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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: 2017-08-22T12:32:37.916-07:00

 



Beggars of Life, starring Louise Brooks, releases today on DVD

2017-08-22T03:00:17.908-07:00

Something we have all been waiting for . . . . Beggars of Life, the sensational William Wellman directed film starring Louise Brooks, releases today on DVD / Blu-ray through Kino Lorber.An American silent film classic, Beggars of Life (1928) stars Louise Brooks as a train-hopping hobo who dresses like a boy to survive. 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 (The Ox-Bow Incident), Beggars of Life is an essential American original.Special Features: Digitally restored 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-sheetThe film is available directly from Kino Lorber, as well as through amazon.com, B&N and other outlets.But wait, that's not all. . . .  Also out is Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, 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. 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 15,000 words of text, more than 50 little seen images, and a foreword by actor William Wellman, Jr., son of the legendary director. The book is available directly from the author, as well as through amazon.com, B&N and select independent bookstores."I can say (with head bowed modestly) that I know more about the career of director William A. Wellman than pretty much anybody anywhere -- always excepting my friend and co-author John Gallagher -- but there are things in Thomas Gladysz's new book on Wellman's Beggars of Life that I didn't know. More important, the writing is so good and the research so deep that even when I was reading about facts that were familiar to me, I was enjoying myself hugely." -- Frank Thompson, co-author of Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman"Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film is a quick, satisfying read, illustrated with promotional material, posters and stills as well as press clippings. In these pages, Gladysz takes us through the making and the reception of the film and clears up a few mysteries too.... Beggars of Life is a fascinating movie, made by some of the silent film industry's most colourful characters. This highly readable book will deepen your enjoyment and understanding of a silent Hollywood classic." -- Pamela Hutchinson, Silent London"I cannot help but give this an enthusiastic two thumbs up. It really is the perfect companion, before or after you have seen the film. The volume might be slim, but, it is packed with information and rare photographs. It has been impeccably researched and beautifully executed.... This is a thorough examination of the film from start to finish and written in a breezy style that is not only informative, it is a very entertaining read." -- Donna Hill, Strictly Vintage Hollywood[...]



Pandora's Box, starring Louise Brooks, shows in Manila, Philippines September 3

2017-08-20T19:23:52.945-07:00

Pandora's Box (1929) will be shown in Manila on September 3 at 5:30 pm as part of the 11th annual International Silent Film Festival Manila. The screening is co-sponsored by the Goethe-Institut Philippinen. Scoring the film is the Philippine band Sandwich, led by local rock icon Raymond Marasigan. More info follows. The much-awaited yearly International Silent Film Festival Manila (ISFFM) is back! Established in 2007 as the very first event of its kind in Asia, the ISFFM promises to bring once more to Manila film buffs and music aficionados an extraordinary experience. This year, the Philippine-Italian Association, the Japan Foundation Manila, Goethe-Institut Philippinen, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Instituto Cervantes, the British Council, and the Embassies of the United States of America, France and Austria, are extremely proud to present the 11th edition of the International Silent Film Festival in Manila. Scheduled from August 31st to September 3rd at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City, the 2017 ISFFM brings together the very best of silent cinema from its nine member-countries, to be accompanied by the best Filipino musicians on the scene and a French-Vietnamese guest artist.The Festival reels off at 8:00PM on Thursday, August 31st  with Instituto Cervantes presenting the classic action/comedy El Golfo (1918), directed by José de Togores. Starring Irene Heredia, Mariano Ozores and Ernesto Vilches, the film tells the story of Enrique Villar, a tramp, who goes through much trouble to win the heart of his lady love. The rock band Talahib will accompany this film with a live performance.On Friday, September 1st, at 07:30PM, the British Council will present a unique offering. Thanks to the discovery of an alternative print at the Brussels Cinematheque Royale, and advancement in photo-chemical and digital techniques, the British Film Institute has restored the magnificence of Anthony Asquith's Underground, a 1928 silent romance that reveals 1920s London life in the underground tube system. A live musical performance by dub band Goodleaf will accompany the film.At 9:30PM, also on September 1st, the Embassy of France to the Philippines will present L'Inhumaine or The New Enchantment (1923), a story of love and deceit directed by Marcel L’Herbier. The film will be scored by the French-Vietnamese harpist Heloïse LaHarpe, together with Ryan Villamor on piano and synthesizer and Aldous Castro on percussion and handpans.On Saturday, September 2nd at 03:00PM, the Philippine Italian Association together with the Embassy of Italy will screen the world premiere of an experimental silent film by Filipino-Italian director Ruben Maria Soriquez: Una Famiglia Perfetta or A Perfect Family (2017). The movie will be live-scored by the instrumental rock trio Tom's Story.At 5:30PM, the Japan Foundation, Manila will feature Hijosen no Onna or Dragnet Girl (1933) by Yasujiro Ozu. This screening will feature a rare performance by Ichiro Kataoka, a noted benshi or silent film narrator/actor/storyteller from Japan, who will provide a live interpretation of the silent film. The screening and narration will be accompanied by The Celso Espejo Rondalla, a group which plays Filipino music on traditional native string instruments.Ending the night with an 08:00PM screening will be the Philippines with Gym Lumbera's 2-person drama Taglish (2012), which started as a damaged film entitled Tagalog, then English, and finally the present title Taglish. The film will be accompanied by the stoner-metal quartet Kapitan Kulam.On Sunday, September 3rd at 03:00PM, the Embassy of Austria will feature Cafè Elektric (1927) directed by Gustav Ucicky. Café Elektric was the last film made and released by Sascha-Film, the first major film studio in Vienna. The live score will be played by one of the most established Filipino bands, Rivermaya. At 5:30 PM, Goethe-Institut Philippinen will screen one of silent cinema’s masterworks, Pandora’s Box (1929), b[...]



