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Louise Brooks Society



A blog about an actress, silent film, and the Jazz Age; and occasionally the Denishawn Dance Company, writer Frank Wedekind, his character Lulu, Weimar Germany, Hollywood, the state of Kansas, books, music, art, history and other things sometimes only tan



Updated: 2017-12-12T09:47:32.018-08:00

 



Exploring the 1927 Laurel Canyon Home of Louise Brooks (part 2), by Philip Vorwald

2017-12-12T00:12:02.952-08:00

Today continues a four part / four day guest blog by Philip Vorwald. It is an exploration of the 1927 Laurel Canyon Home of Louise Brooks. Part three will follow tomorrow.[...]



Exploring the 1927 Laurel Canyon Home of Louise Brooks (part 1), by Philip Vorwald

2017-12-11T07:24:40.320-08:00

Today begins a four part / four day guest blog by Philip Vorwald. It is an exploration of the 1927 Laurel Canyon Home of Louise Brooks. Part two will follow tomorrow. [...]



Pola Negri: Her films were silent. She wasn’t.

2017-12-10T00:10:20.437-08:00

For me, my revelatory, door-opening, light switch-on, “you’ve got to check this out” Pola Negri moment came in 2016 when I saw the actress in A Woman of the World, a 1925 comedy screened at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.Of course, I had known of Negri beforehand. I had seen countless images of this Polish-born vamp who made a name for herself in Germany before coming to the United States. I had also seen a few of her movies, movies like The Spanish Dancer (1923), Hotel Imperial (1927), and A Woman Commands (1932). In those films, she played passionate characters who could slay you with just one look. She was gorgeous, exotic, stylish, and temperamental. She was a femme fatale.But in A Woman of the World, playing opposite sad-sack funnyman Chester Conklin, she seemed something else. In A Woman of the World, Negri poked-fun of her image. And she succeeded brilliantly. She was light, funny, witty and charming. That film made me want to see as many of her other films as I could. And, to find out more.To date, there have been a handful of books on this singular silent film star. In 1926, future director Robert Florey penned a small book for a French publisher; this hard-to-find title has yet to be translated into English. In 1970, Doubleday published the actress’ own Memoirs of a Star, an unreliable book in which the actress embellished certain aspects of her life. Some even called it “fiction” at the time of its release.In 2014, the University Press of Kentucky published Mariusz Kotowski’s Pola Negri: Hollywood’s First Femme Fatale, a translation from the Polish of his 2011 book, Pola Negri: Legenda Hollywood. It broke new ground, but leaned in the direction of the actress’ European career. Kotowski’s book was followed by Sergio Delgado’s Pola Negri: Temptress of Silent Hollywood, from McFarland, in 2016. It too is worthwhile, but leaned in the direction of Negri’s Hollywood career.Now comes Tony Villecco’s self-published Pola Negri: The Hollywood Years. As the author states, his book is “not intended to be a complete historical retrospective or analysis of Pola Negri’s films. Rather, it offers today’s readers and film fans an intriguing glimpse into the life, times, and persona of a ‘silent’ star who lived at full volume during the Golden Era of film.” In this regard, it succeeds. It is a good read, full of fascinating information.Negri was born Apolonia Chalupec in Poland, then part of the Russian Empire, in 1897. She acted on the Polish stage, and quickly became a star. At the age of 17, she went to Berlin and was soon teamed with German director Ernst Lubitsch. Together, they made a number of popular films, including Madame DuBarry (1919); it was optioned for exhibition in the United States, and renamed Passion. The film was such a success (despite American misgivings for German films following WWI) that by 1922 she and Lubitsch were both offered contracts to work in America.Negri was the first European film star to be invited to Hollywood, and in the early 1920s, she became one of the most popular actresses in America. A string of hits and near-hits followed, including A Woman of the World. And so did sensational headlines. [Louise Brooks was once compared to Negri, who was also working at Paramount. Negri was considered a "vamp," and Brooks a "junior vamp."]There were love affairs with and reported engagements to Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino, as well as a marriage to a self-styled prince. (Negri herself claimed to be of minor Polish nobility.) Tempestuous relationships with colleagues—including Gloria Swanson, with whom she had a rivalry and reported feud—kept Negri’s name in the news. Both had a penchant for publicity.However, Negri’s American film career began to fade with the coming of sound. There was the lingering perception, at least in some quarters, that her mourning for Rudolph Valentino was less than sincere—while others thought it over-the-top.[...]



Help fund Documentary of a Lost Girl

2017-12-08T21:29:37.285-08:00

Charlottle Siller, the brilliant young documentary filmmaker, has launched a Go Fund Me campaign  aimed at the completion of her Louise Brooks film, Documentary of a Lost Girl. Siller's Go Fund Me page contains more information, images, and a video excerpt. It is very promising. I encourage everyone to check it out HERE, and if possible, make a donation.




Rescuing the Past: The Fall and Rise of Silent Film

2017-12-07T00:07:22.280-08:00

With the advent of the talkies, silent film took a hit. A big hit. The silent cinema was devalued. In fact, things got so bad that some studios melted down their old films, believing a print’s meager silver content more valuable than whatever artistry contained in the movie itself. In this way, hundreds if not thousands of titles were lost to posterity. Others were thrown away, or abandoned. Others simply disintegrated over time, and no one much cared.There was also a perception problem. Aside from a few exceptions, like Charlie Chaplin or your grandparent’s favorites, silent movies were never thought to be all that good. They were herky-jerky, and overly melodramatic. If you are old enough, you might remember those ridiculous compilations they once showed on television where “humourous” dialogue was added over sped-up excerpts from the “flickers,” making everything seem rather corny.These days, however, silent film is seemingly on the ascendancy.Led by the pioneering Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Italy and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in the United States, like-minded and rather well-attended festivals seem to be springing up just about everywhere. Among others, there is a silent film festival in Kansas, one in Toronto, Canada, and one in Manila, in the Philippines. And too, one-off screenings of movies by favorites like Buster Keaton and Louise Brooks are taking place at a frequency that is almost startling. One section on NitrateVille.com—an old-school bulletin board site devoted to talking about, collecting and preserving classic film—is devoted entirely to listing silent film screenings. They’re everywhere. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, in Chicago, Illinois, and in Fremont, California at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. Yes, there’s an entire museum devoted to silent film.One way to mark this resurgence of interest is through the number of documentary films related to early film. It started back in the late 1960s and early 1970s with Kevin Brownlow, the English documentary film maker and author; in 2010, he became to the first film historian to become an Academy Award honoree. In his acceptance speech, he hit back at an industry that has all-too-often neglected it past. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/217176850" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640">This year has been an exceptional year for documentaries related to silent film. One promising example, Saving Brinton, premiered earlier this year at the AFI Docs Film Festival in Washington D.C. It unreels the story of an eccentric collector who found a cache of rare films in Iowa, including a once lost Georges Méliés short, while offering a glimpse into the worlds of early film exhibition and modern-day film preservation.There are others, including three documentaries released on DVD / Blu-ray. The one receiving the biggest buzz—the one even non-film buffs might have heard of—is Dawson City: Frozen Time (Kino Lorber), by Decasia director Bill Morrison. Part film history, part Gold Rush history, part poetic meditation on the fragility of just about everything, Dawson City: Frozen Time obliquely tells the incredible but true story of hundreds of silent film reels, buried for nearly half-a-century, in a swimming pool located deep in the Yukon permafrost.  At the beginning of the 20th century, Dawson City was a Gold Rush boom town (located about 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle) largely gone bust but still in need of entertainment, and that included the movies. Among the cast of characters who passed through Dawson (and some who resided there) were actor Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, showman Sid Grauman, impresario Alexander Pantages, and future director William Desmond Taylor (each a key figure in early Hollywood history), as well as poet Robert Service, businessman Solomon R. Guggenheim, boxing [...]



