JUMP CUT (Faust)(1997-1998)

JUMP CUT (Faust) is an archaeology of two layers of the Faust myth, F.W. Murnau’s 1926 film and John Jesurun’s contemporary rendering of the story. JUMP CUT (Faust) moves between these two worlds, creating a “live film” of Faust. The story of Faust is the story of transformation: from old age to youth, from ignorance to knowledge, from isolation and solitude to worldly power and commanding adventure.

Thousands of versions of the Faust parable exist—from the emergence of the historical figure in 1507 to the puppet shows of the early 1900’s. Early filmmakers from Georges Melies to F.W. Murnau took Faust as a subject—his transformations through black sorcery, communion with the devil and his magic tricks and adventures were portrayed in comic, romantic, and tragic shades. His tricks lent themselves to the fantastical spectacles and theatrical showmanship of early cinema. An elaborate video score by Christopher Kondek, and a computer-constructed soundtrack by Dan Dobson are integral elements in the production, allowing the 16th-century story to play with the “transformations” which technology can produce. The worlds of classic film, new media, and live performance overlap and collide in a tightly-structured, musical cacophony. JUMP CUT (Faust) is a later version of IMPERIAL MOTEL (Faust) which was created in 1996 in collaboration with the Theater Neumarkt, in Zurich, Switzerland.