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(Blu-ray title in TOP - Kino DVD on BOTTOM)

(aka 'Diary of a Lost Girl')

Directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Germany 19
29

 

A masterwork of the German silent cinema whose reputation has only increased over time, Diary of a Lost Girl [Tagebuch einer Verlorenen] traces the journey of a young woman from the pit of despair to the moment of personal awakening. Directed with virtuoso flair by the great G. W. Pabst, Diary of a Lost Girl represents the final pairing of the filmmaker with screen icon Louise Brooks, mere months after their first collaboration in the now-legendary Pandora’s Box [Die Büchse der Pandora].

Brooks plays Thymian Henning, an unprepossessing young woman seduced by an unscrupulous and mercenary character employed at her father’s pharmacy (played with gusto by Fritz Rasp, the degenerate villain of such Fritz Lang classics as Metropolis, Spione, and Frau im Mond). After Thymian gives birth to his child and rejects her family’s expectations for marriage, the baby is stripped from her care, and Thymian enters a purgatorial reform school that seems less an institute of higher learning than a conduit for fulfilling the headmistress’s sadistic sexual fantasies.

****

An elegant narrative of moral musical chairs, Pabst's last silent film not only plays on who holds what kind of legitimate place in society, but is also a starkly direct view of inter-war Germany. Feasting the camera on Brooks' radiant beauty, Pabst follows the adventures of innocence led astray in the shape of Thymian, a pharmacist's daughter. Her progress from apple of her father's eye, through sexual lapse and approved school, to darling of an expensive brothel and finally to dowager countess, gives Pabst the opportunity to measure the Germany of the Weimar republic against Brooks' embodiment of a vitality so exuberant that it equals innocence. However damning, though, Pabst's indictment of the bourgeoisie as torn between powerless compassion, greed and scandal-lust, his alternatives - the brothel as the one place of true friendship, or the aristocratic father-figure who puts everything right in the end - smack very much of a cop-out, allowing him to both revel in decadence and enjoy the moral superiority of denouncing it.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

  Poster

Theatrical Release: September 27th, 1929

 

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Comparison:

Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL vs. Kino - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Thanks to Geff Ratcheson for the Kino DVD caps!

 

1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL  - LEFT

2) Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

Distribution Eureka - Masters of Cinema Spine #39 - Region 0 - PAL Kino Video - Region 0 - NTSC Masters of Cinema - Spine # 97
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:47:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:52:48 1:52:57.812 1:53:07.989
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.81 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.3 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,575,687,314 bytes

Feature: 33,186,741,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.10 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,933,843,287 bytes

Feature: 21,766,201,344 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 MoC

Bitrate:

Kino

Bitrate: MoC

Blu-ray

Bitrate: Kino Lorber

Blu-ray

Audio German (Dolby Digital 1.0)  German (Dolby Digital 2.0) LPCM Audio Undetermined 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English, None (over German intertitles) English translated intertitles English, None (over German intertitles) English, None (over German intertitles)
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka - Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• 40-page booklet including writing from Louise Brooks, Lotte H. Eisner, Louella Interim, Craig Keller, and R. Dixon Smith

DVD Release Date: May 21st, 2007

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Louise Brooks short: Windy Riley Goes Hollywood

DVD Release Date: November 13th, 2001

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Original Aspect Ratio) - 1.33:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,575,687,314 bytes

Feature: 33,186,741,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.10 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Piano score of Javier Pérez de Aspeitia
• New and exclusive video essay by filmmaker and critic David Cairns entitled Naked on my Goat (11:39)
• 40-PAGE BOOKLET including writing by Louise Brooks, Lotte Eisner, Louelle Interim, Craig Keller, and R. Dixon Smith

DVD included


Blu-ray Release Date: November 24th, 2014
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Lorber

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,933,843,287 bytes

Feature: 21,766,201,344 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by Thomas Gladysz, Director, Louise Brooks Society
• Windy Riley Goes Hollywood (1930, 20:02., featuring Louise Brooks) )

• Promotional Trailer (:52)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Standard
Blu-ray case

Chapters: 11

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (October 2015): I enjoy when there are differences. The new Kino Lorber is "mastered in HD from archival 35mm elements". It has the same damage marks as the Masters of Cinema but there are some significant differences. Either the MoC is horizontally stretched (fatter faces) or the Kino-Lorber is vertically stretched (slimmer faces.) It is possible that it is a little of both (I took the watch image - a circle- and compared - the MoC is 'more' round - the Kino 'more' oval). The other major difference that I noted was the grain textures. The UK transfer is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate and the grain is much thicker - and better supported. The single-layered Kino is smoother and I prefer the MoC textures.

I know some of my screen grabs are not exact frame - but many of them are! You can toggle between the large captures to get a better idea of the disparity. The Kino still looks great but those who are more discerning about the visuals will be more pleased with the MoC assuming the stretching (on either or both) is not overly disturbing.  

Kino Lorber also transfer the audio in a linear PCM 2.0 channel, but at 1536 kbps and only 16-bit (where the MoC was 24-bit). MoC get the nod here as well. It is same very pleasant piano score by Javier Pérez de Aspeitia which is so suitable to the story. And the same as the UK Blu-ray Kino have the German intertitles with optional English subtitles. The disc is region 'A.