Louise Brooks Day by Day 1906 - 1985

2017-12-06T08:55:12.947-08:00

On and off over much of this year, I have been working on a certain web page on the Louise Brooks Society website. The page is titled Louise Brooks Day by Day 1906 - 1985. It is a timeline. And it is a work in progress.Ever since I launched the Louise Brooks Society in 1995, I have wanted to create some sort of timeline page. There have been aborted attempts over the years -- but I was never satisfied with how the pages developed, until now. This timeline lacks the cultural and historical entries & context I had originally envisioned for a timeline page. Instead, it achieves something else. It tracks Louise Brooks day by day throughout her life. It is a crazy and ambitious project. And also a lot of fun. This chronology contains entries both significant and mundane. It is based on multiple sources including dates and events found in the Barry Paris biography, as well as those recorded by Brooks in her notebooks (which she kept from the mid-1950s through her death); other dates were gathered from various magazines and newspapers (especially those located where Brooks was resident), along with other disparate sources, such as books, census records, and passenger manifests.This timeline serves as only a partial record of Brooks’ life (both in and out of the spotlight), including her comings-and-goings and activities as a dancer, actress and writer. Brooks’ life ran over the course of 28,758 days, as best I can figure. She accomplished a great deal in her lifetime, appearing in 24 films, writing a book, appearing on radio, and performing hundreds of times on stage as a dancer. She even taught dancing, worked as a professional ballroom dancer, and had other jobs.Relatively speaking, however, little is known about what Brooks was doing on any given day. From the mass of material the Louise Brooks Society has gathered, Brooks’ activities can be traced on nearly a thousand days throughout her lifetime. Best documented is the 18 year period – running from 1922 through 1940, a period of 6939 days – when Brooks worked as a dancer and actress and many of her activities were a matter of public record.I invite everyone to check out what I have found so far at Louise Brooks Day by Day 1906 - 1985. If you know of a specific dated event which is not noted, please let me know. Otherwise, here are a few highlights from the early and the later years:----------Nov. 14, 1906Born Mary Louise Brooks in the town of Cherryvale, Kansas to Leonard and Myra Brooks. A small article announcing the birth appears in the local newspapers, the Cherryvale Republican and Cherryvale Daily News.Sept. 2, 1910Performs in “Tom Thumb Wedding” at the Cherryvale Christian church. Admission is 15 and 25 cents. The following day, a newspaper article states there was “good attendance,” and that the “program pleased the audience, and netted the sum of $300 for the church.” (Do the math. That's a big crowd.)Feb. 25, 1914Helps serve refreshments at a party of a neighbor, who entertained the Good Fellowship class of the M.E. church.June 2, 1916Is a pupil of Miss Minerva Warner’s sewing class, and is named secretary of its West side sewing club.Nov. 23, 1917A Cherryvale newspaper reports that Brooks, who has been out of school for almost five weeks due to illness, is expected to return to classes in a few days.Nov. 15, 1919Hosts an outing for friends, who take in the Dorothy Gish comedy I’ll Get Him Yet at the Best Theatre, followed by lunch at the Sunflower Pharmacy.July 24, 1922Wichita Daily Eagle reports that Brooks has received an offer from the Shubert company, which she rejected; it is reported that she intends to continues her studies with Denishawn before returning home to finish high school (which she never did).June 15, 1940Los Angeles Times reports Brooks the victim of reputed swindler Benjamin F. Crandall; according to articles from the time, Brooks lost $2,000 i[...]



Some of my oddest Louise Brooks stuff - a brick, perfume, vintage fan art, a soup bowl

2017-12-04T00:04:11.837-08:00

Over the years, I have accumulated and collected lots of Louise Brooks memorabilia and ephemera. Much of it, if not most of it, is paper - old magazines, books, postcards, sheet music with Brooks on the cover, etc....But some of it isn't. Some of my oddest Louise Brooks stuff includes a brick, perfume, vintage fan art, a soup bowl, and more. And here they are, for your enjoyment and amusement. First up, is a brick from Cherryvale, Kansas - the small town where Brooks was born and spent the first few years of her life. Believe it or not, there are people who collect bricks, and that's how I acquired this piece. Shipping wasn't cheap! Who knows, perhaps little Louise walked on this very brick.Next is a vintage soup bowl from the Hotel Martha Washington in New York City. Louise Brooks once resided in the hotel (check out the Barry Paris biography for what happened there). Who knows -- dare I say, she might have used this bowl during her brief tenure there. It has seen better days.... I think I bought this off eBay.And here is a piece of vintage fan art. It is a charming pencil drawing from 1927, rendered by someone named L.F. Shotwell. I believe I purchased this off eBay.Over the years, I have also been sent fan art by a handful of fans from around the world. Here are a few examples, which hang in my study / office / the headquarters of the Louise Brooks Society. A few of these pieces hang on a couple of bookcases which house my modest collection of Louise Brooks-related books, which include everything from editions of Lulu in Hollywood from around the world (one particular example is shown below), Brooks' high school yearbook, photoplay editions, books on the actress' various directors, and various books with Brooks on the cover which may or may not be related to the actress.And finally, here is a Dutch edition of Lulu in Hollywood, next to a French perfume called LouLou which employs the same script-face. Coincidence. Perhaps.[...]



TODAY: Pandora's Box screens in London, England

2017-12-03T00:00:19.721-08:00



Pandora's Box will be shown on December 3 in London, England at Phoenix Cinema (52 High Rd, East Finchley, London N2 9PJ). Time and ticket availability may be found HERE.  

The film will feature a live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne, as well as an introduction by Pamela Hutchinson, author of a forthcoming BFI Film Classics book on Pandora’s Box.  

