Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Starring: Louise Brooks
Director: G. W. Pabst

Pabst's most famous film featured his first, star-making collaboration with American actress Brooks in a complex exploration of sexual psychology and Weimar Germany's social decadence. Working from Frank Wedekind's play in Pabst's trademark realist style, Pabst and Brooks transformed the character of Lulu from an evil temptress into a hedonistic innocent at ease with her sexuality. Pursued by men and women alike, Lulu is prey as much to social repression as to her own insatiable desires, as she winds up blamed for the troubles that others have brought on themselves through their own sexual hypocrisy. The appearance of Jack the Ripper at the conclusion is a sign less of sensationalist melodrama than of Lulu's internalized victimization. Brooks's subtle, nuanced performance and Pabst's fluid editing style infuse Pandora's Box with a sensuality that remains undiminished to this day. Critically panned on its release, Pandora's Box has since come to be seen as a hypnotic masterwork, remarkable for its frank treatment of sexuality and the sympathetic, inscrutable, fascinating presence of Brooks, who became a Jazz Age flapper icon. (131 mins.)

My Rating: ***1/2

No comments:

Post a Comment