This release of the second collaboration between actress Louise Brooks and master film maker GW Pabst allows modern viewers to understand why this film is still written about and discussed eighty years after production.
Pabst takes a simple story of a girl cast out from her family, due to an unwanted pregnancy, and turns it into a study of the hypocrisy of 'respectable' society. Moved from her home to a reformatory and then escaping into a life on the streets, Pabst shows a character looking for love and support who time and again is betrayed. Once again he is able to coax a remarkable performance out of Brooks and make good use of an eye catching supporting cast. Sometimes this veers towards the grotesque but this fits in well with the themes of the story. The occassional stiffness of the silent school of acting can be seen of course but, in fact, it now re-inforces a feeling of social rigidity and convention for the modern viewer. Against this is contrasted the light and natural character of Brooks. Hers is a very modern performance and it is her sensuality and beauty that adds the magic to this story, lifting the film onto a whole different level.
The quality of the print is very good and allows the viewer to become immersed in the film without being distracted by flaws or failings in presentation. An interesting booklet is also included as part of the package.
A good release of the first Pabst-Brooks film, 'Pandoras Box' is already available from Second Sight on Region 2 DVD. This release of '... Lost Girl' allows us to enjoy the other great work of cinema they created, in something like the condition that was originally intended.
It is released by Eureka as part of the 'Masters of Cinema Collection' and shows the care and attention to detail that makes so many of their releases essential for anyone truly interested in cinema.