"A free-loving, status-climbing dancer takes up with a succession of lovers, gradually descending to the life of a streetwalker, and thus, her own doom. Lulu (Louise Brooks) lives beyond the constraints of time - she is a radiant, outrageous icon of modernity. In challenging moral conventions with depth and complexity, she has become a screen seductress like no other. Directed by G.W. Pabst in 1929, Pandora's Box is an acknowledged masterpiece of sensual imagery and remains an astonishingly modern work of art."

The Phoenix is very pleased to be welcoming film historian and author Pamela Hutchinson, who has recently written a book on Pandora’s Box for the BFI Film Classics series: Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1929), starring Hollywood icon Louise Brooks, is an established classic of the silent era. Pamela Hutchinson revisits and challenges many assumptions made about the film, its lead character and its star. Putting the film in historical and contemporary contexts, Hutchinson investigates how the film speaks to new audiences. She will be with us to introduce the film and will remain after the screening for an exclusive book signing. More about the book, which is pictured below.






The Case for Marion Davies

2017-12-04T13:01:34.361-08:00

In the 1920s, Marion Davies was a superstar—applauded for her talent and celebrated for her celebrity. Davies, a genuinely gifted actress, appeared in nearly four dozen movies throughout her career, including 30 during the silent era. She also produced a handful of her own films, and authored the scenario to another. Notably, she starred in and produced two of what are now regarded as the finest comedies of her time.At the height of the Jazz Age, Davies must have seemed everywhere. Her name and likeness were continuously splashed across newspapers and magazines around the country, largely in part because she was the live-in companion to one of the most powerful media moguls in America. [She was also something of a social butterfly, friends with just about everybody including Louise Brooks, and hostess at San Simeon, the "Hearst Castle."]And therein lay the problem.Today, too few remember Davies the actress; if she is remembered, it is usually for the wrong reasons. Chief among them was her longtime role as the mistress to a much older married man, William Randolph Hearst, the immensely rich businessman, politician, and newspaper publisher, and one of the more controversial figures of his time. (There was other gossip and scandal as well: was Davies having an affair with Charlie Chaplin? And what did she know about the mysterious death of Thomas Ince, a leading Hollywood producer. The circumstances surrounding Ince’s death are depicted in The Cat’s Meow, the 2001 Peter Bogdanovich film in which Davies is played by Kirsten Dunst.)Davies’ long-time association with Hearst has contributed to the perception—then and in the decades that followed—that she was an actress of little talent only made popular by the Hearst media machine. In 1937, after 20 years in front of the camera, Davies retired. She was still popular, but her career and fame were beginning to fade. Four years later, the Orson Welles’ blockbuster Citizen Kane hit screens. Though only loosely based on Hearst, one of the film’s minor characters was widely thought to be based on Davies. That character, played effectively by Dorothy Comingore, is depicted as a shrieking, no-talent, has-been performer. What was the world to think?Davies suffered the fate of many other early stars. With her films largely out of circulation—her reputation languished. And too, it was conflated with her apparent depiction in Citizen Kane.Davies’ 1975 memoir, The Times We Had: Life with William Randolph Hearst, contained an apologetic foreword by Welles. “Marion Davies was one of the most delightfully accomplished comediennes in the whole history of the screen,” Welles proclaimed, adding she “would have been a star if Hearst had never happened.”Davies’ reputation is now beginning to recover. Today, one of her leading champions is writer and film historian Edward Lorusso. He has just authored The Silent Films of Marion Davies, a 182-page illustrated work which surveys the 30 films the actress appeared in between 1917 and 1929. The plots of each movie—the costumes epics, romantic dramas, and madcap comedies—are summarized. There is background information, cast lists, trivia, and survival status along with a scrapbook-like assortment of both color and black and white images. The Silent Films of Marion Davies makes a good case for the actress.“Silent films were right up my alley,” Davies once said. And it’s true. Compared to her talkies, Davies’ silent movies are on the whole more entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Among her last silents are two of the decade’s great comedies, The Patsy (1928), and Show People (1928). Though both were directed by the legendary King Vidor, both starred and were produced by Davies. If you only see a few of the actress’ films, start with these.Along[...]



Beggars of Life with Louise Brooks screens in Madison, Wisconsin on December 1

2017-11-29T14:42:52.919-08:00

The University of Wisconsin Cinematheque is featuring an image of Louise Brooks at the top of their homepage. That's because the Cinematheque is set to show the sensational 1928 Louise Brooks film, Beggars of Life, on Friday, December 1st. This screening is part of the Cinematheque's "Silents Please!" series of great movies from before the dawn of sound. This 7pm event will take place in 4070 Vilas Hall in Madison. More information about this screening can be found HERE.BEGGARS OF LIFE USA | 1928 | DCP | 81 min.  Director: William A. Wellman Cast: Wallace Beery, Louise Brooks, Richard ArlenA year after picking up Hollywood's first Oscar for Wings, legendary director Wellman turned to this rollicking saga of hobos on the lam. In what was probably her finest Hollywood feature, the magnificent Brooks hops freight trains with Beery and finds romance with Arlen. A recently restored DCP, featuring a score by the Mount Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, will be screened. It has been a great year for the film Beggars of Life. This Spring saw the release of my new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, and this Summer saw the release of a new DVD / Blu-ray of the film from Kino Lorber. And better yet, each received great reviews!Be sure and check out the University of Wisconsin Cinematheque blog, which features a piece by me, Thomas Gladysz, on Beggars of Life. Should any readers of this blog attend this event, I would love to hear your impressions. Please post something in the comments field below.[...]



