"Diary of a lost girl"
Louise Brooks is a 20th century icon. Her hair is her trademark. Her distinct Dutch bob framed a face of astonishing beauty. Fair skinned and freckled, Brooks appeared on film as something almost luminous. Her sleek black hair - the famous “black helmet” - defined a face both inviting and enigmatic. Her’s was a “face that the camera loved.”
Ironically, Louise Brooks is perhaps least remembered for what she was - a gifted actress.
Brooks’ career in Hollywood is overshadowed by what is certainly her best-known role, as “Lulu” in the classic German film, Pandora’s Box (1929). Under the direction of G. W. Pabst, Brooks’ subtle, erotically charged style of acting emerged. Upon its release, Pandora’s Box largely failed in Germany and was barely reviewed in the United States. Brooks’ style was so natural that critics complained she either couldn’t or didn’t act. Today, Pandora’s Box is considered a landmark of the silent cinema.
Brooks made two other films in Europe - Diary of a Lost Girl (1929), again with Pabst, and Prix de Beauté (1930), an early French sound film (based on a story by Pabst & Rene Clair). With the promise of work in Europe, Brooks had quit Paramount in an act of defiance.