Unboxing the Silents: Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) on Blu-Ray

While she made more films in Hollywood, Louise Brooks’ reputation rests on the work she did with director G.W. Pabst in Germany near the end of the silent era. Now one of her most famous films is being released on Blu-ray and we’re going to take a sneak peek. As usual, thanks to Kino Lorber for the advance review copy.

The Restoration: Given its controversial subject matter, it’s no surprise that Diary of a Lost Girl was subject to censorship when it was released but the missing footage was restored in 1997. This edition is a new 2K transfer of that restoration. There was some cleanup but some speckling remains. However, the film looks fantastic overall.

Slightly controversial... (image via Kino Lorber)
Slightly controversial…
(image via Kino Lorber)

This restoration includes an intertitle typeface based on the original German title cards (font geeks breathe a sigh of relief, nothing is worse than a font from 1985 in a silent film). The cards are presented in German with optional English subtitles.

Here is a sample from the new edition:

Sound: This edition has a new piano score Javier Perez de Aspeitia. It’s very much along traditional lines so purists should be happy.

Extras: This edition offers no alternate scores but it does come with a commentary track from Thomas Gladysz from the Louise Brooks Society. It also includes the 1931 short Windy Riley Goes Hollywood, which Brooks acted in when she returned to the US. Finally, there are alternate covers, if you want to get fancy.

Default cover on the top, alternate cover on the bottom.
Default cover on the top, alternate cover on the bottom.

Buy? Fans of Brooks will want this one for the modern transfer and the chance to own a classic on Blu-Ray. While it’s not heavy on extras, it looks and sounds fabulous.

Availability: This edition of Diary of a Lost Girl will be released in North America on October 20, 2015

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this film for free for the purpose of reviewing it on my blog. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

9 Replies to “Unboxing the Silents: Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) on Blu-Ray”

  1. This is streaming on Amazon Prime. Since the comments/reviews aren’t particularly helpful, do you know if the streaming edition is the restored edition you just reviewed?

  2. This looks like a really nice edition. Thanks for the information.

    I’m glad to see your comment about the fonts, that being one of my pet peeves. For some reason, often no attention at all seems to be paid to using a stylistically appropriate font when the intertitles must be redone. I’ve never understood that; it really does matter in terms of the look and feel of the film. Why do they use those awful fonts?

    1. Yes, it really ruins the feel of the picture! I mean, a few years out of date is no big deal but I have seen COMIC SANS in title cards. Basic rule of thumb:

      Is it the 1920s? Use Futura.
      Is it before the 1920s? Use Cheltenham.

      Follow these simple rules and much sanity will be saved.

      I must say that restorations done in Germany are usually the best for researching proper typefaces and trying to recreate the original look and feel.

    1. Yes, according to Kino Lorber this transfer will be on DVD. It’s not showing up for me to link to on Amazon yet. And, of course, the 2001 edition is still for sale there as well.

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