Friday, January 14, 2022

Diary of a Lost Girl screens in Provincetown on Jan 19

The Provincetown Film Art Series in Provincetown, Massachusetts will screen Diary of a Lost Girl, G.W. Pabst’s silent classic starring Louise Brooks, on Wednesday, January 19 at 7 p.m. Series curator Howard Karren will give an introduction and moderate a post-screening discussion. More information and ticket availability HERE.

The event description reads: "Louise Brooks is an American treasure, partly for her revelatory proto-feminist memoir, Lulu in Hollywood, and partly for the dazzling performances she gave in two silent G.W. Pabst movies shot in Germany after she fled La-La-Land and its tyrannical studios: Pandora’s Box and this, a cautionary tale about forgotten women." Personally, I don't understand the meaning or use of the  word "forgotten" - but still, this is a rare pandemic screening.

If you would like to learn more about this film, let me recommend the Louise Brooks Society filmography page. It is chock full of information.

And if you would like to learn more about the sensational book behind the film, let me recommend Margarete Bohme's The Diary of a Lost Girl. In 2010, I edited, wrote the introduction, and published to the "Louise Brooks edition" of Bohme's book

The Brooks film is based on a controversial and bestselling book first published in Germany in 1905. Though little known today, it was a literary sensation at the beginning of the 20th century. By the end of the 1920s, it had been translated into 14 languages and sold more than 1,200,000 copies - ranking it among the bestselling books of its time.

Was it - as many believed - the real-life diary of a young woman forced by circumstance into a life of prostitution? Or a sensational and clever fake, one of the first novels of its kind? This contested work - a work of unusual historical significance as well as literary sophistication - inspired a sequel, a play, a parody, a score of imitators, and two silent films. The best remembered of these is the oft revived G.W. Pabst film starring Louise Brooks.

My corrected and annotated edition of the original English language translation brought this important book back into print after more than 100 years. It includes an introduction detailing the book's remarkable history and relationship to the 1929 silent film. This special "Louise Brooks Edition" also includes more than three dozen vintage illustrations.

The book received good reviews, including this one from Richard Buller, author of A Beautiful Fairy Tale: The Life of Actress Lois Moran - "Long relegated to the shadows, Margarete Böhme's 1905 novel, The Diary of a Lost Girl has at last made a triumphant return. In reissuing the rare 1907 English translation of Böhme's German text, Thomas Gladysz makes an important contribution to film history, literature, and, in as much as Böhme told her tale with much detail and background contemporary to the day, sociology and history. He gives us the original novel, his informative introduction, and many beautiful and rare illustrations. This reissue is long overdue, and in all ways it is a volume of uncommon merit."

1 comment:

  1. "Pandora's Box" is available on HBO Max -


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