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Director: Émile Cohl
Release Date:  June 18, 1910
Rating: ★★★½

le tout petit Faust © Émile Cohl‘Le tout petit Faust’ is a retelling of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust II using puppet animation.

This is arguably Émile Cohl’s best pure stop-motion film. Although the short is still only comprehensible if you know Goethe’s famous story, it greatly profits from elaborate sets and beautiful background art. There’s even some primitive evocation of emotion during the love scenes between Faust and Margarete. The devilish Mephisto fails to become scary, however, being just a doll just like the other dolls, but in different clothes.

Watch ‘Le tout petit Faust ‘ yourself and tell me what you think:


‘Le tout petit Faust ‘ is available on the DVDs ‘Émile Cohl – L’agitateur aux mille images’

Director: Georges Schwizgebel
Release Date: 1992
Rating: ★★★★½

La course à l'abîme © Georges Schwizgebel‘La course à l’abîme’ is a depiction of the final ride into hell from ‘La Damnation de Faust’ (1846) by Hector Berlioz.

The film consists of a very associative series of images, tied together by the two riders, Faust & Méphistophélès. Like in Schwizgebel’s earlier film ‘78 tours‘ (1985) we watch images changing perspective and morphing into each other, to stunning effects. All builds up to a spectacular finale, in which we see all the animation within one frame.

‘La course à l’abîme’is the first film showing Schwizgebel’s interest in classic European stories. It’s a clear precursor of later films, like ‘L’année du daim’ (1995), ‘La jeune fille et les nuages’ (2000) and ‘L’homme sans ombre’ (2004), in which he uses his stunning techniques for narrative purposes.

Watch ‘La course à l’abîme’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘La course à l’abîme’ is available on the DVD ‘Les Peintures animées de Georges Schwizgebel’

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