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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: 2017-06-27T05:19:25.394-07:00

 



New Book: Asheville Movies Volume 1: The Silent Era by Frank Thompson

2017-06-26T22:54:42.553-07:00

I want to recommend a new book, Asheville Movies Volume 1: The Silent Era, by film historian Frank Thompson. Recently published, this is a work of film history, but more specifically, local film history. In that regard, it is a pioneering work -- as well as interesting, entertaining, thoroughly researched, and briskly written. I recommend it highly. Back in the silent era, there were a handful of regional centers of film making. Films were made in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as in Chicago, Florida, New Jersey, the San Francisco Bay Area, and elsewhere.** As well, just about every town had it's own film company; these local companies shot not only local events of note (parades, visiting dignitaries, civic anniversaries, etc...), but occasionally, if they were a little more ambitious, a drama which utilized local scenery and landmarks as well as individuals.In Asheville Movies Volume 1: The Silent Era, author and film historian Frank Thompson rediscovers a lost era of North Carolina history. Thompson's new book is the first exploration of the films made in and around Asheville from the earliest actualities in 1900 to the final silent film, We're Careful Now, in 1929. Itinerant movie makers as well as major national film companies such as Edison, Selznick, Vitagraph, Metro, and Paramount found Asheville provided the perfect backdrop to all kinds of films from urban dramas to mountain adventures. One allegorical movie, The Warfare of the Flesh (1917), which survives in very fragmentary form, even recreated Hell in a quarry in near-by Swannanoa.Of the fifty-plus motion pictures filmed in and around Asheville, only one survives today more or less complete: The Conquest of Canaan (1921), starring Thomas Meighan and Doris Kenyon and filmed almost entirely on the streets of Asheville (see image below). Six silent films made in Asheville between 1916 and 1929 were cast locally. Each were sponsored in part by local newspapers. All these films are missing, and presumed lost. Also lost are nearly all the memories of these important pieces of film history and North Carolina history. Thompson, as a kind of film archeologist, has done a superb job digging up the cinematic history of Asheville and environs.Actor Thomas Meighan steps off a trolley car in front of the Swannanoa-Berkeley Hotel at 45-47 Biltmore Ave in Asheville. Director R. William Neill stands with his back to us, while Harry Perry cranks the camera. Reflectors were used to coax a little more light onto the star. Photo courtesy of the N.C. Collection, Pack Memorial LibrarySome of the other major productions shot in Asheville and documented in this new book include The Foolish Woman (1916), with Clara Kimball Young, The Panther Woman (1918), with Olga Petrova, The Ordeal of Rosetta (1918), with Alice Brady.As much as Asheville Movies Volume 1: The Silent Era is the story of local film history, it is also the story of American film history. So much of what took place in Asheville was also taking place around the country. The book is illustrated with 133 stills, photographs, posters, ads and other imagery, most of which has not been in print for a century and some which have never been published anywhere.Asheville Movies Volume 1: The Silent Era should appeal to those interested in silent film, including fans of Louise Brooks. The star of the most significant film made in Asheville, The Conquest of Canaan, later appeared in the 1927 Brooks' film, The City Gone Wild. And as well, the cinematographer of The Conquest of Canaan was Harry Perry, who shot another 1927 Brooks' film, Now We're in the Air (which included Emile Chautard, who directed The Ordeal of Rosetta). The scenario for The Conquest of Canaan, by the way, was by Frank Tuttle, who directed another Brooks' film, The American Venus, from 1926. I also came across mention of another Brooks' associate, Ruth St. Denis. As skirt dancer Ruth Denis, she appeared in what was likely the first film shown in Asheville, a Kinetoscope made in 1895!On July 2, The Conquest of Canaan, starring Thomas Meighan and Dor[...]



Prix de beauté screens in Bologna, Italy

2017-06-23T07:29:35.371-07:00

The sensational 1930 Louise Brooks' film, Prix de beauté, will be shown on Sunday, June 25 at the Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy. The silent version of the film will be shown with Italian subtitles, and with musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne. More information and more HERE.Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 18:15PRIX DE BEAUTÉAugusto Genina PRIX DE BEAUTÉ Prix de beauté represents a truly successful mix of the tenants of neorealism and elaborate fantasy (note the names of the screenwriters). Despite unrefined post recording and overacting by Georges Charlia, in standard silent movie fashion, the film is a masterpiece. The ever present documentary style, evident in the scenes of weekend beach resorts and the printer’s work, clashes with two departures from the world of film: Genina’s expert directing on one hand, and the attraction that film holds over the pretty girls uncomfortable in their social milieu on the other. The film emphasizes this with its dirtiness and coarseness (skillfully captured by the camera) that seem to affect the very core of the heroine’s being. The temptation to leave this squalid universe, which is more unhealthy than vulgar (and this is the real subtlety of the film), proves too strong for her. The first suicide attempt is prompted by curiosity; the second by an unbearable contrast between two lifestyles. Death is the end product of this choice. Her lover from the beach ends up shooting her during the projection of the screen tests that would launch Lucienne as the new star. There is nothing more beautiful than the dead face of Louise Brooks illuminated by the flickering lights of the projector as the screen tests end with her singing: “Je n’ai qu’un amour, c’est toi…”. A superb ending that closes an exceptional film, above and beyond the legendary and justifiable attraction that the actress may have exerted over the director. Genina asserts himself not only as a precursor to the Italian school, but also as an immensely talented film author. The most remarkable aspect of his work is his ability to integrate all the elements of a screenplay, fashionably, yet treating them with simplicity: the character of the boyfriend as naive and pleasant; the dangers that threaten the aspiring star in the corrupt environment of cinema, which makes genuine love appear more reassuring and pure by contrast. But no, this is not the case! Genina proves it with his stark style: love and jealousy go hand in hand, gnawing away at the banality of day-to-day, which is no longer sublimated by feelings. The extraordinary beauty of light and the skill and intelligence with which it is used add other noteworthy elements, placing this movie among the most important works of the first years of talkies even though it is a silent film!Paul Vecchiali, L’Encinéclopédie. Cinéastes ‘français’ des années 1930 et leur œuvre, Éditions de l’Œil, Montreuil 2010Cast and CreditsSog.: Augusto Genina, René Clair, Bernard Zimmer, Alessandro De Stefani. Scen.: René Clair, Georg W. Pabst. F.: Rudolf Maté, Louis Née. M.: Edmond T. Gréville. Scgf.: Robert Gys. Mus.: Wolfgang Zeller, René Sylviano, Horace Shepherd. Int.: Louise Brooks (Lucienne Garnier), Georges Charlia (André), Jean Bradin (Adolphe de Grabovsky), Augusto Bandini (Antonin), André Nicolle (segretario di redazione), Yves Glad (maragià), Gaston Jacquet (duca de la Tour Chalgrin), Alex Bernard (fotografo), Marc Zilboulsky (manager). Prod.: Sofar. DCP. D.: 113’. Bn. PRIX DE BEAUTÉ Mélange davvero riuscito tra le premesse del neorealismo e una finzione molto elaborata (vedi i nomi degli sceneggiatori). Malgrado una post sincronizzazione approssimativa, e (secondo lo stile del muto) la recitazione caricata di Georges Charlia, questo film è un capolavoro. La visione documentaria, costantemente presente, dai bagni marini della domenica al lavoro dei[...]



