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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Die Buchse Der Pandora (aka Pandora's Box) (1929)

The mistress (Louise Brooks) of a wealthy newspaper publisher (Fritz Kortner) will have none of it when he tells her that he is leaving her for another woman (Daisy D'Ora) and intends to marry her. She gets her way for awhile but her carefree lifestyle will soon take a dark turn, ending in degradation, prostitution and death. Based on two plays by Frank Wedekind (which also served as the source material for Alan Berg's opera LULU), G.W. Pabst's (THREEPENNY OPERA) film would seem inconceivable without Brooks in the leading role. A mixture of vitality, sensuality and innocence, Brooks inhabits the role of Lulu to the point that she and the character become one. The film itself is a chronicle of the rise and fall of an amoral pleasure seeking temptress yet there doesn't seem to be any moralizing on Pabst's part. Perhaps, like us, he's infatuated with Brooks' Lulu and she seems a victim of her own nonconformity and passions rather than a self conscious femme fatale. With Francis Lederer (who would go on to a Hollywood film career), Alice Roberts, Carl Goetz and Gustav Diessl. 

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