PANDORA’S BOX
DIE BÜCHSE DER PANDORA
1929, Janus Films, 110 min, Germany, Dir: G.W. Pabst

As Henri Langlois once thundered, “There is no Garbo! There is no Dietrich! There is only Louise Brooks!” Here she proves it with one of the wildest performances of the silent era, as the dancer-turned-hooker Lulu who attracts men like moths to a candle. Politicians, titans of industry and the aristocracy are all part of the milieu Lulu inhabits as the story begins; her eventual descent to a criminal underworld underlines the fragility of German society between the wars. The combination of Brooks and director G.W. Pabst (“It was sexual hatred that engrossed his whole being with its flaming reality,” she once said) is still astonishing.


DIARY OF A LOST GIRL
DAS TAGEBUCH EINER VERLORENEN
1929, Kino Lorber, 112 min, Germany, Dir: G.W. Pabst

Seduced and abandoned by her father’s assistant, Louise Brooks descends into a lurid hell of reformatories and whorehouses. For a debauched party scene, Pabst insisted on realism – so Brooks complied by playing “the whole scene stewed on hot, sweet German champagne.”


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