THE SILENT TREATMENT: Louise Brooks in "Diary of a Lost Girl"

There’s a reason the name Louise Brooks elicits sighs every time it’s mentioned at the Cinefamily: her ferocious charisma and otherworldly beauty cemented her status as an icon well before she retired from the silver screen, at the age of 32. From her comic role opposite W.C. Fields to multiple turns as troubled, willful heroines in the films of legendary German Expressionist auteur G.W. Pabst, Brooks shines as an actress capable of endless nuance and versatility — as she understood the impact both her inner and outer beauty could bring to the screen. Here, in her second and final collaboration with Pabst, Brooks gives a delicately restrained performance as the naive daughter of a prosperous pharmacist who stuns her clan by becoming pregnant. After being put through the repressive reform school ringer, she escapes to a brothel where she becomes liberated and lives for the moment with radiant physical abandon. Pabst’s escalating nightmares are heightened by Brooks’ sensitive portrayal of a truly lost girl whose hard-earned redemption is as beautiful a vision as the star herself. Live music track by resident Cinefamily accompanist Cliff Retallick
Dir. G.W. Pabst, 1929, 35mm, 116 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Diary of a Lost Girl”!