Pandora's Box (The Criterion Collection)
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G.W. Pabst already had a reputation as a director of German neo-realism thanks to the 1925 Greta Garbo film THE JOYLESS STREET (influenced by D.W. Griffith's ISN'T LIFE WONDERFUL of 1924). In the sound era he would make the film version of THE THREEPENNY OPERA (1931). PANDORA'S BOX mixes realism and German expressionism in equal amounts to tell the story of a naive dancer/prostitute and the tragedy she brings to everyone who tries to become close to her. It's amazing how Pabst saw something in Louise Brooks that no one else did and then brought it out so effectively onscreen. From the performances to the lighting, the editing and the camerawork, to the relentlessly downbeat mood, PANDORA'S BOX is a true landmark of the cinema (silent and sound) that anyone seriously interested in film should experience.
Finally available in the U.S. on DVD, this Criterion 2 disc set is all that you could ask for. The print for its age (1928) looks great and you get the choice of 4 different background scores which show how important music is to silent cinema. Each one makes it a different viewing experience.Read more ›
To start with just picking this set up is impressive in itself!It comes in a handsome light and dark gray cardboard slip case almost an inch thick and inside it contains a two disk set absolutely loaded with fabulous and unexpectedly surprising extras AND a thick booklet!
The two disc set itself has the nice light and dark gray theme carried on for IT'S covering.When you slip the DVD into your player the screen gives you the usual surround and stereo audio options.However it also gives you your pick of FOUR(yes FOUR!!)different scores in which to choose from when viewing the movie.This is totally unprecedented in my experience.The scores are piano,orchestral(an approximation of what the late 20s European theater goer might have experienced),cabaret(a light and whimsical small band style) and modern orchestral.All these choices are absolutely wonderful but my favourite is the piano.However just having these options in the first place helps place this collection right at the top of the heap.
And if this wasn't enough film studies professor T.Elaessan and author Mary Ann Doanne together offer up a nice and very informative optional commentary on the film....one which I recommend at some point you give a listen to.And things don't stop there my friends!!
Two wonderful documentaries are also included.First is one I had heard of but had never seen called "Lulu in Berlin" produced back in 1984 by Richard Leacock and Susan Woll.It's a delightful film and mainly revolves around an interview of Louise in her home in Rochester,N.Y. a few years earlier.This comes in at around 48 minutes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pandora's Box, the movie is excellent. Louise Brooks is sensational.
That said, this review concerns the Criterion Collection's quality control over their... Read more
I already had this film on VHS and on DVD but when I saw there was a Criterion release there wasn't any real debate about getting it again. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mick Jordan
"Pandora's Box", a silent film made when "talkies" were just coming into vogue in 1929, was not very successful at the box office. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Peter Baklava
I was looking to reorder the movies and documentaries that were stolen and I ran across this collection. I ordered it and couldn't be happier! Read morePublished on May 28, 2014 by Michele R Clark
PANDORA'S BOX is the photoplay that earned beautifully bobbed flapper Louise Brooks international fame. Read morePublished on May 13, 2014 by Annie Van Auken
Agree with the consensus that this film is a classic: great b&w atmosphere, effectively conveys the decadence of Weimar Germany, etc. Read morePublished on April 13, 2014 by Bryan
A fantastic package. If you did not know Louise Brooks before this you will feel you have gained the acquaintance of a person with a star crossed but interesting life. Read morePublished on November 4, 2013 by Robert Barker
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