PANDORA'S BOX (DIE BUCHSE DER PANDORA) (1929) B/W "silent" 109m dir: G.W. Pabst
w/Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Gustav Diessl, Franz (Francis) Lederer, Daisy d'Ora, Carl Goetz, Alice Roberte
A "silent" screen classic about a young woman with loose morals who drifts from promiscuity to prostitution. In recent years, Brooks has been deservedly rediscovered. She certainly lights up this expressionistic slice of fatalism with incandescent star power. As an interesting side-note, among the actresses in Germany who were rejected for the role of Lulu was Marlene Dietrich.
From Georges Sadoul's Dictionary of Films: "Above everything else in this film, one remembers the exceptional personality of Louise Brooks, who had been asked to come to Europe after her appearance in [Howard] Hawks's A Girl in Every Port.
"'In Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl we have the miracle of Louise Brooks. Her gifts of profound intuition may seem purely passive to an inexperienced audience, yet she succeeded in stimulating an otherwise unequal director's talent to the extreme. Pabst's remarkable evolution must thus be seen as an encounter with an actress who needed no directing, but could move across the screen causing the work of art to be born by her mere presence. Louise Brooks, always enigmatically impassive, overwhelmingly exists throughout these two films. We now know that Louise Brooks is a remarkable actress, endowed with uncommon intelligence, and not merely a dazzlingly beautiful woman.
"'Pandora's Box is a silent film. As such it does very well without the words which [Frank] Wedekind --- the author of the two plays Erdgeist, and Die Buchse der Pandora, which Pabst condensed into one film --- deemed indispensable to bring out the erotic power of this singular "earthly being," endowed with animal beauty, but lacking all moral sense, and doing evil unconsciously.' (Lotte Eisner)"
Also of interest: LOUISE BROOKS: LOOKING FOR LULU.