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.
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.
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.