Louise Brooks Film Series in Helsinki, Finland

2017-08-19T07:37:46.129-07:00

Vintage dressmaker Irma Romero alerted the Louise Brooks Society to a Louise Brooks series at KAVI (the National Audiovisual Institute) in Helsinki, Finland.Romero, a Louise Brooks devote and a longtime member of the LBS, also sent this picture of the KAVI program which features Brooks.KAVI is set to show Beggars of Life on October 12 and 15, Diary of a Lost Girl (Kadotetun päiväkirjassa) on October 19 and 21, Prix de beaute on October 27 and 29, and Pandora’s Box (Pandoran lipas) on November 27 and December 1.I visited the KAVI website and found this information in Finnish, authored by Kirsi Raitaranta.Louise Brooks, kimaltava tähdenlento12.10.2017 to 01.12.2017Modernin tanssin merkittävässä Denishawn-tanssiryhmässä ja Broadwayn Ziegfeld Follies -revyyssä kunnostautunut Brooks (1906–1985) sai sopimuksen Paramount-yhtiölle. William Wellmanin mestariteoksessa Beggars of Life (1928) pojaksi naamioitunut Brooks pakenee murhasyytettä maankiertäjien seurassa. Vaiherikkaalla matkalla määritellään lopulta myös rakkaus, kun kovakasvoinen Oklaholma Red näkee totuuden: “I’ve heard about it – but I never seen it before. It must be love.”Pabst löysi hehkuvan Lulunsa Howard Hawksin elokuvasta A Girl in Every Port, jonka esitimme keväällä. 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.Pabstin Kadotetun päiväkirjassa (Das Tagebuch einer Verlorenen, 1929) Brooks esittää viatonta tyttöä, joka saa lapsen raiskauksen seurauksena. Perhe keskittyy varjelemaan mainettaan, hylkää tytön kasvatuslaitokseen ja antaa lapsen pois. Tyttö kuitenkin karkaa ja päätyy elättämään itseään ainoaksi jäävällä vaihtoehdolla. Moraliteetti ottaa kantaa paremman luokan hurskasteluun ja näkee hyveen ”syntisissä”.    Augusto Geninan Miss Europa (Prix de beauté, 1930) valmistui siirtymävaiheessa mykästä äänielokuvaan. Sen kerronta on kuitenkin ilmeistä mykkäelokuvaa, ja Orionissa nähdäänkin Bolognassa restauroitu mykkäversio. Brooksin esittämä Lucienne valitaan missikisoihin, ja hänelle avautuu uusia mahdollisuuksia. Mustasukkainen poikaystävä pyrkii rajoittamaan naisen elämää ja valintoja.UPDATE 8/19/2017: Here is Irma Romero's translation of the above text in English. Thank you Irma!Louise Brooks, a shining shooting starLouise Brooks' career could be described as that of a shooting star as her most active part only lasted for a decade. She's best known for her work in the form of the  European collaboration with G. W. Past. She left Hollywood in such a way that left her return unsuccessful.Having been part of the Denishawn dance group, and the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway got her noticed and landed her a contract with the Paramount Studios.In William Wellman' s masterpiece, Beggars of Life (1928), disguised as a boy, Brooks is on a run after being accused of murder where she joins a group of traveling vagrants. On a journey full of adventures , the concept of love is also is discussed when the hard-faced Oklahoma Red sees the light: "I've heard about it- but I never see it before. It must be love."Pabst found his Lulu in Howard Hawks' film A girl in every port, which we showed earlier in the spring. In Pandora's Box (1929), Louise Brooks' amoral character is sensual and innocent- of a woman who doesn't have limits. The film is based on Frank Wedekind's plays where expressionism meets melodrama. Pabst's cool, minimalistic and realistic approach is also a critique of society's double standards.In Pabst's Diary of a lost girl (1929), Brooks stars as an innocent girl who gets pregnant after being raped. Her family, intent on saving their image, abandon t[...]