Now We're in the Air screens tonight at Library of Congress

2017-06-15T08:59:06.202-07:00

Now We're in the Air will be shown tonight at the Library of Congress Packard Campus (19053 Mt Pony Rd., Culpeper, Virginia). Here are at few more details on this late breaking event.



Now We're in the Air & Corporal Kate, tonight @ 7:30

NOW WE’RE IN THE AIR (Paramount, 1927) Louise Brooks appeared in 14 American films during the silent era. Five of these features are currently thought to be entirely lost, while two others survive only as fragments or incomplete copies. Following a tip from Academy Award winning film historian Kevin Brownlow, Robert Byrne learned of a fragmentary nitrate print of the hitherto considered lost “Now We’re in the Air” (1927) stored in the vaults of Národní filmový archiv in Prague. In this presentation, Byrne will present a brief description of the project to restore and preserve what remains, followed by a screening of the entire 22-minute restoration. 

CORPORAL KATE (DeMille Pictures Corp., 1926) Frequently cited as one of the first war films to feature the female angle, “Corporate Kate” is the story of a pair of Brooklyn manicurists who go to France during WWI to entertain the troops with a song-and-dance act. Both girls struggle not only with the brutalities of war but also with their love for the same man. This is the premiere screening of the newly preserved DeMille Pictures Corp. feature that stars Vera Reynolds, Julia Faye and Kenneth Thompson. Andrew Simpson will provide live musical accompaniment for the evening’s screenings. Seating may be limited for this screening as it is part of “Mostly Lost 6: A Film Identification Workshop” and many of the registered participants will be attending. Black & white, 85 min. No reservations - seating is on a walk-in basis.

 



Sneak peak at the forthcoming Beggars of Life DVD / Blu-ray

2017-06-12T09:07:02.424-07:00

Here is a sneak peak at the forthcoming Beggars of Life DVD / Blu-ray from KINO Lorber. The release date is expected to be in August. The fantastic cover art is by my longtime friend Wayne Shellabarger, the artists responsible for the equally fantastic films posters for the film issued last year.Synopsis: Louise Brooks has become a legend of cinema who continues to fascinate and Beggars of Life showcases her timeless beauty, her striking modernity, and the depth of her talent. While costar Wallace Beery receives top billing, it is Brooks who captivates the camera and captures our imagination.The scenario for Beggars of Life is based on the 1924 autobiographical novel by Jim Tully, a writer called "the missing link between Jack London and Jack Kerouac" by one of his biographers. Tully spent several years of his childhood in an orphanage and, when he was twelve, worked for a farmer who abused him, perhaps planting the seeds for this story of escape and survival riding the rails. Dubbed the "Hobo Writer" because of his knockabout past, Tully held a wide variety of jobs, including as a publicist for Charlie Chaplin, before becoming an acclaimed writer for Vanity Fair and H.L. Mencken's American Mercury.Louise Brooks, in her best American film, is luminous as a freight-train hopping runaway who dresses in a flat cap and trousers to escape capture by the police. She joins up with young vagabond Richard Arlen, and along the way they encounter a hobo encampment and its charismatic leader, played by Wallace Beery in a performance that Brooks later called "a little masterpiece." William A. Wellman, whose Wings (1927) had just won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Picture, directs with nuance and grace. Special Features:    NEW 2K restoration from 35mm film elements preserved by the George Eastman Museum    Audio commentary by actor William Wellman, Jr.    Audio commentary by Thomas Gladysz, founding director of the Louise Brooks Society    Booklet essay by film critic Nick Pinkerton    Musical score compiled and performed by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, employing selections from the original 1928 Paramount cue-sheet    Reversible DVD and Blu-ray artworkSTREET DATE: AUGUST 22.And don't forget, my new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, has just been released. It features more than 50 images (many of them rare), some 15,000 words of text, and an introduction by William Wellman, Jr. The book is available on amazon.com and elsewhere. Autographed copies are available for $13.50. Please contact me through email (_silentfilmbuffATgmailDOTcom_) or Facebook to place an order.[...]



Wowza - Louise Brooks Giphoscope from Now We're in the Air

2017-06-06T07:45:08.695-07:00

Here is something you don't see everyday, an analog GIF player .... The San Francisco Silent Film Festival Collection giphoscope displays animated GIFs excerpted from restored silent films selected by Robert Byrne, SFSFF Restorer and President. The first in the collection is Now We're in the Air (1927), featuring an image of Louise Brooks.


The Louise Brooks Giphoscope displays a 24 frame animated GIF excerpted from Now We're in the Air, a 1927 silent film starring Brooks and restored by the SFSFF in 2017. Only a few copies of these handmade objects will be produced. You can order the Louise Brooks Giphoscope in 2 versions: one comes with a one-piece aluminum structure, the other has a one-piece brass structure. More information may be found HERE.


I have one, whioch was given to me to honor my contribution to bringing this once lost film back to the screen -- 90 years after it was first shown. Trust me, these objects are very, very, very, very cool.








Louise Brooks / Beggars of Life booksigning with Thomas Gladysz

2017-06-01T11:49:01.894-07:00

I will be signing copies of my new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival this weekend at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, on Friday June 2 following the Clara Bow / Louise Brooks double restorations (featuring Now We're in the Air), and on Saturday June 3 following the Polish classic, A Strong Man (one of my personal favorites).  

