Saturday, August 17, 2019

Diary of a Lost Girl screens at Oslo Silent Film Festival on August 24

The sensational 1929 Louise Brooks film, Diary of a Lost Girl, will be screened at the Oslo Silent Film Festival on August 24. More information about this screening can be found HERE.

The Oslo Silent Film Festival, which runs August 22 through August 25, will also be showing Metropolis, A Cottage on Dartmoor and other notable silent films starring the likes of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. More information about the festival can be found HERE.


According to the website for the Norwegian film festival: "Man skal lete lenge i filmhistorien for å finne en skuespiller med like mye kameratekke som Louise Brooks. Likefullt slet hun i Hollywood. I 1927 sa hun opp en gullkantet kontrakt med Paramount for å reise til Berlin hvor hun skulle spille i G.W. Pabst’ Pandoras eske. I denne og deres andre film sammen, Diary of a Lost Girl, finner man denne sjeldne, nesten magiske kjemien som kan oppstå mellom skuespiller og regissør. Brooks spiller Thymian Henning, som i likhet med karakteren Lulu i Pandoras eske er en ung, vakker kvinne med en problematisk moral. Hun havner på en rehabiliteringsanstalt drevet med militær disiplin, og kommer snart i opposisjon til bestyrelsen. Hun rømmer – og ender opp som prostituert i et bordell.

Ikke overraskende fikk verdens sensurmyndigheter en real håndfull da de fikk Diary of a Lost Girl i fanget. Den ble stort sett sønderklippet i alle land den ble tillatt oppsatt, og fikk kritikker deretter. Når den da i tillegg var særdeles uheldig med timingen – den hadde premiere i oktober 1929, en liten måned før den første lydfilmen The Jazz Singer fikk sin første oppsetning i Berlin – ble den raskt en glemt film og blant de som druknet i lydfilmens suksess. Ikke før på 1960-tallet ble den og Pandoras eske gjenoppdaget, da filmene ble restaurert i henhold til Pabst egen, usensurerte versjon, og fikk en verdig oppreisning. Begge filmene regnes i dag blant den sene stumfilmperiodens genuine mesterverk.

For Louise Brooks gikk ikke karrieren like godt. Etter oppholdet i Berlin dro hun til Paris, før hun returnerte til Hollywood i et forsøk på å gjenoppta karrieren. Stemmen hennes ble ikke funnet god nok, og etter å ha spilt i flere samlebånds-westernfilmer fikk hun nok, og la skuespillerkarrieren på hyllen. Hun flyttet til New York, før hun på 1950-tallet igjen gjorde seg bemerket i filmens tjeneste da hun flyttet til Rochester, der det enorme filmarkivet til George Eastman House ligger, og begynte å utgi grundige og velskrevne artikler om den filmindustrien hun hadde vært en del av på 1920-tallet."


 Which roughly translates as...

"One has to look long in the history of film to find an actor with as much coverage as Louise Brooks. No matter how much she struggled in Hollywood. In 1927, she terminated a gold-lined contract with Paramount to travel to Berlin where she would play in G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box. In this and their other film together, Diary of a Lost Girl, one finds this rare, almost magical chemistry that can arise between actor and director. Brooks plays Thymian Henning, who, like the character Lulu in Pandora's Box, is a young, beautiful woman with a problematic morality. She ends up in a rehabilitation facility powered by military discipline, and will soon be in opposition to the board. She escapes - and ends up as a prostitute in a brothel.

Not surprisingly, the censors of the world got a real handful when they got Diary of a Lost Girl in their lap. It was largely cut in all the countries it was allowed to set up, and received criticism thereafter. In addition, when it was particularly unlucky with the timing - it premiered in October 1929, a month before the first sound movie The Jazz Singer got its first set in Berlin - it quickly became a forgotten movie and among those who drowned in the success of the sound film. It was not until the 1960s that it and Pandora's Box were rediscovered, when the films were restored according to Pabst's own, uncensored version, and received a worthy restoration. Both films are today considered among the late silent period genuine masterpieces.

For Louise Brooks, her career did not go so well. After her stay in Berlin, she left for Paris, before returning to Hollywood in an attempt to resume her career. Her voice wasn't found well enough, and after starring in several comic book western movies, she had enough, leaving her acting career on the shelf. She moved to New York before reappearing in the film in the 1950s when she moved to Rochester, where George Eastman House's huge movie archive began, and began publishing thorough and well-written articles about the film industry she had been a part of the 1920s."

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