Brattle Theater announces Louise Brooks screenings in September

2017-08-15T09:56:43.657-07:00

The historic Brattle Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts (located at  40 Brattle St.) has announced a short series of screenings featuring two films starring Louise Brooks. Here are the details. Visit the Brattle Theater website for further details including ticket availability.Beggars of LifeTue, Sep 5, 2017 at 8:30 PMThursday, September 7 at 6:00 PM (double bill with Diary of a Lost Girl)New Digital Restoration!(1928) dir William A. Wellman w/Louise Brooks, Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, Blue Washington, Kewpie Morgan [81 min; DCP]An American silent film classic, BEGGARS OF LIFE stars Louise Brooks as a train-hopping hobo who dresses like a boy to survive. After escaping her violent stepfather, Nancy (Brooks) befriends kindly drifter Jim (Arlen), and they ride the rails until an encounter with a rowdy band of hoboes led by the blustery Oklahoma Red (Beery) leads to a 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, BEGGARS OF LIFE is an essential American original. Features a new original score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.Diary of a Lost GirlWed, Sep 6, 2017 at 8:30 PMThursday, September 7 at 8:00 PM (double bill Beggars of Life)New Digital Restoration!(1929) dir G.W. Pabst w/Louise Brooks, André Roanne [112 min; DCP]The second and final collaboration of actress Louise Brooks and director G.W. Pabst (Pandora’s Box), DIARY OF A LOST GIRL is a provocative adaptation of Margarethe Böhme’s notorious novel, in which the naive daughter of a middle-class pharmacist is seduced by her father’s assistant, only to be disowned and sent to a repressive home for wayward girls. She escapes, searches for her child, and ends up in a high-class brothel, only to turn the tables on the society which had abused her. It’s another tour-de-force performance by Brooks, whom silent film historian Kevin Brownlow calls an “actress of brilliance, a luminescent personality and a beauty unparalleled in screen history.” – Thomas GladyszDon't forget: If you see the movie, why not read my books! Each are available on amazon.com or through select independent bookstores. Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film is also available through Barnes and Noble.And if you see the movie and want to see it again, be sure and pick up a copy of the outstanding Kino Lorber DVDs or Blu-ray. Each features an audio commentary by me, Thomas Gladysz, and each is available through amazon.com[...]