I promise to bring along my Now We're in the Air analog gif player given to me to honor my contribution to the restoration of that once lost film. 

 And of course, I will also be signing Diary of a Lost Girl books and DVDs. 




The 2017 San Francisco Silent Film Festival

2017-05-28T09:54:23.336-07:00

Here is the line-up of films for the 2017 San Francisco Silent Film Festival at the historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco. Not only am I and Louise Brooks fans everywhere excited about seeing Now We're in the Air 90 years after it was first released, but I am especially thrilled to see what is certainly one of my favorite silent films, the Polish classic, The Strong Man. Hope to see you at one or more of these screenings!THE FRESHMANwith musical accompaniment by Berklee Silent Film OrchestraThu, Jun 1 7:00 PM  Harold Lloyd’s biggest box-office hit stars Lloyd as Harold Lamb, a college freshman who dreams of being a big man on campus and gets advice from pamphlets such as “Clever College Clothes” and “How to Play Football.” A disastrous tryout lands him a spot on the football team as a human tackling dummy before he becomes the team’s water boy. But Harold holds on to his dreams, aided by his sweetheart, Peggy (Jobyna Ralston). The Freshman’s climactic football game was filmed at UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium!    AMAZING TALES FROM THE ARCHIVESwith musical accompaniment by Donald SosinFri, Jun 2 10:00 AM Sharing their amazing preservation tales are Library of Congress’s George Willeman, who has managed to sync cylinders from Edison National Historical Park with eight films from LOC’s collection for his presentation on Edison Kinetophones from 1912–13; Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi from EYE Filmmuseum, whose presentation will reveal the wonders of EYE’s UNESCO-inscribed Jean Desmet collection; and Heather Linville from the Academy Film Archive, sharing rarely seen footage of globetrotting filmmaker adventuress Aloha Wanderwell. GET YOUR MANwith musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne / Introduced by Cari BeauchampFri, Jun 2 1:00 PM  Silent-era “It” girl Clara Bow falls for French aristocrat (Buddy Rogers!) after they are locked overnight in a Paris wax museum. There’s a sticking point, though—Rogers’s blueblood is betrothed to another! The Library of Congress has reconstructed the film from recovered materials, filling in missing sequences with key photos and intertitles—and in the process rescuing Bow’s incandescent performance for posterity. Restoration by the Library of Congress Plus: SFSFF’s Rob Byrne made a remarkable discovery in the National Film Archive of the Czech Republic—footage from the lost Wallace Beery/Louise Brooks comedy, Now We’re in the Air! He was able to restore the 23-minute fragment in time for its premiere in this program. Restoration by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and National Film Archive, Czech Republic THE DUMB GIRL OF PORTICIwith musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin and Frank Bockius / Introduced by Shelley StampFri, Jun 2 3:30 PM  Legendary ballet dancer Anna Pavlova was at the height of her fame when she teamed up with director Lois Weber to make The Dumb Girl of Portici. Pavlova choreographed, produced, and starred in this historical epic, Universal’s most expensive production to date and the first blockbuster ever directed by a woman. Set in mid-17th-century Spanish-occupied Naples, Pavlova’s mute fisher-girl sparks a revolution.  BODY AND SOULMusical accompaniment and introduction by DJ SpookyFri, Jun 2 7:00 PM One of the few surviving titles from the groundbreaking African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, Body and Soul features the great Paul Robeson in his film debut. Robeson is magnificent in dual roles—as an escaped convict posing as a preacher and the corrupt preacher’s honorable twin brother.  THE INFORMERwith musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne, Guenter Buchwald, and Frank Bockius / Introduced by Bryony Dixon, BFI Curator of Silent FilmFri, Jun 2 9:30 PM The earliest adaptation of Liam O’Flaherty’s novel, this Irish revolutionary dr[...]



Win tickets to world premiere of the once lost Louise Brooks' film Now We're in the Air (1927)

2017-05-25T10:20:10.828-07:00

How would you like to win a pair of tickets to the world premiere of the recently found & newly restored Louise Brooks' film Now We're in the Air (1927)? The 23-minute fragment will be shown with the recently recovered Clara Bow film, Get Your Man (1927), on Friday June 2nd at the historic Castro Theater in San Francisco. To enter, simply email the Louise Brooks Society (LouiseBrooksSociety AT gmailDOTcom) a sentence or two or three stating as to why you would like to see this very special program. (This contest does not provide transportation to the theater, simply entrance in.) The winner will be picked and announced on Saturday, May 27th.And what's more, the lucky winner will have a chance to see this very special item which was given to Thomas Gladysz for his help in the restoration of Now We're in the Air. It is a hand-made, analog gif player. Five were made to be given to the principals involved in bringing this Louise Brooks film back from oblivion. Imagine being among the first people in the world to see these two films 90 years after they were first released--and what's more, to see them on the big screen in a silent era theater and with live musical accompaniment! It's almost like time travel. Here is a little more about this very special event.FRIDAY, JUNE 2 San Francisco Silent Film Festival1:00 pm  $16 / $14direct ticket link GET YOUR MAN with live musical accompaniment by Stephen HorneDirected by Dorothy Arzner | USA, 1927 | 53 m. With Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Josef SwickardSilent-era “It” girl Clara Bow falls for French aristocrat (Buddy Rogers!) after they are locked overnight in a Paris wax museum. There’s a sticking point, though—Rogers’s blueblood is betrothed to another! The Library of Congress has reconstructed the film from recovered materials, filling in missing sequences with key photos and intertitles—and in the process rescuing Bow’s incandescent performance for posterity.Restored by the Library of Congress Presented in 35mmNOW WE'RE IN THE AIR with live musical accompaniment by Stephen HorneDirected by Frank Strayer | USA, 1927 | 23 m.With Wallace Beery, Raymond Hatton, Louise BrooksPlus: SFSFF’s Rob Byrne made a remarkable discovery in the National Film Archive of the Czech Republic—footage from the lost Wallace Beery/Louise Brooks comedy, Now We’re in the Air! He was able to restore the 23-minute fragment in time for its premiere in this program.Restored by San Francisco Silent Film FestivalPresented in 35mmRemember, to enter, simply email the Louise Brooks Society (LouiseBrooksSociety AT gmailDOTcom) a sentence or two or three stating as to why you would like to see this very special program.[...]



