I confess that I've seen Pandora's Box more than a few times because it is so expressive and tragic. Brooks was real and vital, which is why she resonated to modern audiences when she was rediscovered and deified in the 50s. She cast off many of the Victorian Stage conventions that often translate into melodrama to current audiences. Her beauty subtle and powerful. She did so much with a glance. If you ever do get a chance to watch her two great works (the other was Diary of a Lost Girl), after she left Hollywood and found her great collaborator with George Wilhelm Pabst in the Weimer Republic. Sadly, she never repeated this success in Hollywood, turning down the brutal pre-code classic, Public Enemy, but her works in German remain as tantalizing reminders of her acting genius and her unmet potential. Her last film was in 1938 and she found religion, living quietly and in poverty until she was rediscovered in the 1950s by French film writers.

Brooks, to some extent, has icon status because she was free with her sexuality, having sexual relationships with both men and women, though she herself did not consider herself bisexual. But she was a modern woman, beautiful and not afraid of controversy. This is the book I read about her repeatedly and is a fascinating portrayal of this artist.