San Francisco Silent Film Festival winter event on December 2

2017-11-28T08:24:01.110-08:00

Here is the line-up of films for the upcoming San Francisco Silent Film Festival winter event, which is taking place at the Castro Theater in San Francisco on December 2. It is a terrific line-up of movies. The link to ticket information can be found HERE.I will be attending part of the event, and for those interested, I will be signing books, including the RECENTLY released Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film and the NEWLY released Now We're in the Air, following the showing of The Last Man on Earth (at approximately 1:15 pm or so). I will also have a few copies of my DVDs and the "Louise Brooks edition" of The Diary of a Lost Girl on hand.This promises to be a special signing, as it will be taking place in the very theater were the "once lost" Louise Brooks film, Now We're in the Air, was first premiered earlier this year. Joining me will be Robert Byrne, who uncovered the film and wrote the foreword to this new book.The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed)10:00 AM (72 min)The first full-length animated feature ever, Prince Achmed is loosely based on tales from The Arabian Nights. This enchanting film tells its story—an evil sorcerer trying to best the princely hero—entirely through cut-paper silhouettes against tinted and toned backdrops. Director Reiniger’s exquisitely expressive cutouts depict magical scenes of adventure involving flying horses, Aladdin, the Witch of Fiery Mountain, and the beautiful Princess Pari Banu, among others! A treat for all ages!The Last Man on Earth12:00 PM (70 min)This gender-bending 1924 comedy imagines the year 1954 when an epidemic of “masculitus” has wiped out the male population, except for one sad sack, Elmer Smith (Earle Foxe). Gertie the Gangster (Grace Cunard) discovers the hermit Elmer and sells him to the government—for a hefty $10 million—where his fate will be decided in a boxing match on the floor of the US Senate!   Tol'able David2:00 PM (94 min)D.W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms made Richard Barthelmess a star, but it was Henry King’s Tol’able David that cemented his place in the silent firmament. Barthelmess is the sensitive young David forced to confront brutal Goliaths in King’s rustic American coming-of-age tale. David’s serene Appalachian childhood comes to an end when a trio of outlaws terrorizes his town, crippling his brother and causing the death of his father.The Rat4:30 PM (78 min)Set in the criminal underworld of Paris, this 1925 British box-office smash hit features the beguiling Ivor Novello as the apache Pierre Boucheron, aka The Rat. Novello would go on to star in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1926) and Downhill (1927), but it was The Rat that made him a Valentino-like sensation. Novello’s knife-throwing Rat (a role he created for himself on stage) is dangerous to men, irresistible to women—especially to slumming aristocrat Zélie de Chaumet (Isabel Jeans). Director Cutts does a splendid job bringing Belle Époque Paris to life in his London studio. Lady Windermere's Fan7:00 PM (90 min)Silent Oscar Wilde! If any filmmaker in history could convey the wit of the audaciously verbal Wilde in purely visual terms, it was the audaciously clever Ernst Lubitsch, aided here by a superb cast: May McAvoy as Lady Windermere, Ronald Colman as Lord Darlington, and Irene Rich as the notorious Mrs. Erlynne. Wilde’s biting comedy of social affectation and hypocrisy finds perfect expression under Lubitsch’s deft direction. The two masters shared an ethos, voiced here by Wilde’s Lord Darlington: “Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it.” Sex in Chains (Geschlecht in Fesseln)9:15 PM (92 min)William Dieterle, who would go on to direct Hollyw[...]



Pandora’s Box (Pandoran lipas) with Louise Brooks screens in Helsinki, Finland on November 27 and December 1

2017-11-27T00:00:24.893-08:00

The National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI) in Helsinki, Finland will screen Pandora’s Box (Pandoran lipas) on November 27 and December 1, 2017 as part of their ongoing Louise Brooks series.Brooks is the focus of the four film series at the country’s National Audiovisual Institute, which is set to show Beggars of Life on October 12 and 15, Diary of a Lost Girl (Kadotetun päiväkirja) on October 19 and 21, Prix de beaute (Miss Europa) on October 27 and 29, and Pandora’s Box (Pandoran lipas) on November 27 and December 1.Here is some further information from the KAVI site. Times and ticket availability for each film may be found HERE.Louise Brooks, kimaltava tähdenlento12.10.2017 - 01.12.2017Louise Brooksin elokuvauraa voi luonnehtia tähdenlennoksi, sillä hänen aktiivinen elokuvauransa kesti vain vuosikymmenen. Parhaimmat elokuvansa hän teki Euroopassa G. W. Pabstin kanssa. Hollywoodin Brooks jätti sopimusrikkojana, eikä paluu unelmatehtaaseen enää onnistunut.The following is from the KAVI website:Ohjaaja: G. W. PabstHenkilöt: Louise Brooks, Gustav Diessl, Fritz KortnerMaa: SaksaTekstitykset: English subtitlesIkäraja: K16Kesto: 134 minTeemat: ELOKUVAN HISTORIAKINO KLASSIKKOLOUISE BROOKSKopiotieto: 2K DCP • Deutsche Kinemathek (restauroitu laitos 2009 George Eastman House, in cooperation with La Cinémathèque française, Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, Narodní filmový archív, Deutsche Kinemathek)Lisätieto: Franz Wedekindin näytelmistä • sonorisoitu • uusi musiikki Peer Raben G. W. Pabst löysi hehkuvan Lulunsa Howard Hawksin elokuvasta A Girl in Every Port. Pandoran lippaassa (Die Büchse der Pandora, 1929) Brooksin amoraalinen roolihahmo on viaton ja sensuelli – nainen, joka ei tunnusta rajojaan. Elokuva perustuu Franz Wedekindin näytelmiin, joissa ekspressionismi yhdistyy melodraamaan. Pabst tutki totuutta kuitenkin viileästi uusasiallisuuden hengessä, realistisesti ja vähäeleisesti tuoden samalla esiin yhteiskunnallisia epäkohtia ja kaksinaismoraalia. ----- Kreikkalaisessa mytologiassa Pandora on kuolevainen nainen, jonka jumalat lähettivät kauneudella ja muille naiselle tärkeinä pitämillään ominaisuuksilla varustettuna kostamaan Prometheukselle tulenryöstön. Mukaansa Pandora sai lippaan, jonne oli kätketty kaikki inhimilliset synnit ja pahuudet. Tietenkin Pandora meni uteliaana avaamaan lippaan, ja ilkiömäisyydet karkasivat maailman turuille. Jumalat pääsivät sammuttamaan kostonjanonsa.Ekspressionistina tunnettu Sveitsin saksalainen näytelmäkirjailija Frank Wedekind hyödynsi Pandora-myyttiä kahdessa näytelmässään Erdgeist (1895) ja Die Büchse der Pandora (1905), joiden päähenkilö edusti niin avointa seksuaalisuutta ja moraalista alennustilaa, että näytelmien esitykset kiellettiin Euroopan eri kolkilla lähes tyystin. Saksalaisen Georg Wilhelm Pabstin (1885-1967) tunnetuimpiin saavutuksiin – läpimurtoelokuvan Iloton katu (1925), Brecht-sovituksen Kerjäläisooppera (1931) ja työläiskuvauksen Toveruus (1931) ohella – kuuluu edellä mainituista Wedekindin näytelmistä yhteensulautettu eroottinen melodraama Pandoran lipas (Die Büchse der Pandora, 1928). Ennen Pabstia oli aiheeseen tarttunut kameran avulla jo Leopold Jessner vuonna 1922, jolloin Lulua esitti tanskalainen supertähti Asta Nielsen. Pabst suunnitteli ottaa elokuvansa päärooliin nuoren Marlene Dietrichin, kunnes hän päätyi Howard Hawksin ja William Wellmanin mykän kauden varhaistöissä näkemäänsä amerikkalaiseen näyttelijään ja tanssijaan Louise Brooksiin, ”amerikkalaiseen Venukseen”, jolle Pandoran lippaan Lulu muodostuikin uran tärkeimmäksi saavutukseksi. Pandoran lipas on mustanpuhuvan romantiikan ja tunteellisen ekspressionis[...]