Louise Brooks related book launch in NYC today!

2017-05-24T09:13:09.846-07:00

What happens when an Irish author living in Australia is so taken by an American painter's work that he writes 60 short stories inspired by his paintings? The result is  LULU IN NEW YORK & OTHER TALESWords by Robert Power  -  Paintings by Max FergusonBook LaunchWednesday, May 24th6:30-9:00 PMReadings by the author and DJ Ken DashowModels dressed as they are in the paintingsUnveiling of a new paintingA splendid time is guaranteed for all!STRAND BOOKSTORE828 BroadwayNew YorkBooks may be ordered from:AMAZON   ||  STRAND Bookstore  In conjunction with the book launch, there is an exhibition of Max Ferguson paintings.MAX FERGUSONSOLO EXHIBTIONThrough May 27thBernarducci Meisel Gallery37 West 57th StreetNew York[...]



Win tickets to Now We're in the Air starring Louise Brooks

2017-05-20T21:27:03.247-07:00

How would you like to win a pair of tickets to the world premiere of the recently found & newly restored Louise Brooks' film Now We're in the Air (1927)? The 23-minute fragment will be shown with the recently recovered Clara Bow film, Get Your Man (1927), on Friday June 2nd at the historic Castro Theater in San Francisco. To enter, simply email the Louise Brooks Society (LouiseBrooksSociety AT gmailDOTcom) a sentence or two or three stating as to why you would like to see this very special program. (This contest does not provide transportation to the theater, simply entrance in.) The winner will be picked and announced on Saturday, May 27th.

Imagine being among the first people in the world to see these two films 90 years after they were first released--and what's more, to see them on the big screen in a silent era theater and with live musical accompaniment! It's almost like time travel. Here is a little more about this very special event.

FRIDAY, JUNE 2
1:00 pm  $16 / $14
direct ticket link

GET YOUR MAN with live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne
Directed by Dorothy Arzner | USA, 1927 | 53 m.
With Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Josef Swickard

Silent-era “It” girl Clara Bow falls for French aristocrat (Buddy Rogers!) after they are locked overnight in a Paris wax museum. There’s a sticking point, though—Rogers’s blueblood is betrothed to another! The Library of Congress has reconstructed the film from recovered materials, filling in missing sequences with key photos and intertitles—and in the process rescuing Bow’s incandescent performance for posterity.
Restored by the Library of Congress
Presented in 35mm



NOW WE'RE IN THE AIR with live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne
Directed by Frank Strayer | USA, 1927 | 23 m.
With Wallace Beery, Raymond Hatton, Louise Brooks

Plus: SFSFF’s Rob Byrne made a remarkable discovery in the National Film Archive of the Czech Republic—footage from the lost Wallace Beery/Louise Brooks comedy, Now We’re in the Air! He was able to restore the 23-minute fragment in time for its premiere in this program.
Restored by San Francisco Silent Film Festival
Presented in 35mm



Remember, to enter, simply email the Louise Brooks Society (LouiseBrooksSociety AT gmailDOTcom) a sentence or two or three stating as to why you would like to see this very special program.



American Cinematheque interview about Louise Brooks

2017-05-18T08:42:56.437-07:00

Ahead of its May 20th screening of a pair of Louise Brooks films, Beggars of Life (1928) and Diary of a Lost Girl (1929)  in Hollywood, the American Cinematheque ran an interview about Brooks on its blog, "Movies on the Big Screen." The interview, conducted by former Los Angeles Times journalist Susan King, features comments from acclaimed film historian Cari Beauchamp, author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood and other books, and myself, Thomas Gladysz, author of Beggars of Life, A Companion to the 1928 Film, and editor of the "Louise Brooks edition" of The Diary of a Lost Girl. Check out the interview, "The Eternal Louise Brooks," HERE.DIARY OF A LOST GIRL / BEGGARS OF LIFEScreening format: DCP Join us in the courtyard at 6:15 PM, when The Chapwinds will perform music from Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera (which premiered in Germany the year before DIARY OF A LOST GIRL) and Samuel Barber’s “Summer Music,” the most prominent American work in the wind quintet canon.DIARY OF A LOST GIRL DAS TAGEBUCH EINER VERLORENEN1929, Kino Lorber, 112 min, Germany, Dir: G.W. Pabst Seduced and abandoned by her father’s assistant, Louise Brooks descends into a lurid hell of reformatories and whorehouses. For a debauched party scene, Pabst insisted on realism – so Brooks complied by playing “the whole scene stewed on hot, sweet German champagne.” // New 2K Restoration! BEGGARS OF LIFE 1928, Kino Lorber, 100 min, USA, Dir: William A. Wellman Rough-and-tumble writer Jim Tully’s autobiography served as the basis for what many consider Louise Brooks’ best American film. She plays a young woman who kills her abusive stepfather and hits the road (in the company of Richard Arlen) hoping to make it to safety in Canada. Wallace Beery delivers a memorable performance as hobo Oklahoma Red in this beautifully shot silent. // New 2K Restoration![...]



Louise Brooks related book launch in NYC on May 24th

2017-05-17T12:08:46.630-07:00

What happens when an Irish author living in Australia is so taken by an American painter's work that he writes 60 short stories inspired by his paintings?The result is  LULU IN NEW YORK & OTHER TALESWords by Robert Power  -  Paintings by Max FergusonUNICORN PUBLISHING GROUPBook LaunchWednesday, May 24th6:30-9:00 PMReadings by the author and DJ Ken DashowModels dressed as they are in the paintingsUnveiling of a new paintingA splendid time is guaranteed for all!STRAND BOOKSTORE828 BroadwayNew YorkBooks may also be ordered from:STRAND  |  AMAZONIn conjunction with the book launch, there is an exhibition of Max Ferguson paintings.MAX FERGUSONSOLO EXHIBTIONThrough May 27thBernarducci Meisel Gallery37 West 57th StreetNew York[...]



