Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pandora's Box

G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box provides a portrait of a woman whose life is layered with good luck and hard times. She's fully aware of the distinction between the two, but they blend from time to time so she can't be too sure.

The woman in question is Lulu, a role immortalized by Louise Brooks. She plays Lulu as someone who is fully aware of her sexual prowess and its impact on men. It's just she finds out about it too late most of the time. Brooks makes this role her own. (And to think there was an uproar over her casting.)

The interesting thing is that Pabst doesn't depict Lulu as either a man-eater or a martyr. He depicts her as an innocent girl who acts naughty at times. What happens to her in the end could be up for debate. Was what happened to Lulu unjust or deserved?

There have been a number of films focusing on the tumultuous sexual lifestyles some people lead (only a small handful daring to delve into sex addiction) since the release of Pandora's Box. But it was Pabst's film that started them all. Bear in mind this was a film from the late 20s and it was quite ahead of its time. (One of the supporting characters is a lesbian.) And it still resonates to this day.

Pandora's Box is a truly fascinating film to watch. It's a stunning portrait of the dangers within human nature and the consequences that follow. Honestly one of the boldest films from the early years of cinema.

My Rating: *****

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