NitrateVille Radio podcast features Louise Brooks & Beggars of Life

2017-08-14T11:13:20.890-07:00

The latest NitrateVille Radio podcast with Mike Gebert features an interview with yours truly (Thomas Gladysz) about the new DVD / Blu-ray release, Beggars of Life (1928), starring Louise Brooks. Here is some further information about the podcast and how to listen.....NitrateVille Radio Episode 10: Cinecon, with Stan Taffel and Michael Schlesinger • Beggars of Life, with author Thomas GladyszI went to France and all I got was a cold, but the podcast must go on, so in this episode I talk about one of the top festivals of the year, coming over Labor Day weekend, and a major silent film video release coming out August 22. (01:58) Labor Day weekend brings the 53rd annual Cinecon in Hollywood, and I talk to Stan Taffel and returning guest Michael Schlesinger about how they dig through the studio vaults to find rarities to show at Los Angeles' best fest for the film buff who's seen everything. They talk about working with the studios to identify titles for restoration and making sure those restorations actually get seen, and about guests like Norman Lloyd, Patricia Morrison and Marsha Hunt, our last links to the golden age of Hollywood.Here's the link to the Cinecon site, for tickets, the schedule, hotel info and more. Here's the Cinecon Facebook page.(24:13) A stark, exciting tale of hobo life, starring Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen and Louise Brooks (disguised as a boy), Beggars of Life was William Wellman's followup to his big hit Wings and one of those great late silents from the last moment (1928) the form would exist. Kino Lorber's release of the George Eastman House restoration, with music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, is a vast improvement on grey market releases and allows this film to be seen as it should be.Thomas Gladysz, founder of the Louise Brooks Society (an acclaimed scholarly fan page that has existed since 1995), provides a commentary track on the Kino release and has also written a companion book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film. I talk to him about this film, which among other things, stands out as Brooks' best work in America and likely the film that attracted the attention of G.W. Pabst for Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl.Here's the Kino blu-ray and DVD, which will be released August 22. Here's Gladysz's book, available now.Listen above, or subscribe at iTunes, Soundcloud, or Stitcher on your mobile device, to make sure you hear every episode.https://soundcloud.com/user-368963594/10-cinecon-beggars-of-life-with-author-thomas-gladysz [...]



Early reviews of Beggars of Life, the book and DVD (starring Louise Brooks)

2017-08-15T11:56:15.607-07:00

Both the KINO Lorber DVD / Blu-ray of Beggars of Life, as well as my book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, are receiving good early reviews.Glenn Erickson of DVD Savant wrote that the new Beggars of Life DVD was "A happy discovery!" and "a major late-silent-era gem on the order of Von Sternberg’s Docks of New York," adding it "has a rich pre-Code feel." Erickson noted, "It’s also a key movie in our education/adoration of the maverick actress Louise Brooks, the erotic sensation too hot and too independent for Hollywood," and stated, "Kino and their producers Robert Sweeney and Bret Wood have given us an exemplary disc of a great silent movie."Regarding the bonus material, Erickson added, "Two academic commentaries are in place. William Wellman Jr.’s track is of course centered on his father’s career, while Thomas Gladysz of the Louise Brooks Society, takes his commentary into star-worship mode. Gladysz also contributed a track for Kino’s Diary of a Lost Girl, and is no slouch with the facts. It’s a very good listen."Gary Tooze of DVDBeaver also reviewed the new KINO Lorber release, stating that Beggars of Life was "An American silent film classic" and "an essential American original," while adding " I was very impressed. I thought it was quite brilliant.... Very strongly recommended!"DVDBeaver had this to say about my contribution: "Kino adds two commentaries - the first by William Wellman, Jr. who discusses his director father and the making of the film. I thoroughly enjoyed all the details exported in the second commentary by Thomas Gladysz, founding director of the Louise Brooks Society. It is fascinating."My new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, has also been receiving good reviews. By the way, the book is available on amazon.com as well as through select independent bookstores."I can say (with head bowed modestly) that I know more about the career of director William A. Wellman than pretty much anybody anywhere -- always excepting my friend and co-author John Gallagher -- but there are things in Thomas Gladysz's new book on Wellman's Beggars of Life that I didn't know. More important, the writing is so good and the research so deep that even when I was reading about facts that were familiar to me, I was enjoying myself hugely." — Frank Thompson, co-author of the forthcoming Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman"Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film is a quick, satisfying read, illustrated with promotional material, posters and stills as well as press clippings. In these pages, Gladysz takes us through the making and the reception of the film and clears up a few mysteries too.... Beggars of Life is a fascinating movie, made by some of the silent film industry's most colourful characters. This highly readable book will deepen your enjoyment and understanding of a silent Hollywood classic." — Pamela Hutchinson, Silent London"I cannot help but give this an enthusiastic two thumbs up.  It really is the perfect companion, before or after you have seen the film.  The volume might be slim, but, it is packed with information and rare photographs.  It has been impeccably researched and beautifully executed.... This is a thorough examination of the film from start to finish and written in a breezy style that is not only informative, it is a very entertaining read." — Donna Hill, Strictly Vintage Hollywood"Read your book. I love it. It is thorough and extremely interesting. The art work is compelling." — William Wellman, Jr., author of Wild Bill Wellmancourtesy of DVDBeaver[...]