Louise Brooks story THE CHAPERONE to air on PBS Masterpiece

2017-05-16T18:39:34.178-07:00

Hooray. This PBS press release relays some good news from the Public Broadcasting System: San Diego, CA; May 16, 2017—PBS and MASTERPIECE have announced that MASTERPIECE is producing its first feature film which will reunite the writer, director and star of Downton Abbey.The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s best-selling American novel, will be scripted by Julian Fellowes, directed by Michael Engler, and star Elizabeth McGovern, who played Lady Grantham in the hit series. It will air on PBS stations nationwide after its initial theatrical run.The Chaperone takes place against the backdrop of the tumultuous times of the early 1920’s. A Kansas woman (McGovern) is forever changed when she chaperones a beautiful and talented 15-year-old dancer (Julia Goldani Telles, The Affair) named Louise Brooks to New York for the summer. One of them is eager to fulfill her destiny of dance and movie stardom; the other is on a mission to unearth the mysteries of her past. Speaking at the PBS Annual Meeting in San Diego, MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton said, “It feels so right to reunite Julian Fellowes, Elizabeth McGovern, and director Michael Engler for our first feature film. Like Downton Abbey, The Chaperone is a beautifully told period drama set in a changing world, but now the setting is New York City.” Arclight Films is financing and is handling international sales for The Chaperone. PBS Distribution will distribute the film theatrically and to home entertainment markets in the U.S. UTA Independent Film Group handled North America rights. The finance for The Chaperone is provided by Altus Media of which Paul Brett and John Fields are directors and for which Peter Nichols acts as a consultant. The Chaperone is a coproduction of MASTERPIECE and Rose Pictures, in association with Anonymous Content. Julian Fellowes said, “I am absolutely delighted to be working with MASTERPIECE and Elizabeth McGovern on The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s novel, which is captivating and beguiling and resonant in so many ways.” “It is a thrill and an honor to be working with MASTERPIECE and Julian again on his beautiful adaptation of The Chaperone, and to be in the expert hands of director Michael Engler,” said McGovern. “We’re honored to be working with the legendary Julian Fellowes, MASTERPIECE, and the entire team behind The Chaperone,” said Gary Hamilton, Managing Director of Arclight Films.  The Chaperone is a coproduction of MASTERPIECE and Rose Pictures in association with Anonymous Content. The Executive Producers are Rebecca Eaton, Simon Curtis, Eli Selden and Adam Shulman. The producers are Elizabeth McGovern, Rose Ganguzza, Kelly Carmichael, Victoria Hill and Gary Hamilton. It is adapted by Julian Fellowes from the novel by Laura Moriarty. The director is Michael Engler. Julian Fellowes and Simon Curtis are represented by UTA. Elizabeth McGovern is represented by UTA and Anonymous Content. Multiple Emmy® and DGA-nominated director Michael Engler is represented by WME, Anonymous Content, and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman LLP. Arclight Films is presenting the film to distributors in Cannes this month. [...]



Win tickets to world premiere of the restored Now We're in the Air, starring Louise Brooks

2017-05-17T20:03:10.503-07:00

How would you like to win a pair of tickets to the world premiere of the recently found & newly restored Louise Brooks' film Now We're in the Air (1927)? The 23-minute fragment will be shown with the recently recovered Clara Bow film, Get Your Man (1927), on Friday June 2nd at the historic Castro Theater in San Francisco. To enter, simply email the Louise Brooks Society (LouiseBrooksSociety AT gmailDOTcom) a sentence or two or three stating as to why you would like to see this very special program. (This contest does not provide transportation to the theater, simply entrance in.) The winner will be picked and announced on Saturday, May 27th.Imagine being among the first people in the world to see these two films 90 years after they were first released--and what's more, to see them on the big screen in a silent era theater and with live musical accompaniment! It's almost like time travel. Here is a little more about this very special event.FRIDAY, JUNE 2 San Francisco Silent Film Festival1:00 pm  $16 / $14direct ticket link GET YOUR MAN with live musical accompaniment by Stephen HorneDirected by Dorothy Arzner | USA, 1927 | 53 m. With Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Josef SwickardSilent-era “It” girl Clara Bow falls for French aristocrat (Buddy Rogers!) after they are locked overnight in a Paris wax museum. There’s a sticking point, though—Rogers’s blueblood is betrothed to another! The Library of Congress has reconstructed the film from recovered materials, filling in missing sequences with key photos and intertitles—and in the process rescuing Bow’s incandescent performance for posterity.Restored by the Library of Congress Presented in 35mmNOW WE'RE IN THE AIR with live musical accompaniment by Stephen HorneDirected by Frank Strayer | USA, 1927 | 23 m.With Wallace Beery, Raymond Hatton, Louise BrooksPlus: SFSFF’s Rob Byrne made a remarkable discovery in the National Film Archive of the Czech Republic—footage from the lost Wallace Beery/Louise Brooks comedy, Now We’re in the Air! He was able to restore the 23-minute fragment in time for its premiere in this program.Restored by San Francisco Silent Film FestivalPresented in 35mmRemember, to enter, simply email the Louise Brooks Society (LouiseBrooksSociety AT gmailDOTcom) a sentence or two or three stating as to why you would like to see this very special program.[...]



Tomorrow: Beggars of Life with Louise Brooks in the UK

2017-05-12T09:28:05.877-07:00

The outstanding 1928 Louise Brooks film, Beggars of Life, will be shown at Stoller Hall in Manchester, England on Saturday, May 13th. This screening will feature live music and will be accompanied by The Dodge Brothers and the fabulous Neil Brand. More information about this event can be found HERE.



The Stoller Hall web page reads:

25% discount when you book full price tickets for both Beggars of Life and the Dodge Brothers at 9pm. That means you can see the brilliant Dodge Brothers for just £5.50 each!

The classic silent film with live music from the Dodge Brothers and Neil Brand.

Film and cinematic landscapes come together when The Dodge Brothers – Mike Hammond, Mark Kermode, Aly Hirji and Alex Hammond – join forces with premiere Silent Film pianist Neil Brand to accompany rare Silent features. Their accompaniment to the Louise Brooks/Wallace Beery 1928 film Beggars of Life was greeted with great acclaim. Performing this at The British Silent Cinema Festival, The Barbican & The BFI Southbank has prompted glowing reviews and the band became the first ever to accompany a silent film at Glastonbury Festival in 2014.




Louise Brooks Double Feature in Los Angeles on May 20

2017-05-07T19:42:40.666-07:00

New 2K restoration of two Louise Brooks films, Beggars of Life (1928) and Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) will be shown at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard) in Hollywood, California on Saturday, May 20th at 7:30 pm. More information may be found HERE.

