Thymiane is a beautiful young girl who is not having a storybook life. Her governess, Elizabeth, is thrown out of her home when she is pregnant, only to be later found drowned. That same ...
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Georg Wilhelm Pabst
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Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Thymiane is a beautiful young girl who is not having a storybook life. Her governess, Elizabeth, is thrown out of her home when she is pregnant, only to be later found drowned. That same day, her father already has a new governess named Meta. Meinert, downstairs druggist, takes advance of her and gets Thymiane pregnant. When she refuses to marry, her baby is taken from her and she is put into a strict girls reform school. When Count Osdorff is unable to get the family to take her back, he waits for her to escape. She escapes with a friend and the friend goes with the Count while she goes to see her baby. Thymiane finds that her baby is dead, and the Count has put both girls up at a brothel. When her father dies, Thymiane marries the Count and becomes a Countess, but her past and her hatred of Meta will come back to her. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I stumbled on this flick on a late-night Canadian French channel, and became quite enamoured with it - partly due to the story, the way it unfolded, but more so with Louise Brooks. She looks fantastic, her smile (when it actually appears in this somewhat melodramatic film) so captivating. But even the characters around her were fascinating too, and the way they were filmed.
It seems to me that with current technology, we can watch a silent movie like this now adjusted to what we understand to be a movement of characters to a pace more like our own, not the slightly quickened pace that we're used to seeing in silent films. I haven't seen the film in its original form, so I can't make an accurate assessment as to whether it unspools a bit more quickly simply due to projectors of the era, or the way it was filmed - the point is this: watching a movie such as this Pabst classic now adjusted to a more realistic pace does seem to make one appreciate them more in a strangely contemporary context. Though we still note the differences in clothing and appearance of the people, they all seem more identifiable somehow. But I swear, I spent a few minutes wondering if I had stumbled onto a contemporary silent-film imitation of some type! Oops!
I experienced something similar recently when watching a screening of Murnau's "Sunrise" - the film and its characters somehow transcended their era. Though part of me wonders if that film also had its pacing adjusted technologically, there was a human dimension to it that made me push aside any preconceived notions of silent cinema and just enjoyed it as a tale well told, beautifully filmed, and amazingly acted. This film has the same effect - though I think it was actually I who transcended my era by experiencing it.
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