Friday, May 8, 2009

The Love of Jeanne Ney (GW Pabst) **

Cast: Edith Jehanne, Uno Henning, Fritz Rasp, Brigitte Helm

Background: Georg Wilhelm Pabst was an Austrian born director who had previously directed The Joyless Street, which starred Greta Garbo.

Story: After her father is murdered, Jeanne Ney moves back to Paris and gets involved in intrigue involving her activist lover, a thief, and a diamond ring.

Thoughts: Pabst certainly has alot of skill as a filmmaker and the complex narrative is very impressive for the era. The only problem is that so much time has been spent on creating an intricate mystery, that Pabst forgot to develop characters that the audience could care about. None of them really amount to anything. And that is the big problem here. There's not much reason to really find interest in the intricate mystery when we don't really care about the characters involved in it. Still, Pabst's skill with the camera is evident and he maneuvers through the complex narrative with ease, and that's enough to make this interesting for the most part. Hopefully, his other films will contain more interesting characters.

Postscript: GW Pabst would really make a name for himself the following year by directing the captivating Louise Brooks in Pandora's Box. His career survived the transition to sound and his last film was in 1956.

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