DIARY OF A LOST GIRL
DAS TAGEBUCH EINER VERLORENEN

1929, Kino Lorber, 112 min, Germany, Dir: G.W. Pabst

Seduced and abandoned by her father’s assistant, Louise Brooks descends into a lurid hell of reformatories and whorehouses. For a debauched party scene, Pabst insisted on realism – so Brooks complied by playing “the whole scene stewed on hot, sweet German champagne.” See the movie, read the book.



BEGGARS OF LIFE

1928, Kino Lorber, 100 min, USA, Dir: William A. Wellman

Rough-and-tumble writer Jim Tully’s autobiography served as the basis for what many consider Louise Brooks’ best American film. She plays a young woman who kills her abusive stepfather and hits the road (in the company of Richard Arlen) hoping to make it to safety in Canada. Wallace Beery delivers a memorable performance as hobo Oklahoma Red in this beautifully shot silent. See the movie, read about the movie.






Restoring Treasures of the Silent Screen talk May 4

2017-05-02T06:40:13.412-07:00

San Francisco Silent Film Festival Board President and noted preservationist Rob Byrne will lead a talk at the gorgeously restored Presidio Officers' Club in San Francisco on Thursday, May 4, at 6:00 pm. In his presentation, "Restoring Treasures of the Silent Screen," Byrne will give a sneak peek into the three SFSFF restoration projects that will have their world premieres at the festival in June. More information about the talk can be found HERE."Only ten to fifteen percent of the motion pictures created during the silent film era still survive in complete form today. The other 85-90% of all motion pictures created prior to 1930 are considered “lost” – titles for which not a single surviving print is known to exist in any form. Fortunately, remnants of these long-lost treasures occasionally come to light, providing the opportunity to restore and enjoy films that have not been seen for generations.Just as diverse as the films themselves are the various techniques employed to recover, reconstruct, and restore them, a process that unites scholarship, technical skill, luck, and fascinating detective work. Join film restorer Robert Byrne as he presents a sneak peek into three recent restoration efforts, all of which will have their world premieres at the 2017 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, June 1 to 4 at the Castro Theatre:The Three Musketeers (1921): Douglas Fairbanks original swashbuckling saga, restored from a copy of Fairbanks’s own 35mm negative that had been donated to the New York Museum of Modern Art.Silence (1926): Produced by Cecil B. DeMille, this classic melodrama had been considered lost for generations until a complete tinted nitrate copy of the film surfaced in Paris at the Cinémathèque Française.Plus a special surprise – fragments of a previously lost feature, Now We're in the Air (1927), provide a tantalizing glimpse of one of the silent screen’s greatest icons (Louise Brooks).Robert Byrne specializes in the restoration of early and silent era motion pictures, and also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. This special event is presented in association with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival."[...]



Help support The Commentary Track podcast - a great cause

2017-04-19T06:57:04.560-07:00

Please consider supporting The Commentary Track podcast. If you love the movies and movie history, it is a more than worthy cause. I made a small donation, and so should you. Every little bit helps! More information can be found HERE.

Frank Thompson started The Commentary Track podcast five years ago. It was created to feature in-depth conversations with film historians and archivists as well as actors, composers and filmmakers who have a deep knowledge and love for films of the past. Until February, 2016, Thompson did just that.

The Commentary Track’s guests have included many top film historians – Kevin Brownlow, David Shepard, Sam Gill, Bob Birchard, Rudy Behlmer, Leonard Maltin, Richard M. Roberts, Jordan R. Young, Jerry Beck, John Bengtson and many others. Actors such as Jim Beaver, Trace Beaulieu and George Chakiris; filmmakers Joe Dante, Craig Barron and Ben Burtt; authors James Curtis, Steve Bingen, Marilyn Moss, Tracey Goessel and Matthew Kennedy – in fact, too many guests to list them all here.


In late 2015, a perfect storm of technical issues combined with a series of financial reversals made it impossible to continue. Now, Thompson wants to get the podcast up and running again. He already have five episodes ready to post and many more interviews lined up.

Thompson need funds to rebuild his website, thecommentarytrack.com. He also need to invest in new equipment so that I can begin doing phone interviews at an acceptable sound quality. And if there’s any money left over, he wants to explore ways to more aggressively advertise the podcast. So far it has been a labor of love. He can’t afford labors of love anymore, so he wants to find a way to make the podcast sustainable.

Any contribution is welcome. If you can’t toss any money his way – please spread the word to your friends who might want to be a part of this podcasts’ resurgence.




Sneak peak at the forthcoming Louise Brooks / Beggars of Life book

2017-04-19T07:00:41.040-07:00

Here is a sneak peak at my new book, which is inching toward publication. Since first announced, this project has "suffered" a bit of project creep. I've added about 30 more pages, including a bit more text and a half-dozen especially rare and newly acquired images, as well as a foreword by actor and writer William Wellman, Jr.

Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film (100 pages, 15,000 words, & 50+ illustrations)
by Thomas Gladysz, with a foreword by William Wellman, Jr.

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.”

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FRONT COVER

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BACK COVER





Louise Brooks inspired Lulu Soda Pop

2017-04-13T08:00:05.681-07:00

Ray Ryan tweeted this snapshot of Lulu soda pop. It sure seems Louise Brooks inspired to me, though the image seems a little Betty Boop!


That pic led me to do a google image search on Lulu soda pop, and here's what I found. Seemingly, Lulu soda comes from Mexico or Latin America. And it may be vintage. Anyone know more about it?








