Pandora's Box (1929)
Genre: Silent Drama (Germany)
Starring: Louise Brooks, Francis LedererDirected By: George Wilhelm Pabst
Overview: The tragic tale of a powerfully seductive woman, and how her touch ruins the lives of the men around her.
Acting: I knew eventually I would find a silent film with brilliant acting. I read that this poor woman never made the transition to the 'talkies', but her presence is unforgettable indeed. A few scenes were genuinely moving and her supporting cast were all great as well. Kudos.
Cinematography: Though there were no special effects, the multiple angles, the close ups and the effective lighting added to the narrative, and made this quite enjoyable. The sets began as decadent dens and became bleaker as we continued on in the story, showing that a good effort was made to keep a nice spectacle. Decent.
Script: This I quite enjoyed. Earlier silent film had a knack of not having enough written out and having the people on screen talk endlessly without explanation. This had frequent dialogue (but not too much) and even a few nice big full pages, like in the court scene. From time to time I found the scenes jumped a little too quickly, that there could have been better flow if more dialogue had been used, but good nonetheless.
Plot: This tale is pretty good, and original too. The plot had some nice catches and though I got the point half way through, it was still fun to watch how each man suffered in his own way, not to mention Lulu. Not a funny story, but a good one. And a neat factoid, apparently this is the first film that took a dip into the mind of a serial killer (and it's not a spoiler, the opening credits say 'Jack the Ripper' is played by such and such).
Mood: This actress made her style of haircut famous. It's called the Lulu even to this day. The costumes and the monocles were definitely a cool little touch, and the settings though merely decent were a nice look back into history. Present day pieces turned historical settings make for realistic movies, turns out.
Overall Rating: 76% (Open It Up And See What Comes Out.)
Aftertaste: This is the eighth film on my 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list, and I think I'm finally getting into the whole 'good' films of the era rather than the 'firsts'. A nice change. It's a good one if you're into a film lesson, but unless you really dig the silent film, you probably won't find it better than decent.