Happy birthday to Christy Pascoe - Louise Brooks Society book designer

2017-11-25T01:00:08.753-08:00

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Christy Pascoe (aka site bilder), the designer of the covers of the three books issued (so far) by the Louise Brooks Society. Not only is Christy my wife, she is also my companion in my work. I love her so.Here is a look at the front and back covers of the three books we've worked on. I think she has done a terrific job. And I am proud to have my name on such good looking books. BTW: More are in the works!The Diary of a Lost Girl (Louise Brooks edition) by Margarete Bohme (Author) and Thomas Gladysz (Editor, author of the Introduction)Paperback – 2010purchase on amazon // Barnes & Noble // Indiebound // Powells // ABEbooks // Alibrisalso available at the George Eastman Museum store in Rochester, NY   Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film by Thomas Gladysz (Author), William Wellman, Jr. (Foreword)Paperback – 2017 purchase on amazon // Barnes & Noble // Indiebound // Powells //  ABEbooks // Alibrisalso available at the George Eastman Museum store in Rochester, NY Now We're in the Air by Thomas Gladysz (Author),‎ Robert Byrne (Foreword) Paperback – 2017purchase on amazon // Barnes & Noble // Indiebound // Powells // ABEbooks // Alibris[...]



TODAY: Pandora's Box, starring Louise Brooks, screens in Bristol, England

2017-11-24T00:00:13.136-08:00

Pandora's Box, starring Louise Brooks as Lulu, will be shown in Bristol, England on November 24th. This special event, hosted by South West Silents, will take place at the Cube Microplex (BS2 8 Bristol, United Kingdom). Time and ticket availability may be found HERE.

This film will show from a 35mm film print from the National Film and Television Archive with live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney, and will feature an introduction by Pamela Hutchinson, author of just published BFI Film Classics book on Pandora’s Box



"G.W. Pabst’s 1929 silent masterpiece Pandora’s Box stars Louise Brooks in the role that secured her place as one of the immortal goddesses of the silver screen.

This controversial, and in its day heavily censored, film is regularly ranked in the Top 100 films of all time (including Cahiers du Cinema and Sight & Sound). Brooks is unforgettable as Lulu (Louise Brooks), a sexy, amoral dancer who creates a trail of devastation as she blazes through Weimar-era Berlin, breaking hearts and destroying lives. From Germany, she flies to France, and finally to London, where tragedy strikes. This stunning photographed film is loosely based on the controversial Lulu plays by Frank Wedekind, and also features one of the cinema’s earliest lesbian characters." 

 



The Louise Brooks Society all over the place....

2017-11-23T06:00:01.287-08:00

The Louise Brooks Society was begun in 1995 as a gathering place for like-minded individuals from around the world.The Louise Brooks Society is devoted to the appreciation and promotion of the life and films of Louise Brooks. The mission of the society is to honor the actress by stimulating interest in her life, films and writings, as well as her place in 20th century culture; by fostering and coordinating research; by serving as a repository for relevant material; and by advocating for the preservation and restoration of her films and other material.The purpose of the LBS is to promote interest in the actress by offering membership in a society; by serving as a focal point for related activities; by disseminating accurate information including scholarly texts and bibliographies; and by offering individuals a variety of materials to aid in their appreciation of the actress. Above all, the LBS encourages the viewing of Brooks’ surviving films, and the fellowship of her admirers.Future projects include the publication of new material about the actress (in the form of books and e-books), as well as the ongoing development of its website, its blog, and RadioLulu. The LBS also hopes to raise funds toward the restoration and release of an unavailable Brooks’ film. Other projects are on the drawing board.Want to learn more ? Follow these links:LBS websiteRadioLuluYouTube Soundcloud Twitter FacebookLinkedIn  Google+ CafePressLBS wish list  Amazon Store Visit the LBS page on LAMB[...]



Louise Brooks and Louise Brooks-related books for sale

2017-11-20T08:07:07.846-08:00

Looking for something good to read? Want to learn more about Louise Brooks and her films? The Louise Brooks Society has a small number of new & gently used books for sale of interest to the dedicated fan. Some are hard to find, some less so. Each are in very good or better condition. Your purchase helps support the LBS. To place an order via PayPal, please send an email to louisebrookssociety AT gmailDOTcomLouise Brooks: Portrait of an Anti-Star (softcover 1st printing) edited by Roland Jaccard-- scarce first book on the actress, contains hard-to-find writings by and about Louise Brooks and the Lulu character along with 90 illustrations, edited by the noted French film critic, novelist. This rare 1986 copy was AUTOGRAPHED in Paris by Roland Jaccard. Your purchase helps support the LBS.Only one copy available$250.00 (includes shipping & handling within the USA)****************************The Chaperone (hardcover 1st edition)by Laura Moriarty -- The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922. Soon to be a major motion picture from PBS Masterpiece and the team that brought the world Downton Abbey. This copy AUTOGRAPHED by Laura Moriarty. Your purchase helps support the LBS (who supplied the cover image).Only one copy available$85.00 (includes shipping & handling within the USA) ****************************Lulu (softcover 1st edition) by Samuel Bernstein -- This engaging novel tells the story of the "the laughing girl with the black helmet of hair and the sexy bangs." A good read. These copies are in like new condition and are AUTOGRAPHED by the author. Your purchase helps support the LBS.A few copies available$15.00 (includes shipping & handling within the USA)****************************Louise in Love (softcover 1st edition)by Mary Jo Bang -- In this highly praised collection of poems, Mary Jo Bang jettisons the reader into the dreamlike world of "Louise," a woman in love. AUTOGRAPHED by the poet. Your purchase helps support the LBS.Only one copy available$25.00 (includes shipping & handling within the USA)****************************The Diary of a Lost Girl (softcover 1st edition)by Margarete Bohme (edited & with an introduction by Thomas Gladysz)This new edition of the original English language translation brings this important book back into print in a glorious new edition, with more than three dozen vintage illustrations. The introduction details the book's remarkable history and relationship to the 1929 film. AUTOGRAPHED by Thomas Gladysz. Your purchase helps support the LBS.Copies available$27.50 (includes shipping & handling within the USA)****************************Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film (softcover 1st edition)by Thomas Gladysz -- This first ever study of Beggars of Life looks at the film Oscar-winning director William Wellman thought his finest silent movie. With more than 50 little seen images, and a foreword by William Wellman, Jr. AUTOGRAPHED by the author. Your purchase helps support the LBS.Copies available$13.50 (includes shipping & handling within the USA)****************************Now We're in the Air (softcover 1st edition)by Thomas GladyszThis companion to the once "lost" 1927 film tells the story of the film’s making, its reception, and its discovery by film preservationist Robert Byrne. With two rare fictionalizations of the movie story, more than 75 little seen images, detailed credits, trivia, and a foreword by Byrne. AUTOGRAPHED by the author. Your purchase helps support the LBS.Copies available$17.50 (includes shipping & handling within the USA)**********[...]