New book: Lulu in New York and Other Tales

2017-04-11T07:35:04.803-07:00

A forthcoming book, Lulu in New York and Other Tales, has more than a little connection to Louise Brooks. The book, by Robert Power and featuring paintings by Max Ferguson, features an image of the actress on the cover. From the publisher: "American Artist Max Ferguson’s paintings often feature solitary figures, brooding atmospheres, and urban landscapes whose narrative and cinematic qualities hint at hidden stories, secrets, and conversations waiting to happen. Writer Robert Power’s fiction of longing and resolution, alienation and loving, provide the perfect voice to give life to Ferguson’s mysterious paintings. Lulu in New York and Other Tales brings their work together in a unique collaboration.Lulu in New York and Other Tales presents an exquisite and beautifully crafted volume of sixty stories from Power, inspired by paintings from throughout Ferguson’s career. Some of the pictures, like Chess Players and Interiors lend themselves to whimsical or heart-rending conversations. Others, such as Woman in Bath, Subway, and Billy’s Topless have violence and menace simmering at their core. Other paintings that inspire tales of reflection, reminiscing on love both lost and found.Binding Ferguson’s paintings and Power’s storytelling together is a shared appreciation of the nuances, agonies and ecstasies, complexities and delicacies, of the human condition. The result is a lushly produced book that is at once powerful and beautiful, and will appeal to both art and short story lovers."Max Ferguson is an American artist best known for his realistic paintings of vanishing urban scenes in and around New York City.  His work has been widely exhibited in such venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum. Robert Power lives in Melbourne. His other books include Meatloaf in Manhattan and Tidetown.Lulu in New York and Other Tales is due out in July, though there will be an earlier release party in New York City in May at the famous Strand bookstore.LULU IN NEW YORK AND OTHER TALESWednesday, May 24th  6:30 - 9:30 pmStrand Books828 BroadwayNew York                                 In conjunction with the book launch, there will be an exhibition of  Max Ferguson paintings.SOLO EXHIBTIONMay 4 - May 27Bernarducci Meisel Gallery 37 West 57th StreetNew York[...]



Trivia about Now We're in the Air, with Louise Brooks

2017-04-09T10:05:00.270-07:00

As you should know by now, a chunk of the 1927 Louise Brooks film Now We're in the Air has been found in Prague at the Czech Republic’s Národní filmový archive (National Film Archive). The restored, 23 minute fragment will be shown June 2 at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Read more about it HERE on the Huffington Post.In the meantime, here is some trivia related to the film....— The film was shot between August 1 and September 8, 1927 at Paramount’s studio in Hollywood, as well as at a local ranch, a local aviation field, and at an amusement pier in Venice, California. — Now We’re in the Air was one in a series of service comedies teaming Raymond Hatton with Wallace Beery, a future Academy Award winner.  The film follows Behind the Front (1926) and We’re in the Navy Now (1926). — Early on, William Wellman, James Cruze and even Mauritz Stiller were announced as the director for Now We’re in the Air. Among cast members who were announced but did not appear in the film were Ford Sterling and Zasu Pitts. An outline (by Tom J. Geraghty) and a treatment (by John F. Goodrich) for the film were completed as early as February 2, 1927. — Frank R. Strayer (1891 – 1964) who was assigned as director, was an actor, film writer, and producer. He was active from the mid-1920s until the early 1950s. Strayer is credited with having directed 86 films, including 13 movies in the series based on the Blondie and Dagwood comic strip. — Now We’re in the Air cinematographer Harry Perry also worked on two other notable aviation pictures, Wings (1927) and Hell’s Angels (1930). He was nominated for an Academy Award at the 3rd Academy Awards for his work on the latter. — Fifteen airplanes were hired for the making of the film, including a 76-foot Martin Bomber which was deliberately wrecked for one of the film’s “big thrill scenes.” — In late August, 1927 the New York Times reported that the combined blast of six wind machines and a dozen airplanes lifted both Raymond Hatton and Wallace Berry into the air and on to an off-screen net set to catch them. — Now We’re in the Air was released as sound was coming in. According to the Barry Paris biography, Brooks once suggested there was some thought given to adding dialogue to the film. — Though a silent, Now We’re in the Air continued to be shown into the early sound era. In January, 1930 it was screened in Fairbanks, Alaska and in December, 1931 it was screened in the Darwin in Northern Territory, Australia.— Under its American title, Now We’re in the Air, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia, British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada, China, India, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, and the British Isles (England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, and Scotland). Elsewhere, this motion picture was known to have been shown under other-language titles including Dos tiburones en el aire (Argentina); Riff und Raff als Luftschiffer (Austria); Nous sommes dans les air (Belgium); Dois aguias no ar (Brazil); Ted my jsme ve vzduchu (Czechoslovakia); Katu Njosnararnir (Iceland); Aviatori per forza (Italy); Aviatori … per forza (Italy); Ed eccoci aviatori (Italy); Yagi and Kita in the Air (Japan); 弥次喜多空中の巻 (Japan); Reclutas por los aires (Mexico); Hoerawe vliegen (The Netherlands); Luftens Spioner (Norway); Recrutas Aviadores (Portugal); Agora Estamos no Ar (in Portuguese-American newspapers); and Hjältar i lufte[...]



A little something about Now We're in the Air, with Louise Brooks

2017-04-07T10:04:02.045-07:00

As you should know by now, a chunk (a technical terms meaning partial) of the 1927 Louise Brooks film Now We're in the Air has been found in Prague at the Czech Republic’s Národní filmový archive (National Film Archive). The restored, 23 minute fragment will be shown June 2 at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Read more about it HERE on the Huffington Post.In the meantime, here is a little background on the film....Now We’re in the Air is a comedy about two fliers (a pair of “aero-nuts” also called “looney Lindberghs”) who wander on to a World War I battle field near the front lines. The film was one of a number of aviation-themed stories shot in 1927 (following Lindbergh’s historic solo flight across the Atlantic), as well as one in a popular series of “service comedies” pairing Wallace Beery and Raymond Hatton. Louise Brooks plays the unusual role of twin sisters, one raised French and one raised German, named Griselle & Grisette, who are the love interest of the two fliers.Arguably, Now We’re in the Air was the most popular American silent in which Brooks appeared. Generally liked by the critics, the film did big box office where ever it showed. In New York City, it enjoyed an extended run, as it did in San Francisco, where it  proved to be one of the biggest hits of the year. At a time when most new releases played only one week, Now We’re in the Air ran for more than a month in San Francisco, where it was extended due to robust ticket sales. In Boston, it also did well, opening simultaneously in five theaters in the area. The Boston Evening Transcript noted, “most of the audience at the Washington Street Olympia this week were so moved by mirth that they were close to tears. Presumably the experience has been the same at the Scollay Square Olympia, the Fenway, the Capitol in Allston and the Central Square in Cambridge.” Newspapers in other large cities like Atlanta, Georgia and St. Louis, Missouri reported a similar reception.The New Orleans Item noted, “The added feature of Now We’re in the Air is the presence of Louise Brooks as the heroine. One of the cleverest of the new stars, she has immense ability to appear ‘dumb’ but like those early Nineteenth Century actresses, commended by Chas. Lamb, she makes the spectators realize that she is only playing at being dumb.” Radie Harris of the New York Morning Telegraph wrote, “Louise Brooks is seen as the feminine lead. She essays the role of twins. Which, if you know Louise, is mighty satisfactory. She is decorative enough to admire once, but when you are allowed the privilege of seeing her double, the effect is devastating.” The Boston Post added, “You see there are pretty twin sisters, Grisette and Griselle, both played by the fetching Louise Brooks, who marry Wally and Ray, who cannot tell their wives apart except by their dogs, one a poodle, one a daschund.”The dual role played by Brooks made the film for many critics. Curran D. Swint of the San Francisco News stated, “Both the hulking and ungainly Beery and the cocky little Hatton give goofingly good accounts of themselves. Then there is Louise Brooks. She’s the girl — or the girls — in the case, for Louise is twins in the story, and about this fact much of the comedy is woven.” Across town, A. F. Gillaspey of the San Francisco Bulletin added, “Louise Brooks is the leading woman of this picture. She appears as the[...]



