Идеальный муж. Комедия [An Ideal Husband. Comedy]

Идеальный муж. Комедия
Director: Konstantin Bogomolov
Writer: Konstantin Bogomolov
Based on: Oscar Wilde‘s An Ideal Husband and The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as Anton Chekhov‘s Three Sisters, Johann Wolfgang Goethe‘s Faust and William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet
Cast: Nadezhda Borisova, Andrei Burkovsky, Rosa Khairullina, Svetlana Kolpakova, Alexei Kravchenko, Maxim Matveev, Igor Mirkurbanov, Darya Moros, Vasily Nemirovich-Danchenko, Yana Osipova, Artyom Panchik, Vladimir Panchik, Aleksandr Semchev, Marina Sudina, Pavel Chinarev, Sergei Chonishvili, Pavel Vashchilin
Part of: Wiener Festwochen
Seen on: 27.5.2016

Plot:
Lord (Igor Mirkurbanov) is a famous Russian singer, about to be honored for his life’s work in the Kremlin. The prize is delivered by his friend Robert (Alexei Kravchenko) who is the Minister for Rubber Goods. But their partying finds a quick end when they are contacted by Cheavley, the main rival of Robert’s wife Gertrude. Cheavley has video evidence that Lord and Robert are actually lovers and threatens to expose them. In the world of Russian politics, intrigue and bigotry that cannot stand.

An Ideal Husband is a sometimes haphazard but always enthusiastic amalgamation of various texts that are full of political barbs, irony and sarcasm. While it was a bit long and seeing it in Vienna made it feel a little diluted, I did enjoy most of it.

idealnimuzh Continue reading

Faust – Eine deutsche Volkssage [Faust: A German Folk Legend] (1926) + Tobias Schwencke and Ensemble Resonanz

Faust – Eine deutsche Volkssage
Director: F. W. Murnau
Writer: Hans Kyser, Gerhart Hauptmann
Based on: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s play
Cast: Gösta Ekmann, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn

Faust was shown in the Konzerthaus with live music by Tobias Schwencke played by the Ensemble Resonanz as part of their Film and Music Cycle. [Here are my reviews of the other shows in the cycle.]

Plot:
Mephisto (Emil Jannings) is pretty much screwing the world over, sending disease and hunger and death. To put an end to all this, an archangel delivers a wager to him: if Mephisto can get the scholar Faust’s (Gösta Ekmann) soul, the earth is his. If Faust stays strong, Mephisto has to stop. So Mephisto comes to earth to tempt Faust: he gives him knowledge and youth at first and later helps him to get through to the young Marguerite (Camilla Horn).

I still think Faust is a crappy story (even when it’s not told by Goethe), but my goodness, Murnau is one hell of a filmmaker. I seriously loved the film. Unfortunately I did not love the music that accompanied it.

Continue reading

Faust (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

[Crossposted.]

Faust is the most famous work by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. [I’m only talking about the first part here because I don’t like Goethe and even people who like Goethe think that part two sucks.]

Plot:
Mephistopheles/The Devil bets God that he can tempt Faust, an intelligent scholar and a great thinker. God laughs off Mephistopheles claims, but Faust actually makes a deal with Mephistopheles: His soul against a lifetime of knowledge and pleasure.

Probably everybody in Austria in a secondary education has had to read Faust. Since I spent a year in Brazil during my school time, I fell through the cracks. Which was just as well for me because ever since I read “Heidenröslein” and its rape-apologia (more explicit in the first version, a little more insidious in the second), I have hated Goethe with the fiery passion of a thousand dying suns.
Anyway, I’m telling you this because I wanted you to know where I’m coming from when I’m saying: I’ve been meaning to read Faust for almost 10 years now, because I wanted to rectify my embarassing lack of education in that regard. And I expected Faust to be so great that I would have to, grudgingly, proclaim Goethe’s genius. But actually, Faust sucked.

Continue reading