Louise Brooks. starring in Pandora’s Box 1929
I present tonight for your mild amusement a 1986 BBC documentary, in which the once beautiful, and still intelligent (well, not outside this documentary, as the lady is now deceased) Ms. Brooks tells the fascinating story of her Hollywood career, and details events in the making of Pandora’s Box, which, though later it became a classic, didn’t get good reviews on its release in 1929. This, despite the fact that the story had had many successes already on stage and film, with the Danish star of another version of the movie, Asta Neilson, playing the heroine, Lulu. We could nickname her Loopy Lulu, as her love life seems a bit out of whack, to say the least. I don’t wish to spoil the plot entirely for you, but Jack the Ripper enters into it towards the end. Talk about a plot twist! It’s a pretty dark plot all round, and the absence of dialogue just adds to atmosphere. Let Ms. Brooks tell the story first; she is a great yacker, and can tell it well.
I can’t find footage of Asta Neilson in Earth Spirit, so you’ll have to settle for her doing her Hamlet act instead. Here’s a nifty little clip of that. It’s a bit, well, faggy, frankly, but maybe it’s just me that thinks that Hamlet may have been a bit of an Emo (and no, Neon [also now deceased, but doing a Banquo’s ghost on it, but I digress] I’m not an Emo, probably I’m more of a Neko, if anything at all), but not necessarily gay as such. Who knows, if a Hamlet without any talking is a thing, gayness without gayness might be too. Projector, please!
Who cares, except as it’s relevant to giving good Shakespeare. Here, have some Laurence, who gives great Shakespeare.
And for comparative purposes, the same soliloquy given by Richard Harris, who, although going down the drama queen route some, is delivering the goods in a much more robust fashion, partly because he has to emote loudly enough so those in the cheap seats can hear every syllable.
I’ve been yakking too much, I know. Aw, shaddup already, I hear you say (I hear voices so frequently these days). A bit of silence would be a relief at this stage. Zip.
Extras: Here’s some nice alternative atmospheric music you can open up in another window if you don’t like the original score.