- LULU / PANDORA'S BOX
- DAPHNIS AND CHLOE
- FEDRA
- THE FUGITIVE KIND
- THE TESTAMENT OF ORPHEUS
- PHAEDRA
- HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS
- YOUNG APHRODITES
- CONTEMPT
- PROMETHEUS FROM THE VISEVICE ISLAND
- SANDRA OF A THOUSAND DELIGHTS
- THE GOLDEN THING
- THE TRAVELLING PLAYERS
- EURIDICE BA 2037
- IPHIGENIA
- A DREAM OF PASSION
- CLASH OF THE TITANS
- THE YEARS OF THE BIG HEAT
- ENIOCHUS - THE CHARIOTEER
- ANTIGONE
- EDIPO ALCADE
- THAT'S LIFE
- BLADE RUNNER
- VERTIGO
- MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA
- ORPHEUS
- PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN
- ULYSSES
- HERACLES AND THE QUEEN OF LYDIA
- BLACK ORPHEUS
- ANTIGONE
- ELECTRA
- JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS
- GORGON
- OEDIPUS REX
- ILLIAC PASSION
- THE CANNIBALS
- EDEA
- NOTES FOR AN AFRICAN ORESTEIA
- FOR ELECTRA
- PROMETHEUS IN THE SECOND PERSON
- VOYAGE TO CYTHERA
- ULYSSES' GAZE
- MATRIX
- O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

LULU / PANDORA'S BOX
Germany, 1928


Directed by: G.W. Pabst. Screenplay: Ladislaus Vajda from the plays Der Erdgeist (The Spirit of the Earth) and Die Busche der Pandora (Pandora's Box) by Frank Wedekind. Director of Photography: Gunther Krampf. Set Design: Andrej Andrejew, Gottlieb Hesch. Cast: Louise Brooks (Lulu), Fritz Kortner (Peter Schön), Gustav Diesel (Jack the Ripper), Franz Lederer (Alwa), Carl Goetz (Schigolch), Alice Roberts (Countess Geschwitz), Krafft Raschig (Rodrigo), Michaele von Newlinsky (Marquis Casti-Piani), Siegfried Arno. Production: Nero-Film (Seymour Nebenzahl). Duration: 133 min. Black and white.

Lulu, a free-spirited and independent woman, the mistress of Peter Schön, a media tycoon who promoted her dancing career through his publications, is visited by the elderly Schigolch, whom she introduces to Schön as her previous patron. Schigolch suggests that Lulu work with Rodrigo, a famous acrobat, in a show put on by Alwa, Peter's son. Peter breaks up with Lulu in order to marry the daughter of the Minister of Internal Affairs. But when he appears in the theatre backstage with his fiancée, Lulu refuses to perform for her. Peter, while trying to persuade her, succumbs to her charm and, in the end, he marries her. The wedding party turns out to be a huge fiasco, as Lulu flirts with countess Geschwitz, Schigolch, whom she now presents as her father, as well as with Alwa, who is madly in love with her. Peter, with a revolver gun in his hand, begs her to commit suicide, so that he does not have to kill her himself. A shot is heard and Peter drops dead. During her trial, Lulu is compared to the mythical Pandora. She is sentenced to five years' imprisonment, but manages to escape with Schigolch's help. Lulu takes the train to Paris with Alwa, but while onboard she is recognised by Casti-Piani, a fallen aristocrat, who offers them refuge on his boat, moored in a German harbour. While Alwa embarks on a new career as a gambler, Lulu asks countess Geschwitz to get rid of Rodrigo, who is blackmailing her. The police raid their den and discover the acrobat's dead body. Lulu together with Schigolch and Alwa flee to London, Jack the Ripper's territory. Lulu, now openly making a living as a prostitute, one night comes across Jack, not knowing who he is, and invites him to her bed without asking for money. Jack drops the knife he carries with him, but seeing another one on Lulu's table, he cannot resist the temptation...

Violently Triumphant Feminism
by Barthélémy Amengual

This film is based on two plays by Wedekind: Erdgeist [The Spirit of the Earth] (1893) and Pandora's Box (1901). The first play is about the career of Lulu-Nelly-Eva-Minion and her life with her four husbands up to the death of the fourth one, Dr. Schön. The second play is about her fall: imprisonment, exodus, gambling, and prostitution up to her violent death in the hands of Jack the Ripper. [...] Pabst's heroine is freed from the metaphysical background that is evident in Wedekind's play: love as desire for power, as a struggle between the sexes and (why not?) as a struggle between social classes. Pabst's Lulu is a powerful woman with a child's eyes, an instinctive being, moving innocently or criminally, blindly or consciously towards its finale. [...] Lulu knows nothing but to love. But she makes her choices. She doesn't put herself on the market. She doesn't prostitute herself. She wants to be a free soul; no one's possession. Against the "tortured" feminism of Pabst's preceding and following films, Louise Brooks proposes a violently triumphant, yet just, feminism, which keeps its distance from both conquest and tyranny. Despite her misery, Lulu consents to Jack the Ripper's love free of charge, dramatically portraying the suicidal form of Eros-death. In the play, her death has an explosive quality; it's like a bomb in a terrorist attack. In Pabst, Lulu's end seems almost like a sweet and terrifying viaticum, ('I will strike you with no anger or hatred, just like a lamb at the slaughter') the consent to a nirvana that is not death. Pabst's sentimental standpoint is also apparent in his stylistic approach. The film begins in a peaceful and bright atmosphere, 'real' but full of mysterious innuendoes. The relationships among the heroes are undefined, unstable; their reactions unforeseen. A routine 'suspense' smoothes the atmosphere, reminding us of the rare balance that characterises the film Boudu Saved from Drowning. Lulu's acting in the theatre, her social life, her weddings, shape Pabst's sparkling palette. Pearls, silk, and mother-of-pearl seem to constitute the living flesh of this bright setting. Pleasure is impressionistically portrayed, happiness as well; the Russian filmmakers, Stroheim, Pabst before Sternberg and Renoir are familiar with this depiction. Expressionism becomes dominant from the moment Lulu goes into trial and then flees. The atmosphere turns black as sin, heavy with woman's scents and perfumes. The space closes up; the monsters begin to pullulate. The day and the shadows become ambiguous.

"Georg Wilhelm Pabst", Cinéma d'aujourd'hui, Séghers, Paris 1966