RARE silent version of Prix de beaute screens in Maryland on November 18

2017-11-16T08:00:06.330-08:00

The terrific 1930 Louise Brooks film, Prix de beauté, will be shown at the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Springs, Maryland on Saturday, November 18th. And better yet, it will feature live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne, a superb musician who has given new life to the rarely shown silent version of the film. (I have seen Horne accompany this version of the film in the past, and it really is terrific.) More information including ticket availability can be found HERE.PRIX DE BEAUTÉSpecial Features: Silent with live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne PRIX DE BEAUTÉ aka MISS EUROPEPRIX DE BEAUTÉ was the final film Louise Brooks made in Europe before returning to Hollywood, following her two collaborations with G.W. Pabst, PANDORA'S BOX and DIARY OF A LOST GIRL. It was badly served by its sound version, released in 1930, and has been little revived since. Shown in its silent version, however, the film is revealed to be a masterpiece of modernist melodrama, and perhaps Brooks' finest work. Lucienne (Brooks) is a typist for a Parisian newspaper alongside her boyfriend and their best pal. When she wins a beauty pageant, glamorous new opportunities start to come her way, badly straining her relationship with her old friends. DIR Augusto Genina; SCR René Clair; PROD Romain Pinès. France, 1930, b&w, 113 min. NOT RATED. Run Time: 113 Minutes, Genre: Drama  A few years back, I had the chance to ask Stephen a few questions about his work as a musical accompanist, and specifically for Prix de beauté. Here is an excerpt from the interview. TG: What is your approach to composing the score for a silent film?SH: My approach varies from event to event, depending on many variables - some of them quite prosaic, such as how much time I have! On occasion I'll be commissioned to compose a fully notated score, either to perform solo or with other musicians. Most often my approach is improvisatory, but 'planned'. By which I mean that I'll watch the film and prepare certain musical elements, along with certain specific effects, such as when I'll switch between instruments (for those that don't know, I'm something of an instrumental multi-tasker). I like the elastic quality of an improvised performance, which I think can sometimes respond from moment-to-moment in a way that is hard to do with a fixed score. But equally I recognize that people like a good tune! So I try to thread melodic elements throughout, which I guess creates something of a hybrid: an improvised score.TG: Were there any special challenges in composing the score for a silent film that is today best known as a sound film?SH: I think it's simplest to assume that the audience hasn't seen the sound version. Obviously several people will have done, but the event should ideally stand on its own terms, as a silent film / live music event. However, there are some challenges that this silent version presents, particularly all the images that specifically reference sound effects: the repeated close-ups of loudspeakers, etc. One has to make a decision about whether to acknowledge them musically, or 'play through' them instead.Unless you're playing an instrument that can produce comparable sound 'effects', I think it's best to approach these things in a slightly abstract way. In the tango song scene I've chosen to focus on a couple of specific elements within the scene - rather than trying to create an impression of vocalizing, for instance. However, the song in the final scene is inescapably important, so I think that I have[...]



NEW BOOK: Pandora's Box (BFI Film Classics) out today in UK

2017-11-15T08:18:42.306-08:00

Pamela Hutchinson's new book, Pandora's Box (BFI Film Classics), has just been released in the UK. (Those in the UK can order the book here.) The 106 page book, published by the British Film Institute, is a study of the classic 1929 film starring Louise Brooks.According to the publisher, the book "revisits and challenges many assumptions made about the film, its lead character and its star. Putting the film in historical and contemporary contexts, Hutchinson investigates how the film speaks to new audiences."A handful of screening marking the book's publication have been set up around England. Hutchinson will be present to introduce the film and sign copies of her book. According to online sources, tickets for these events are going fast, if they haven't already sold out! The official launch event for the book will take place at a screening of Pandora's Box on Sunday November 19 at the BFI Southbank in London. Pamela will be there to introduce the film and to sign copies of the book afterwards. The film will screen on 35mm, with live accompaniment from John Sweeney. More info about that special event HERE.There are a series of other screenings planned around the UK to support the launch of the book. You can read about them HERE. Those events include: November 24, 2017: Cube Cinema, Bristol: 35mm projection, introduction, live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney. Book tickets here. December 3, 2017: Phoenix Cinema, Finchley, London: 35mm projection, introduction, live accompaniment by Stephen Horne. Book tickets here. December 10, 2017: Eden Court, Inverness: 35mm projection, Q&A, live accompaniment by Stephen Horne. Book tickets here.The book is scheduled for release on November 19 in Germany and France, and in the United States on December 19, 2017. Show your support and love of Lulu, and order your copy today!Pamela Hutchinson is the Editor of Silent London, and writes on early and silent film for the Guardian newspaper and Sight & Sound. Read her piece on Louise Brooks the Hollywood rebel HERE. And, watch for an interview with Pamela in the coming weeks.[...]



NEW BOOK about the Louise Brooks film, Now We're in the Air

2017-11-16T09:36:01.344-08:00

Happy birthday to Louise Brooks, who was born on this day in Cherryvale, Kansas in 1906.

Since today is a special day to all those who might read this blog, it gives me great pleasure to announce the publication of my NEWEST book, Now We're in the Air. The book is available on amazon.com, as well as barnesandnoble.com, IndieBound, and elsewhere. The retail price of this softcover edition is a mere $15.00. Order your copy today! 

For those who want one, autographed copies will be available next week. Please email me directly at silentfilmbuffATgmailDOTcom



This companion to the once "lost" 1927 Louise Brooks' film tells the story of the film’s making, its reception, and its discovery in Prague by film preservationist Robert Byrne. Also considered is the surprising impact this otherwise little known film has had on Brooks’ life and career. This 130 page, 8" x 10" book features some 15,000 words of text including two rare fictionalizations of the movie story, more than 75 little seen images, detailed credits, trivia, and a foreword by Byrne. I believe this is a book anyone interested in silent film, especially fans of the actress, will want to own.

The covers were designed by my wife, Christy Pascoe. I think she did a great job! The front cover is picture above. And here is a look at the back cover.


Of course, my previous work, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, is still available but no longer my NEWEST book. It too is available on amazon.com, as well as barnesandnoble.com, IndieBound, ABE.com and elsewhere.