To Save Lulu, a poem by Charlotte Mandel

2017-08-09T10:59:06.806-07:00

Just recently, I was alerted to a poem, "To Save Lulu" by Charlotte Mandel, which I came across on Mezzo Cammin: a Journal of Formal Poetry by Women, where it was first published.

To Save Lulu

Watching Louise Brooks as Lulu in Pandora's Box, 1929

All I need is a sharp-spined umbrella
to shelter her helmet of short black hair,
her tottering grace on little girl pumps
out from the crowded pub reeking of spilled
porter, damp wool, weeks-old sweat, the hoarse rasp
of cockney: "Take Me To the Garden, Maude"
slurred bass "Shut it you gobs"   slammed fists   Swung door
into night's grainy fog gaslights glow of decay

I shiver in my thin hoodie and Nikes
hands bare useless
                          Man-shape of sooty mold
follows the wavering dance of the girl's form
graceful even as she trips on wet cobbles

Two shadows blend into darkness—her door
opens   clangs shut   this is how she's earning
her living she will be bloodied by Jack
killer stabbings and
                         if only I'd got
to him in the street
                         if only I could
pierce the screen with a sharp-spined umbrella


I wrote to the author, who responded "I was introduced to Louise Brooks by an article by H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) in the avant garde magazine Close Up - the article is titled “An Appreciation” writing about director Pabst then working on Pandora’s Box. Likely you’re familiar with Close Up - H.D.’s article is reprinted in: Close-Up 1927-1933: Cinema and Modernism. (Ed. Anne Friedberg, James Donald, and Laura Marcus. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1998)." Mandel added "As an H.D. scholar, I’ve published a series of articles on the role of cinema in the life and work of H.D. Some are online on the H.D. Society website: http://www.imagists.org/hd/abouthd.html".

Charlotte Mandel's tenth book of poetry, To Be the Daylight, is forthcoming this year from White Violet Press, imprint of Kelsay Books. Previous titles include Through a Garden Gate with color photographs by Vincent Covello, published by David Robert Books, and two poem-novellas of feminist biblical revision—The Life of Mary and The Marriages of Jacob. Her awards include the New Jersey Poets Prize and two fellowships in poetry from New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She edited the Eileen W. Barnes Award Anthology, Saturday's Women. Critical essays include articles on the role of cinema in the life and work of H.D., on Muriel Rukeyser, May Sarton and others. Visit her at www.charlottemandel.com.



Film Forum announces Louise Brooks series in the Fall

2017-08-08T07:00:03.614-07:00

Film Forum in New York City (located at 209 West Houston St. west of 6th Ave.) has announced a upcoming series of films featuring Louise Brooks. The series is set to take place in the Fall. Each film will feature live musical accompaniment by long-time Film Forum silent film composer and pianist Steve Sterner. HERE are the details.

DIARY OF A LOST GIRL
Sunday, September 17 at 3:00 pm
(1929, G.W. Pabst) Louise Brooks is the “lost girl” wronged by circumstances and cast off first into a reformatory, then a Berlin brothel, where she’s spiritually and emotionally liberated. DCP. Approx. 112 min.

