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William A. Wellman
In the Crimea, the Reds and the Whites aren't done fighting, and Jeanne discovers that the man she loves is a Bolshevik (when he kills her father). Penniless, she returns to Paris where she... See full summary »
Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid's clients is arrested. He was with her, and ... See full summary »
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to ... See full summary »
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Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Thymiane is a beautiful young girl who is not having a storybook life. Her governess, Elizabeth, is thrown out of her home when she is pregnant, only to be later found drowned. That same day, her father already has a new governess named Meta. Meinert, downstairs druggist, takes advance of her and gets Thymiane pregnant. When she refuses to marry, her baby is taken from her and she is put into a strict girls reform school. When Count Osdorff is unable to get the family to take her back, he waits for her to escape. She escapes with a friend and the friend goes with the Count while she goes to see her baby. Thymiane finds that her baby is dead, and the Count has put both girls up at a brothel. When her father dies, Thymiane marries the Count and becomes a Countess, but her past and her hatred of Meta will come back to her.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excellent Drama Earthy, Yet Ultimately Uplifting With A Fine Performance By Louise Brooks
This excellent drama accomplishes the difficult task of being quite earthy, and often grim, in the ways that it depicts its characters and their lives, yet at the same time being an ultimately uplifting story about the possibilities of human understanding. It also features a fine performance by Louise Brooks. Her performance in "Diary of a Lost Girl" is on a par with that in "Pandora's Box", her other celebrated collaboration with G.W. Pabst.
The story has Brooks as a pharmacist's daughter whose young life is drastically changed by events that she can only dimly understand. From then on, she must endure a variety of trials while gradually learning some important lessons, often with only the barest help from those around her. The role contrasts nicely with her role in "Pandora's Box". Both in that film and in "Diary of a Lost Girl", she has the same level of energy and appeal, but in the former movie, right from the beginning she was very much the catalyst for the other characters' actions, while here she begins as an innocent youth who is completely at the mercy of all of the others, and then grows as the movie proceeds.
The settings are well-chosen so as both to contrast with her character, and to develop it. Her experiences show many aspects of the seamier side of both human nature and human living, and yet this is by no means a mere gratuitous display of sordidness, but rather a growing experience for Brooks's character. It culminates in an uplifting finale that is all the more effective for having arisen from material that is by no means idealistic.
The expressionistic style in the photography, lighting, and sets enhances the atmosphere and also the effectiveness of the story and the characters. The slightly stylized nature of both works quite well, and all of this contributes significantly to the high quality of the movie.
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