Pandora’s Box – Louise Brooks

 

In 1998, Roger Ebert reviewed Pandora’s Box, giving the film much praise and saying of Louise Brooks, “she regards us from the screen as if the screen were not there; she casts away the artifice of film and invites us to play with her.”

 

Louise Brooks as 'Lulu'

Pandora’s Box (1929) is a silent movie directed by the Austrian filmmaker Georg Wilhelm Pabst. The movie is based on two plays, Earth’s Spirit and Pandora’s Box, written at the beginning of the 20th century by the controversial German playwright Frank Wedekind. It is said that he wrote them “with the deliberate intent of shocking his middle class audience by talking bluntly about the consequences of sex, violence, and hypocrisy”. If that was the playwright’s intent, Pabst succeeded in doing the same in the film.  Louise Brook’s stars as ‘Lulu”, a child/woman who’s open sexuality has a disastrous effect on all who love her. The film follows her in her downward spiral as she takes everyone who desires her down with her into her descent. Pandora’s Box also stars Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer, and Alice Roberts. Although released in 1929, the movie is incredibly modern, daring in it’s use of sexuality and violence, and cutting edge in it’s inclusion of a lesbian countess (Alice Roberts) who also falls for Louise Brook’s character ‘Lulu’.  Initially panned by critics, it was rediscovered in the 1950’s, and modern critics call it “a cinematic masterpiece”, thanks in large part to the beautiful and sensual Louise Brooks.  The Internet Movie Database says “this movie is one of the great treasures of cinema, and Louise Brooks one of the most talented and fascinating actresses to ever appear in movies, on either side of the Atlantic.”

Alice Roberts, Louise Brooks, and Fritz Kortner in a scene from Pandora's Box

Louise Brooks – Pandora’s Box

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