BEGGARS OF LIFE
Tuesday, September 19 at 7:00 pm
(1928, William A. Wellman) On the run after killing a molesting stepfather, dressed-as-a-boy Louise Brooks is befriended by Richard Arlen and falls in with Wallace Beery’s band of hoboes. Long-thought-lost silent classic, with Brooks’ best pre-German work and dazzling location work on speeding trains. DCP. Approx. 81 min.

PANDORA’S BOX
Sunday, October 1 at 6:40 pm
(1929, G.W. Pabst) Sex in the City – Berlin, 1928: in the wake of Louise’s patent leather-bobbed Lulu, men set up expensive love nests, ruin themselves gambling, commit brutal murders, and kill themselves; as she moves from kept woman to headlining showgirl, lesbian love interest, widow in mourning, fugitive from the law, and possible sex slave, amid a bustling backdrop of Weimar Germany. 35mm. Approx. 109 min.

DIARY OF A LOST GIRL
Saturday, October 14 at 3:10 pm
(1929, G.W. Pabst) Louise Brooks is the “lost girl” wronged by circumstances and cast off first into a reformatory, then a Berlin brothel, where she’s spiritually and emotionally liberated. DCP. Approx. 112 min.






A Peek at Pamela Hutchinson's New Book on Pandora's Box

2017-08-07T10:40:44.108-07:00

Speaking of books . . . . Pamela Hutchinson's new book on the 1929 Louise Brooks film, Pandora's Box, has been announced and is now listed on amazon (in the UK and USA and elsewhere including amazon France and Germany). I also expect it will be available in bookstores.

Pamela Hutchinson's new book is a short book at 93 pages, but I expect it will be packed with information. The book is being published by the British Film Institute and will be released in Europe on November 21, and in the United States on December 19, 2017. Pamela noted in a Facebook post that she expects screenings to take place in the UK in coordination with the book's release.

The book description on amazon reads:

"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."

Pamela Hutchinson, who I have had the pleasure to meet on a couple of occasions (once in London, and once in San Francisco), is the Editor of Silent London, and writes on early and silent film for the Guardian newspaper and Sight & Sound magazine. The latter, by-the-way, also published work by Louise Brooks.

I encourage everyone to pre-order a copy of this important new book today! I already have.



Some more snapshots and scans of my photoplay book collection

2017-08-06T22:58:49.162-07:00

My last post, featuring some snapshots and scans of my photoplay book collection, was so well received that I decided to reprise it with some more images. This is a visual bouquet, but I will add a few comments here and there.These first four images of various book spines all contain some interesting detail, like the swastika symbol on The Squaw Man, the portrait of director Rex Ingram on the Scaramouch, the three movie stars on Imitation of Life, and the notation of "Billie Burke Edition" on The Mind the Paint Girl. This book, Tess of the Storm Country, is not a photoplay edition, just an old illustrated book. BUT, it is signed by the author and the star of the film made from the book. That makes it unusual. To me, it is curious that this book was signed and dated three years after the film was made. I haven't been able to track down anything on "John A Thomas".Here are a bunch of attractive covers from some swell films. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea describes itself as a special "Submarine Edition." I am especially pleased to have found a number of small press books, or books not published by Grosset & Dunlap or A.L. Burt, the usual publisher of photoplay books. Here are some examples.And then there are these cherished Baby Peggy books. I adore this diminutive actress and her films, and am honored to know her. And yes, she did autograph my books.Here are a few that caught my eye when I found them. Chances are I purchased these in some old dusty bookshop, or from Emil Petaja, who sold off much of his collection long before I got to it. The "Photo Drama Edition" of The Eagle's Mate (pictured below) has an illustrated binding as well as pictorial end papers. Nifty!  And here are some other favorites. Besides Thomas Hardy, I also have a couple of Willa Cather and Edith Frome photoplay editions. I will end with this pic of three softcover photoplay editions (published by Jacobsen Hodgkinson), followed by two in the "Little Big" series (published by the Saalfield Publishing Company of Akron, Ohio).p.s. A few years back, I mounted an exhibit of some of my film related books at the San Francisco Public Library. The exhibit was called "Reading the Stars," and I wrote about it on the San Francisco Chronicle website, SFGate. Check out my article HERE. It contains a few more nifty illustrations.[...]



