German version of Faust has now been meticulously reconstructed by Luciano Berriatúa for Filmoteca Española from which this newly restored transfer is sourced.

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