Films that were shot some years ago help us to comprehend the notions of love, women’s sexual power, feminity, and whether women are a commodity of men. The films from which we get this information are the Pabst’s Pandora’s Box and the Sagan’s Girls in Uniform. It is possible to compare and contrast the notions of love as depicted in the two films through Lulu in Pabst’s Pandora’s Box and Manuela in Sagan’s Girls in Uniform.
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In the film Pandora’s Box, Lulu is a commodity to the males. The series of events in which she takes part clearly shows it. Lulu is the mistress of Dr. Ludwig Schon. One day, an old patron, Schigolch, apprears at Lulu’s door, and she is happy to see him (Pabst 24). However, Schon arrives and reveils Lulu the news about his future marriage with Charlotte, the daughter of the Minister of the Interior. Though Lulu tries her best to persuade him to change his mind, he leaves when he discovers the presence of Schigolch. Schigolch introduces Lulu to one of his friends, Rodrigo, who wants her to take part in his new performance (Pabst 39).
One day, Lulu decides to visit her friend Alwa, who happens to be the son of Schon. Her presence does not please Schon; he then suggests that Lulu features in Alwa’s musical production as a way to get her off his mind. During the rehearsals for the musicals, Schon brings Charlotte, and this makes Lulu angry to a point of her refusing to perform (Wilhelm 50). Schon takes Lulu to the storage room to try and change her mind, but instead, she seduces him, and Charlotte finds them embracing.This makes Schon marry Lulu (Frank 78).
While the wedding plans are underway, Schon finds Lulu and Schigolch cavorting playfully in the bedchamber and wants to kill them both, but instead, drags Lulu to a separate room and orders her to shoot herself with the gun (Frank 82). Unfortunately, the gun slips killing Schon. Later, Lulu is taken to prison from where she escaped with the help of Schigolch. Then she finds herself being sold to a brothel in Egypt. With Alwa’s help, she is able to escape. One Christmas Eve, Lulu meets Jack the Ripper as her first client in the prostitution business. He is remorseful and says he has no money, but Lulu likes him and goes ahead and invites him to her lodging (Wedekind 90). Jack throws away his knife at the height of the moment but finds another knife on the table in the lodging; he is hesitant to resisiting his urges. Unaware of the unfortunate situation awaiting Lulu, Alwa joins a passing parade (Frank 93).
In the Sagan’s Girls in Uniform film, the relationship between Manuela and her teacher, Fräulein von Bernburg, differs from that of Lulu (Christa 22). Unlike Pandora’s Box, the love affair between Manuela and her teacher is sensational and full of romance. Though there are a few heartbreaks due to the separation of the two. Once the headteacher discovers about the relationship between Manuela and Fraulein, we see Fraulein crying in her room as she tries to escape trouble (Burnham 47).
The Sagan’s film Girls in Uniform shows women’s sexual power and feminity in a more positive way as compared to the Pabst’s Pandora’s Box. While Lulu offers her sexuality to any man whom she likes and ends up in trouble, Manuela finds herself a victim of circumstance, being in a boarding school full of femal students and teachers (Barbara 80). Manuela experiences pure love towards her teacher and is driven by feminity unlike Lulu who dates with Schgolch and Jack the Ripper and whose feelings were based purely on sexual power (Christa 93).
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