Some snapshots and scans of my photoplay book collection

2017-08-04T09:55:33.571-07:00

Having recently moved, I have finally had the chance to get all of my photoplay editions out of boxes and onto some shelves. And here they are....I am keeping my Louise Brooks related photoplays (Beggars of Life, Canary Murder Case, and others) with my Louise Brooks related books, which constitute two other bookcases. Perhaps sometime in the future I will snap a picture or two of those cases.I am note sure how many I have, but while shelving I did uncover a few duplicates which I plan to sell. That should reduce the collection.... My collection is organized by film title (not book title, which sometimes appears on the spine). Along with the Brooks-related titles, I also have a few John Gilbert and Greta Garbo and Clara Bow and Eric von Stroheim photoplays, as well as a number in dust jacket (a scarce thing, and the determining factor in a book's value). A number of my prize possessions came from the collection of the late collector Emil Petaja (who was a dear friend). Emil also authored the first ever book on the subject, Photoplay Edition, back in 1975). I have Emil to "blame" for my interest in this genre.Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on Photoplay editions, which I wrote a few years back: Photoplay edition refers to movie tie-in books of the silent film and early sound era at a time when motion pictures were known as "photoplays". Typically, photoplay editions were reprints of novels additionally illustrated with scenes from a film production. Less typically, photoplay editions were novelizations of films, where the film script was fictionalized in narrative form. Today, vintage photoplay editions are sought after by film buffs, bibliophiles, and collectors.The first photoplay editions were published around 1912, and as a genre, they reached their height in the 1920s and 1930s. Thousands of different titles were issued in the United States. Most photoplays were published in hardback by companies like Grosset & Dunlap or A.L. Burt, and some in soft cover by companies like Jacobsen Hodgkinson. Similar movie related books were also published in England, France and elsewhere.Typically, photoplay editions of the 1920s and 1930s contained stills and/or a dust jacket featuring artwork or actors from a film. Deluxe editions might also contain a special binding, illustrated end papers, or rarely, a written introduction by the star of the film. Sometimes, the spine or cover of the book will note the edition is a "photoplay edition."Illustrated movie tie-in books continued to be published though the 1940s, 1950s, and into the 1960s. Today, novels published in conjunction with the release of a film will often feature an actor or actress on the cover of the book, but without the interior illustrations.Today, the most sought after photoplays are those tie-in editions for favorite films such as Dracula, Frankenstein and King Kong, or lost films such as London After Midnight. Other collectors search for books featuring individuals stars, like Louise Brooks or Rudolph Valentino. Published by Grosset & Dunlap in 1927, The General is today one of the most sought after of photoplay books. Not only did the Joseph Warren novel make its first appearance in print as a photoplay, but the book is the only photoplay edition to feature film star Buster Keaton.Among the highlights of my collection are a handful of autographed photoplay editions including books signed by Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, and Baby Peggy. I also have a handful of variants. For example, I have three different photoplay editions of Under Two Flags (different formats and bindings and endpapers), and two different editions of The Virginian (both the 1923 silent and the 1929 talkie with Gary Cooper).I have a few petite English hardcover photoplays of American fi[...]



In celebration of Stuart Oderman (1940-2017)