NEW BOOKS: film biographies and film history

2017-11-11T09:45:14.598-08:00

There are a number of just out and forthcoming film biographies which I am looking forward to. If you like biographies or works of film history, you will want to check out each of these titles. I haven't had a chance to read any of them yet, but plan on doing so. A couple I have dipped into. The description that follows is from the publisher. [I just got my copy of Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film, and it looks great. Curtiz, of course, is the director of the 1931 Louise Brooks film, God's Gift to Women, and the book does mention the actress. The Miriam Hopkins should also be a great read. I loved the author's earlier biography of Ramon Navarro.]Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film by Alan K. RodeUniversity Press of KentuckyAcademy Award–winning director Michael Curtiz (1886–1962)―whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) and White Christmas (1954)―was in many ways the anti-auteur. During his unprecedented twenty-seven year tenure at Warner Bros., he directed swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, romances, historical dramas, horror films, tearjerkers, melodramas, comedies, and film noir masterpieces. The director's staggering output of 180 films surpasses that of the legendary John Ford and exceeds the combined total of films directed by George Cukor, Victor Fleming, and Howard Hawks.In the first biography of this colorful, instinctual artist, Alan K. Rode illuminates the life and work of one of the film industry's most complex figures. He begins by exploring the director's early life and career in his native Hungary, revealing how Curtiz shaped the earliest days of silent cinema in Europe as he acted in, produced, and directed scores of films before immigrating to the United States in 1926. In Hollywood, Curtiz earned a reputation for his explosive tantrums, his difficulty communicating in English, and his disregard for the well-being of others. However, few directors elicited more memorable portrayals from their casts, and ten different actors delivered Oscar-nominated performances under his direction.In addition to his study of the director's remarkable legacy, Rode investigates Curtiz's dramatic personal life, discussing his enduring creative partnership with his wife, screenwriter Bess Meredyth, as well as his numerous affairs and children born of his extramarital relationships. This meticulously researched biography provides a nuanced understanding of one of the most talented filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age. Barbara Lamarr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood by Sherri Snyder University Press of KentuckyBarbara La Marr's (1896–1926) publicist once confessed: "There was no reason to lie about Barbara La Marr. Everything she said, everything she did was colored with news-value." When La Marr was sixteen, her older half-sister and a male companion reportedly kidnapped her, causing a sensation in the media. One year later, her behavior in Los Angeles nightclubs caused law enforcement to declare her "too beautiful" to be on her own in the city, and she was ordered to leave. When La Marr returned to Hollywood years later, her loveliness and raw talent caught the attention of producers and catapulted her to movie stardom.In the first full-length biography of the woman known as the "girl who was too beautiful," Sherri Snyder presents a complete portrait of one of the silent era's most infamous screen sirens. In five short years, La Marr appeared in twenty-six films, including The Prisoner[...]



Beggars of Life, starring Louise Brooks, shows in Brooklyn on November 12

2017-11-09T06:37:05.849-08:00

Beggars of Life, the acclaimed 1928 silent film starring Louise Brooks, will be shown today at the Brooklyn Public Library in Brooklyn, New York. An American silent film classic, Beggars of Life stars Louise Brooks as a train-hopping hobo who dresses like a boy to survive.This screening, part of the Sunday Silent Movie Matinee, will take place at 12:30 pm at the Central Library, Dweck Center. Hosted & Curated by Ken Gordon, with Live Piano Accompaniment by Bernie Anderson. More information may be found HERE.BEGGARS OF LIFE (1928) 82 minutes"In celebration of Louise Brooks' upcoming birthday, on November 14th, we present her best American film and dramatic role. She plays a young woman, who, in self-defense, kills her guardian when he tries to molest her. Pursued by the police, she disguises herself as a boy and joins a young hobo, played by Richard Arlen, as they try to ride freight-trains toward freedom, until confronted by a group of hoboes and the intimidating Oklahoma Red, played by Wallace Beery. Adapted from a book by Jim Tully, subtitled "A Hobo Autobiography," about his years as a road-kid. Directed by William A. Wellman, who had earlier directed the award-winning WINGS (1927)."Silent Movie Matinees are sponsored by Los Blancos and a generous anonymous donor.After escaping her violent stepfather, Nancy (Brooks) befriends kindly drifter Jim (Richard Arlen). They ride the rails together until a fateful encounter with the blustery Oklahoma Red (Wallace Beery) and his rambunctious band of hoboes, leading to daring, desperate conflict on top of a moving train. Based on the memoir of real-life hobo Jim Tully, and directed with adventuresome verve by William Wellman (Wings, The Public Enemy, A Star is Born, The Ox-Bow Incident, etc....), Beggars of Life is an essential American original.See the movie - read the new book about the movie!This first ever study of Beggars of Life looks at the film Oscar-winning director William Wellman thought his finest silent movie. Based on Jim Tully’s bestselling book of hobo life—and filmed by Wellman the year after he made Wings (the first film to win the Best Picture Oscar), Beggars of Life is a riveting drama about an orphan girl (screen legend Louise Brooks) who kills her abusive stepfather and flees the law. She meets a boy tramp (leading man Richard Arlen), and together they ride the rails through a dangerous hobo underground ruled over by Oklahoma Red (future Oscar winner Wallace Beery). Beggars of Life showcases Brooks in her best American silent—a film the Cleveland Plain Dealer described as “a raw, sometimes bleeding slice of life.” With more than 50 little seen images, and a foreword by William Wellman, Jr.[...]



Émile Zola's Chanson de Lulu -- of interest to those who inhabit the Lulu-verse

2017-11-07T09:13:15.566-08:00

I came across this sheet music online, and thought it might be of interest to those of us who inhabit the Lulu-verse. It is a song titled "Chanson de Lulu" by Émile Zola (words) and Alfred Bruneau (music). It comes from a four act opera called L'Ouragan.Émile Zola (1840-1902), of course, is the famed French author of Nana and other literary works. [On July 26, 1958, Louise Brooks viewed a print of Jean Renoir's film version of Nana at the George Eastman House -- follow THIS LINK to view a video clip from the film.]Alfred Bruneau (1857-1934) was a French composer who played a key role in the introduction of realism in French opera. Zola and Bruneau collaborated on a three operas, including L'Ouragan. It was considered his best work. The sheet music shown below was published in France in 1901. L'Ouragan was given in Moscow in a Russian translation in 1905.One reference I found described the opera as a "gloomy story of love, jealousy, and revenge" set among fisher-folk on an unnamed coast. Otherwise, I haven't been able to find much else about this piece, and how it might fit, if at all, into the Lulu-lineage. (There was, as well, a famous circus performer named Lulu in Paris around the turn of the last century.) Some additional images from the original 1901 opera production may be found HERE.Would anyone know of an English-language translation of "Chanson de Lulu" ? [...]



