There are times towards the end when the image seems to be in x-ray mode, reversed light and dark, and at other times the ripples come across as so abstract the viewer might wonder whether they are hand-drawn. But even if there are some fancy tricks and animation, which I doubt, it still fits seamlessly into the rhythm and the theme doesn't change. Seriously, this movie is so beautiful that there is nothing left to do but swoon.
The soundtrack doesn't always give us live sound for the images on the screen, sometimes it's just the pre-recorded music playing. Zeller's score follows the same rhythmic juxtapositioning and peak-building as the images. It's a decent method, especially when the sound links up occasionally. In such instances, the movie feels momentous, hyper-real. This movie was made before World War II, just before the Great Depression, and yet for as much time that separates us, this movie has the ability to make us think big, feel as one, and to remember that we come from the loud, busy planet. This movie reminds us that there is no reason we should ever be bored.
The title translates as "Old and new".
At times, especially when Brooks is being photographed in various stylish outfits in countless photogenic settings and from every possible angle and under every possible lighting, it becomes difficult not to see the entire production as thinly-veiled pornography, or possibly as sequences from a modelling shoot, or more accurately as a filmization of a seedy dime-novel. What elevates the movie is Brooks herself. Yes, the camera does love her face and body, but if she had just been a pretty face with no acting talent, the movie surely would not be worth its time. What we fortunately have is a high-quality keeper, an epic journey through the life of a charming woman from the wrong side of the tracks. And we have it thanks to that unifying spirit with the bobbed hair. When Brooks' character Lulu is vibrant and charming, she is so not only for the other characters, but also for the people watching the movie. She redefines acting by projecting outwards through the camera to the audience. When she gestures, glances, expresses, and engages in an activity, we are aware of the extremely vivid reality of the scene, because we feel it too. Because she is so good, we are able to notice everything else good around her: the cinematography, the direction, the sets, the other actors and the editing. These all work together to transform a rich but over-long novel of a script into a sometimes snappy, sometimes profound paragon of movies. In a sense, you could say Brooks deserves a producer credit.
The title translates as "Pandora's Box".
The visual component was completed and screened silently in 1928 as the first movie to feature Mickey Mouse, but after the immediate success of adding a soundtracks to movies, it was re-released with one the next year. That soundtrack adds a symphonic harmony to the visual hijinks, with its whirring propeller, barks, squeaks, and plops. It is immensely more fun than with the sound turned off. In other words, once you go sound, you don't turn around. In short, this is a trememdous work of animation not only paving the way for future cartoon movies, but also broadening the level of sensation one could expect from flickering images, animated or otherwise.