Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Pandora's Box

You don't need to be able to understand German to pick up on what's going on in G. W. Pabst's Die Büchse der Pandora / Pandora's Box (1929): just focus on Louise Brooks' Lulu and the people around her and you'll get the idea. This is one of the last of the great German silent films, and though there are intertitles, I went without English subtitles mostly out of laziness. On the Criterion Collection version, you can pick a soundtrack; I chose the piano improv, which works well.    

The depictions of social life are stylized but gritty, with the hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie well in evidence -- just as it is today in "family values" circles. In other words, there are people who live as "pillars of society" on the one hand, but who enjoy playing with Lulu and friends on the other. Hooch, cooch, gambling, comic relief and theft abound, with occasional flare ups of violence at key points.

Pandora's Box is a cool movie, especially the lighting. 

Today's Rune: Gateway.


jodi said...

Erik, Lulu's look rocks. I love that old glamour!

Charles Gramlich said...

I guess human's ain't changed much. More's the pity.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have meant to see this like forever.

Adorably Dead said...

Looks neat, I *love* silent films. First one I ever saw was Tilly's Twisted Romance.