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New on Video: ‘Diary of a Lost Girl’

Diary of a Lost Girl

Written by Rudolf Leonhardt

Directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst

Germany, 1929

In just two collaborations, the German director Georg Wilhelm Pabst and the Kansas-born Louise Brooks created a screen personality that left a permanent mark on the history of film. The iconic Brooks—impeccably dressed, seductively smirking, short, jet-black hair—had been seen in films prior, most notably in Howard HawksA Girl in Every Port (1928), but it was in Pabst’s Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl (both released in 1929) that this embodiment of tumultuous 1920s mores struck a strong and enduring chord.

Brooks in these two Pabst features could not be more dissimilar, however. Lulu, the freewheeling temptress of Pandora’s Box, is miles away from Thymian, the young, naive innocent of Diary of a Lost Girl. As this latter feature begins, Thymian enters the picture all in white, in accordance with her recent confirmation.

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