In the hands of director Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark, Mother and Son), the legend of a doctor who sells his soul to the devil becomes a perverse mix of horror, black comedy, reverie, and peasant landscape—Bruegel by way of David Cronenberg. Faust first appears in a gruesome dissection scene, and Mephistopheles is a grotesque bag of puttylike flesh with his genitals in back, excusing himself momentarily to defecate in a church. Despite these carnivalesque moments, however, there’s an unforced dignity to the whole thing, informed by Sokurov’s desaturated colors and stark naturalism; when Faust first embraces his beloved Margarete by the side of a lake, an overhead shot captures them plummeting together rapturously into the impossibly clear water. In German with subtitles.