Special Ciné-Concert screening of William Wellman's epic masterpiece "Wings" at FIAF

2017-04-06T06:44:17.701-07:00

Speaking of WWI films.... To commemorate the centennial of the United States’ April 6, 1917 entry into World War I, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center, is thrilled to present a special ciné-concert screening of the American silent film classic Wings on Thursday, April 6 in FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall. For more info visit www.fiaf.orgThe evening is co-presented with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, with support from the French Mission du Centenaire de la Première Guerre Mondiale and the US WWI Centennial Commission.One of the last great films of the silent era, William Wellman’s epic masterpiece won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the first-ever Oscar Ceremony in 1929. The beautifully restored film will be paired with a live US premiere performance of the musical score by Baudime Jam featuring France's Prima Vista Quartet.Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in the Meuse, Wings is the captivating story of two men who enlist to join allied troops in France, and the girl they’ve left behind. Featuring thrilling aerial battle scenes and breathtaking camera work, this tale of friendship and love, rivalry and heroism stars screen siren Clara Bow alongside Richard Arlen, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, and the legendary Gary Cooper in a cameo appearance.About the Prima Vista QuartetThe Prima Vista Quartet has been recognized worldwide for their breathtaking musical accompaniment of masterpieces of silent cinema. Led by acclaimed composer Baudime Jam with violinists Elzbieta Gladys and Amélie Paradis, and cellist Frédéric Deville, the quartet magnifies the beauty of silent movies, emphasizing emotions while staying faithful to the singularity of the film.The quartet has been featured in numerous prestigious film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. All scores are written and composed by Baudime Jam, conferring a personal and emotional touch to the music.For this unique performance, the quartet will be accompanied by Matthias Champon (trumpet) and Cédric Barbier (percussions), celebrated artists who have worked both in classical and contemporary orchestras.About Baudime JamBaudime Jam, born in Clermont-Ferrand in 1972, is an artist, musicographer, and composer. Jam has written extensively about music, including a biography of the composer George Onslow, and has lectured in France and abroad. In 1998 he became producer of the musical magazine Melodia on Clermont-Ferrand’s RCF 63 radio, and in 1993 he was appointed head of classical musical programming at Radio France. Jam founded the Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra in 1994, and directed it until 1997. In 1988, he founded the Prima Vista Quartet with whom he has presented nearly 700 performances.Jam is interested in a variety of repertories: baroque, classical, romantic, modern, and contemporary, while exploring other horizons including jazz, klezmer, tango, and silent film scores. He is a composer and member of the SACEM and of UCMF associations, who has created original works for concerts, scores for silent films, and fairy tales set to music, as well as numerous transcriptions and orchestrations.[...]



Huffington Post: Long Missing Louise Brooks Film Found

2017-04-05T06:51:07.779-07:00

Approximately 23 minutes of a long missing 1927 Louise Brooks film, Now We’re in the Air, has been found in an archive in the Czech Republic. The discovery is significant, not only because of Brooks’ widespread popularity, but because it helps fill a gap in the legendary actress’ body of work. Until now, each of the four films Brooks made in 1927—at the peak of her American career—have been considered lost.The San Francisco Silent Film Festival revealed the existence of the film while announcing the lineup of works to be shown at its upcoming event. The newly restored partial film will be shown at the Festival, which is set to take place June 1 through June 4 at the Castro Theater in San Francisco.Now We’re in the Air will be paired with Get Your Man (1927), a Dorothy Arzner directed film starring Clara Bow. The Library of Congress has reconstructed Get Your Man from recovered materials, filling in missing sequences with stills and intertitles. Festival Executive Director Stacey Wisnia noted that the pairing brings together not only two recovered films, but also the era’s two “It” girls, Bow and Brooks.The discovery of Now We’re in the Air came about, in part, through the efforts of film preservationist Robert Byrne, president of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Byrne has made a name for himself of late, having helped in the recovery and restoration of a handful of important films over the last few years. Prominent among his discoveries were two films identified in the collection of Cinematheque Francaise, Sherlock Holmes (1916), and Silence (1926). The latter, a Cecil B. DeMille production directed by Rupert Julian, will also debut at the June event. Another of Byrne’s efforts, Behind the Door (1919), is due out on DVD / Blu-ray from Flicker Alley.In a recent interview, Byrne related how he mentioned to English film historian and Academy Award honoree Kevin Brownlow that he would be going to Prague to visit the Czech Národní filmový archiv (the Czech Republic’s National Film Archive). It’s known they have an extensive collection of silent era material, including the only remaining nitrate copies of a number of American silent films. Unsure as to what might be found, Brownlow provided Byrne with a list of about a dozen titles he should ask to see. That list included Now We’re in the Air. Though popular in its time, the 1927 film is little known today except for the fact it includes Brooks in an important supporting role.When Byrne inspected the elements for Rif a Raf, Politi (the Czech title for Now We’re in the Air), he found the film had only partially survived in a state which also showed nitrate decomposition. Additionally, the surviving scenes were found to be out of order, and there were Czech-language titles in place of the original American titles. Byrne spent more than eight months reconstructing the surviving material, including restoring the film’s original English-language inter-titles and original tinting.“As is often the case, the most challenging aspect was not the technical work of cleaning up the image,” Byrne stated, “but rather the research that ensured we were making a faithful restoration, especially when it came to replacing the Czech language inter-titles with the original English versions.”Byrne was especially appreciative of the help given by th[...]