Sonntag, 24. November 2013

Die Büchse der Pandora / Pandora's Box (Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1929)

A beautiful young woman lives an careless life while her surroundings enthralled by her charms descend into madness.


I would have wished for a better soundtrack than I was given here. Unfortunately, the heavy classical orchestra score didn't reflect the many subtleties that are hinted at through the story line. On the other hand I preferred not to be emotionally guided.

I assume that it was Pabst's intention to lure the viewer into judging the protagonist Lulu ambiguously. When one scene prompts for contempt another might just as strongly pity the naive view of the world that the woman has. The character seems on one hand to have a very strong sense of moral, when she tries to give herself up to the law, but it is hindered by one of her many potential lovers. On the other hand, she ruthlessly abuses a woman who has obviously fallen in love with her to give her money. She has a spirit-like quality in terms of that we never really learn about her past, except that she was poor.

Although Lulu comes to a foreseeable end, because of the above, I felt a strange lack of compassion towards the character. Maybe, because she was portrayed so life-like in the film. The film shares just as many of her ups as her downs. And her incessant optimism and simplistic outlook on life - she can get whatever she wants because of her charms - she never really changes as a person, although her outlook is dire towards the end of the movie.

In regards of character depiction the film is a masterpiece, despite the unreal type of woman Louise Brooks portrays so masterfully. She deserves every credit. In the end, I am not quite sure what stance Pabst tried to take with the film. But the result was astounding. Definitively, I haven't seen a character so nuanced and provocative at the same time in quite a while.


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