Pandora's Box
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Pandora’s Box

G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box silent classic is near perfect (Germany, 1929, Criterion). It’s about the rise and fall of Lulu, the dancer/streetwalker who captivates all men in her path with her uncommon beauty and charm. Lulu is played by Louise Brooks, and the role catapulted her to international fame.

Set in Berlin, 1928, Pandora’s Box is bleak, tragic, and beautiful. The story is timeless and the cinematography is pure genius. For my money, it’s the best example of German Expressionism ever put to film.


Five hundred years in the future, Earth’s a wasteland and the galaxy is like the American Old West — a lawless place full of miscreants and desperate losers. A renegade crew aboard a Firefly class spacecraft tries to eke out a living, sometimes outside the law, and keep flying.

Tragically, Joss Whedon’s addicting show was cancelled early. Firefly (USA, 2002, Fox Searchlight) is what television should be: funny, action-packed, entertaining, and well-written. Binge-watching advised.

— Barry Benintende, film critic and Padres fan

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