Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Louise Brooks film Prix de Beauté screens in Italy

The 1930 Louise Brooks film, Prix de Beauté, will be screened on June 23rd as part of the 26th edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna, Italy. The prestigious international festival is put on by the Mostra Internazionale del Cinema Libero and Cineteca di Bologna. The program from the event can be viewed and even downloaded on this page.

Here is the small listing for the Prix showing, which will be accompanied by Timothy Brock and a (newly?) commissioned score.

I don't know for sure, but suspect, that the festival will screen the silent version of Augusto Genina's Prix de Beauté. It is considered superior to the more commonly seen sound version, which has added sound effects, dialogue and a couple of songs. Genina was an Italian director working in France when he came to make the film, which was based on a story idea by the German director G.W. Pabst (who made Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl) and the French director Rene Clair. Brooks' voice was dubbed in the sound version (she didn't speak French), and a professional singer sang the lovely theme song Brooks is shown singing.

Prix de Beauté has great charm, and its ending scene is considered one of the most remarkable passages in film history. A clip is embedded below. If you haven't seen Prix de Beauté, please note that this fragment contains spoilers.

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