Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
West Germany/USA, 1984. Norddeutscher Rundfunk. Cinematography by Sandy D’Annunzio. Produced by Richard Leacock, Susan Henry Steinberg. Music by Eliane Reinhold. Film Editing by Lance Sprague, Susan Henry Steinberg.
Richard Leacock scores a huge bingo in this brief documentary as he manages to get an extensive interview, one of the few in existence, with Louise Brooks. Probably most famous for her performance in Pabst’s classic Pandora’s Box, Brooks opens up about her career, her life and her unforgivingly hedonistic personality in a breezy film that wisely concentrates on letting its subject speak for herself. Not satisfied with exploiting her famously troubled private life, which includes a rocky career and some Rocky-level bouts with alcoholism, Leacock encourages Brooks to talk about the experiences of collaborating with some of the cinema’s greatest artists (and, naturally, Pabst is at the top of the list). Highly informative, this one is a must for fans of Brooks. If you see this film on Criterion’s double-disc boxed set of Pandora’s Box, you’ll enjoy an updated interview with Leacock who talks about the experience of interviewing the great star.