Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Pandora's Box anniversary
It was 81 years ago tomorrow that the first reviews of Pandora's Box began to appear in Berlin newspapers. The G.W. Pabst-directed film, starring Louise Brooks as Lulu, premiered at the Gloria–Palast theatre in Berlin on February 9, 1929. On the 11th of the month, articles appeared in Berliner Tageblatt, Berliner Morgenpost, Die Welt, Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Neue Berliner Zeitung / Das 12 Uhr Blatt and numerous other publications. (Boy oh boy did they have a lot of newspapers back then.) More articles appeared on the 12th.
Over the years, I have collected a thick portfolio of vintage German articles, reviews and other clippings documenting the making of the film and its subsequent release in Germany. I have also compiled a multi-page bibliography of material about the film. All of this material will end up in a book someday, I promise.
And as well, I've also collected photocopies of vintage German newspaper advertisements from around the time of its debut. In honor of the anniversary of its premiere, I have included a scan of one of these glorious advertisements.
In the years since its release, Pandora's Box has been shown not just in Germany but all around the world. One of my ongoing projects has been to track the exhibition of the film over the course of time and in different countries. To me, its interesting to find out what others from around the world (and in past decades) have said about this classic work.
One of my more unusual finds was a 1929 advertisement for the film in a Jewish newspaper published in Warsaw, Poland. (See below). It's interesting to note that the actress' name in the ad is given as "Luiza Brooks."
Advertisements can tell us a lot. What I learned from another Polish newspaper advertisement is that the film opened at the Casino Theatre, and that Adam Furmanskiego led an orchestra at the Polish premier. [Unless I am mistaken, this is the same Adam Furmanski (1883-1943) who founded and led a Jewish Orchestra in the Warsaw Ghetto around 1940. Furmanski died there.]
The film has been advertised or written about under various titles, and even sometimes under two different names in the same country. So far, I have documented the film having been shown as جعبهی پاندور (Arabic countries); La caja de Pandora (Argentina); Lulu (Argentina); Le boîte de Pandore (Belgium); Loulou (Belgium); A caixa de Pandora (Brazil); La caja de Pandora (Chile); Lulu (Chile); Pandorina skrínka (Czechoslovakia); Umrít Büchse der Pandoru (Czechoslovakia); Pandoras æske (Denmark); Pandora laegas (Estonia); Pandoran lipas (Finland); Loulou (France); Le boîte de Pandore (France); Λούλου (Greece); Lulu- το κουτί της Πανδώρας (Greece); Pandóra szelencéje (Hungary); תיבת פנדורה (Israel); Lulu (Italy); Il vaso di Pandora (Italy); Jack lo Sventratore (Italy); Pandoras lade (Latvia); Pandoros skrynia (Lithuania); La caja de Pandora (Mexico); De doos van Pandora (Netherlands); Pandoras eske (Norway); Puszka Pandory (Poland); A bocéta de Pandora (Portugal); A caixa de Pandora (Portugal); Cutia Pandorei (Romania); Pandorina skrinjica (Slovenia); La caja de Pandora (Spain); Pandoras ask (Sweden); Pandora’nýn Kutusuö (Turkey); Pandora's Box (United States); La caja de Pandora (Uruguay); Lulu (Uruguay); Lulu (U.S.S.R.), Ящик Пандорьі (U.S.S.R.); Лулу (U.S.S.R.); and La caja de Pandora (Venezula).
Certainly, there are other listings to be found. I should probably stop blabbering and look for more. (If you, dear reader, live in a country not noted here and know of a contemporary or historic screening of the film, please send me an email telling all . . . . )
Posted by thomas gladysz / Louise Brooks Society