Kino include an audio commentary by Thomas Gladysz, the director of The Louise Brooks Society and imparts plenty of information about the tragic star and the production. We also get the 20-minutes Windy Riley Goes Hollywood - 1930 short featuring Louise Brooks that is also on Kino's 2001 DVD as an extra. Lastly, we get a promotional trailer.

Essential Silent Era film - and another strong package - the commentary addition gives it strong value. Certainly recommended although I give the a/v edge to The Masters of Cinema.

 

***

 

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (November 2014): Diary of a Lost Girl has had quite a history. Initial text screens inform us "Due to censorship Diary of a Lost Girl was shortened and changed drastically. In 1997, a reconstruction and photochemical restoration of the film as it had originally been intended was created by The Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, the Deutsche Filminstitut - DIF, Frankfurt am Main, and the Frederich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Wiesbaden. It is based on the dupe negative from the Danish Film Institute, Copenhagen. Most of the missing scenes wwere added from a contemporary copy from the Archivo Nacional de la Imagen - Sodre, Montevideo. The reconstruction of the edit that was shown in the film's premiere is based on comparisons of the surviving copies, as well as the censor records of the Filmoberprufstelle Berlin. The wording of the German intertitles was created with the aid of German-French intertitles from a copy at the Cinematheque Royale de Belgique, Brussels. A few surviving German titles from a copy at the Archivo Nacional de la Imagen - Sodre, Montevideo served as a model for the typography. The master negative of this edit was used for the 2K digital version. For this HD mastering, the image has been corrected in places, and heavy damage to the film has been retouched. "  So, unfortunately, the visuals are fraught with occasional damage and marks. The higher resolution can tend to pick-up those imperfections - detailing them as well as the grain textures. The Masters of Cinema Blu-ray easily advances upon the SD transfers - and looks significantly more film-like and the textures come alive.

 

Audio is transferred in a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 2304 kbps. It is a pleasing piano score of Javier Pérez de Aspeitia which works wonderfully well with the narrative. Once again, MoC have the German intertitles with optional English subtitles. The Blu-ray is region 'B'-locked.

 

I really enjoyed the new video essay by filmmaker and critic David Cairns entitled Naked on my Goat focusing almost completely on the hypnotic Louise Brooks. It runs almost a dozen minutes. The package also contains a 40-page liner notes booklet including writing by Louise Brooks, Lotte Eisner, Louelle Interim, Craig Keller, and R. Dixon Smith. Being Dual-Format a DVD is included.

 

For many Silent Era fans this purchase is a no-brainer. The mystique of Louise Brooks permeates Diary of a Lost Girl and having the 1080P looking so significantly more dynamic is a true treat - as is the video essay. A very strong recommendation!   

***

ON THE DVDs: ADDITION: This is pretty much akin to The Metropolis comparison that we did HERE. Both Eureka and Kino received the transfer from the German Stiftung restoration - but Kino, once again, have translated the intertitles to English and created an interlaced transfer (see evident combing throughout - and last capture sample). It appears as though they actually did the costly conversion to NTSC but didn't bother to make it progressive - potentially instilling a real visual distraction to anyone with an advanced viewing system (widescreen TV, LCD, plasma, projection etc.) Sigh. Both show the same damage marks (mentioned in comments below) but they have different levels of prominence - once again I give this nod to Master of Cinema - it is possible they boosted contrast at times to hide some of the extensive marks. The PAL disc has a more film-grain appearance. Kino shows more rounded corners (hidden by all theatre projectionists) as well.

Kino provides a short talkie comedy, Windy Riley Goes Hollywood with Louise Brooks and directed by Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle - while Masters of Cinema have the advanced liner notes (see below).

You will want the Masters of Cinema release in the end as the DVD(s) will last longer than your current system plus the liner notes are a joy! Ohhh the MoC is cheaper too!

***

Gary on the MoC: A film of this age, and condition, has obvious issues for a digital transfer. There are plenty of scratches, both light hairline and heavier, some flickering contrast, other more prominent marks, but the bottom line is that most will find this visually acceptable considering... and very watchable. It uses the master from the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung print. MoC may have boosted black levels a shade. The screen captures below give a fair representation of how it will look on most systems.

This seems to be a rarity for MoC in that there are no digital supplements - but the good news is that they have included their usual large liner notes booklet keepsake with vintage reprints and new material including writings from Louise Brooks, Lotte H. Eisner, Louella Interim, Craig Keller, and R. Dixon Smith.

The DVD inferiorities don't take away from the magnificence of the film one iota. Louise Brooks is her usual hypotonic self. For those keen on film history or the silent era it is an easy must-have and although I don't own the Kino Region 1 NTSC edition - I have done enough comparisons to know that this PAL edition would easily be judged the best. If the Kino is not a PAL->NTSC combing/ghost festival then I would be more than shocked - most likely catatonic. I recommend this MoC release on the strength of the film and the production company's sterling track record. This will be the best English subbed version available. You need to buy it. At the writing of this review it is 38% OFF!

Gary W. Tooze

 

 


 Menus

 

 (Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. Kino - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)


 

 

Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Kino Lorber- Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle/Intertitle Sample

 

 

1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Combing Evident on the Kino DVD

 

 

1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Box Covers

   

Distribution Eureka - Masters of Cinema Spine #39 - Region 0 - PAL Kino Video - Region 0 - NTSC Masters of Cinema - Spine # 97
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray




 

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