Forthcoming NEW BOOK: Nothing Sacred: The Cinema Of William Wellman

2017-11-05T11:05:00.552-08:00

If you ask film historians who are some of America’s greatest directors, they may suggest Orson Welles, Frank Capra, John Ford, Martin Scorsese, or Steven Spielberg. Other might put forth names such as Robert Altman, Howard Hawks, William Wyler, or Francis Ford Coppola. Others still may campaign for George Cukor, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kramer, Quentin Tarantino, or Cecil B. DeMille.However, if you ask noted film historians Frank Thompson and John Andrew Gallagher who they think is America’s single greatest director, they’ll claim someone else all together, William Wellman.To prove their point, the two have nearly completed a book they’ve been working on for almost 35 years. It’s significant, and it’s massive. And, it’s a work that can rightly be described as the most thoroughly researched, detailed, and richly illustrated book ever published on any director.Their book, Nothing Sacred: The Cinema Of William Wellman (Men With Wings Press), is an oversized, 700 page, 12” x 9” volume that includes a remarkable 300,000+ words of text and features some 1000 images (many rare) including stills, posters, lobby cards, and ads.Arguably, Wellman was responsible for three of the greatest films ever made, Wings (1927 – the first film to win the Oscar for Best Picture), The Public Enemy (1931 – the genre defining gangster film), and A Star Is Born (1937 – the single finest film about Hollywood: besides directing, Wellman also wrote its story).Ever versatile, Wellman worked across genres beginning in the silent era on through to the late 1950s. He made dramas, war films, crime films, comedies, Westerns and adventure stories while working for Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Columbia, Paramount, Selznick-International and others. Many of his most memorable films were made during the Pre-Code era at Warner Bros., with detours to RKO and M-G-M.Wellman also directed Beggars of Life (1928 – starring Louise Brooks, and just out on DVD), Night Nurse (1931 – with a riveting Barbara Stanwyck), Nothing Sacred (1937 – the first screwball comedy filmed in color), Beau Geste (1939), Roxie Hart (1942), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943 – an underrated masterpiece), The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), The High and the Mighty (1954) and others. Some of his other under-appreciated movies include The Legion of the Condemned (1928 – now lost), So Big! (1932), Wild Boys of the Road (1933), Lady of Burlesque (1943), Yellow Sky (1948), and Battleground (1949). Each of these films, along with the many others directed by Wellman as well as those in which he had an uncredited hand, are covered in Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman.The writing and production of the book was such a monumental undertaking that it is being published under unusual circumstances. The sale of Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman will last for only three months, through December 5, 2017, with the number of books printed depending on the number ordered. The book, a deluxe limited edition printed in full color, will be sent to the printer after December 5, with this edition being the only edition. Each copy costs $150, and each volume will be numbered and signed by both authors. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="405" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/232527187" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640"> Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman from Alexander Yew on Vimeo.Thompson explained that the rea[...]



A sneak peak at Documentary of a Lost Girl: Finding Louise Brooks

2017-11-03T11:03:01.940-07:00

Here is a six minute sneak peak at Documentary of a Lost Girl, the forthcoming film about Louise Brooks by Charlotte Siller. It's impressive.

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vkfP5V-ANn4" width="560">

From the filmmakers: "Documentary of a Lost Girl, due to be completed in May 2018, is a film that seeks to uncover the life of the late Louise Brooks by examining every facet of what's been left behind; the filmmakers have visited the places she's lived, spoken with her old friends and relatives, and have visited archives around the country to discover the woman who gifted us with such a beautiful, adventurous, and rebellious story. As a woman who fought against the sexual advances of Hollywood studio executives and exposed the truth about the slavery of the studio system in her later life in her various essays, making up her bestselling Lulu in Hollywood, her story is now more relevant than ever. She was a woman of the past who was ahead of her time, and she is now a voice most needed for the future. She always referred to herself as lost: 'Somehow I have avoided being found' she said."

For more about this worthwhile project, which needs your help in spreading the word, see http://www.documentaryofalostgirl.com/

 



Some RadioLulu Podcast Themes

2017-11-02T13:45:05.176-07:00

A couple of days ago, I posted an admittedly longgggggggg blog regarding RadioLulu, the LBS sponsored, Louise Brooks-inspired, silent film-themed, internet only station streaming music of the 1920s, 1930s, and today.I did so because, lately, I have been working on the station, freshening-up both its playlist and its HOMEPAGE on the Louise Brooks Society website, and wanted to let everyone know. There is a lot of great music to be heard on this unique station.RadioLulu is located on the web at http://192.99.8.170/start/radiolulu/. There you can see songs the station is currently playing and has recently played. Otherwise, for those who might want to tune-in here and now, click on the widget shown below, listen, and enjoy. frameborder="no" height="150" scrolling="no" src="https://tunein.com/embed/player/s299232/" style="height: 100px; width: 100%;" width="300">At the bottom of that admittedly longgggggggg post, I mentioned that I had been considering putting together some thematic podcasts, perhaps sometime in 2018.I figure I would gather together six or ten songs, and talk about them a bit, like a DJ might. Each show might run 30 to 60 minutes. I could explain why these songs play on RadioLulu and how they are related to Louise Brooks. Believe you me, there is always a reason, or some justification of a kind, no matter how obscure. Recently, for example, I was streaming RadioLulu at home using the Tune-In app through Roku when my wife asked why I had included Al Jolson's "Sonny Boy"? The answer may not be obvious to the casual listener, but I knew why. It's played on RadioLulu because it was the flipside on a 78 rpm of one of the handful of "Beggars of Life" recordings I own.Well, I've given of podcasts a lot of thought, and I came up with about three dozen different themes for different shows. Here are a few of them. Each, I think, should prove interesting and entertaining. Look for them starting in 2018. (First I got to learn how to record and edit-in songs in a podcast.)Beggars of Life: Variations on a Theme (Song)-- "Beggars of Life" and other related tracksLouise Brooks Recommends-- dance numbers recommended by the actress in "The Fundamentals of Good Ballroom Dancing"Syd Kay's Fellows-- recordings by the wedding band seen in "Pandora's Box"Homage to Lulu-- contemporary recordings in homage to Louise BrooksDiary of a Lost Girl: Music of Otto Stenzel & Juan Llosa  -- recordings by the original film score composer & the small combo seen in the filmFlappers & Vamps-- Jazz Age recordings of “Flapperette,” "Runnin' Wild," “I’m a Jazz Vampire,” etc...Screen Co-Stars-- vintage recordings by Adolphe Menjou, Esther Ralston, Dorothy Mackaill, James Hall, Lawrence Gray, Noah Beery and othersAlso on the Bill-- rare recordings by Emil Coleman, Bruz Fletcher and others who shared the stage with Louise Brooks during her time as a ballroom dancer in the 1930sGod's Gift to Women-- recordings by the stars of the 1931 film, Frank Fay & Joan Blondell (and maybe a song by Barbara Stanwyck, who was married to Fay at the time)Denishawn-- dance numbers by Denishawn composer Louis Horst, and other related classical musicCharlie Chaplin-- mostly vintage recordings associated with the Little Tramp (songs written by, conducted by, or about CC)If I Had a Talking Picture of You-- vintage movie-related songs from long go like “Take Your Girlie to the Movies,” “At the [...]