2017-08-02T21:05:37.675-07:00

As I type this blog, I am listening to one of my very favorite film soundtracks - Stuart Oderman's piano accompaniment to Pandora's Box. It was Oderman's exceptional, moving, romantic pastiche of classical piano music that helped me fall in love with Louise Brooks - and helped open up a world of music by the likes of Debussy, Satie, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, and others. Thank you Stuart Oderman. I owe you.Back in the late 1990's, I was so desperate to re-enter Oderman's moving score that I made a tape cassette recording of the VHS soundtrack by placing my recorder next to the TV set. Despite its limitations, I have played it many times since -- almost to the point of it wearing out. Admittedly, it was a crude recording, and the fidelity was poor. And once, when I enthusiastically played it for a friend, a pianist, I could sense the look on their face was one of bewilderment. They likely only heard musical noise. I heard scenes from the film.Stuart Oderman, one of the finest silent film accompanists, died on July 28 at the age of 77. The Louise Brooks Society mourns his passing.Oderman was many things. Besides a pianist, he was also a writer and film historian. Oderman was the author of five books, including ones on Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Lillian Gish, and the Keystone Cops.He also authored two volumes of memoirs called Talking to the Piano Player. The first volume includes interviews with some of the most important people of a bygone film era: Marlene Dietrich, Frank Capra, Colleen Moore, Jackie Coogan, Madge Bellamy, Aileen Pringle, Allan Dwan, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Anita Loos, Leatrice Joy, Dorothy Davenport (Mrs. Wallace) Reid, Patsy Ruth Miller, Ann Pennington, Claire Windsor, Betty Bronson, Minta Durfee,  Lois Wilson and Constance Talmadge.The second volume featured interviews with Artie Shaw, Lita Grey, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Harry Richman, Veronica Lake, Marie Windsor, Joan Blondell, Gloria DeHaven, and Tallulah BankheadSignificantly, for more than 53 years, Oderman accompanied and composed music for silent films at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, as well as at theaters, museums and universities across the United States, Canada, and Greece. His scores appear on VHS / DVD releases of Pandora's Box, the Charlie Chaplin documentary The Eternal Tramp, and the Harry Houdini film, The Master Mystery.Television audiences may be familiar with his Laurel and Hardy series, and his work for the Comedy Channel.Oderman came to his calling in a special way. While still in high school, the young movie buff used to cut classes in order to see silent films playing locally. In 1954, he snuck off to the Museum of Modern Art in New York to see the Lillian Gish film Broken Blossoms. A lady sitting next to him took notice and said, "You belong in school." His response was, "I want to play piano for silent films." The woman turned out to be Gish. She took him by the hand down to the piano, Oderman later recounted, and introduced him to Arthur Kleiner, the celebrated silent film pianist. Kleiner became his teacher and Gish his point-of-entry to the silent era. "She gave me a life," he says of the actress some consider the finest of the era. "I owe her."For more on this remarkable person, check out these profiles in the Newark Star-Ledger and the New York Times.Oderman in 1967 with actress Lillian Gish.Credit Earl Wilson / The New York Times[...]



Beggars of Life 78 rpm recordings of the film's theme song

2017-08-01T20:42:07.861-07:00

In celebration of the forthcoming Kino Lorber release of Beggars of Life (1928), starring Louise Brooks -- as well as the publication of my new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, I decided to scan and post images of some of my vintage 78 rpm recordings of that film's theme song, also titled "Beggars of Life." Here they are. Some, like the brown colored disc, are scarce. With so many releases, one might assume it was a somewhat popular song.






Kino Lorber announces release of 1928 Louise Brooks film Beggars of Life

2017-07-31T20:17:36.954-07:00

Kino Classics Releases William A. Wellman's Beggars of LifeStarring Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen and Louise BrooksAvailable on Blu-ray and DVD August 22ndDigitally Restored from 35mm Film Elements Preserved by the George Eastman Museum With Special Features including Audio Commentaries by William Wellman Jr. and Thomas Gladysz, Founding Director of the Louise Brooks Society"Exciting and brilliantly parsed action scenes." - Richard Brody, The New YorkerNew York, NY -- July 27, 2017 -- Kino Classics is proud to announce the Blu-ray and DVD release of Beggars of Life, the 1928 American silent film classic directed by William A. Wellman (Wings, A Star is Born, The Ox-Bow Incident) and starring Wallace Beery (The Champ), Richard Arlen (Wings), and silent screen icon Louise Brooks (Pandora's Box). This exciting drama, following the adventures of a band of hobos riding the rails, was inspired by the adventures of writer Jim Tully, who spent years on the road traveling across the country on boxcars and railways as a real-life hobo, and who wrote about these experiences in his 1924 autobiography, also called Beggars of Life.Beggars of Life will become available on Blu-ray and DVD August 22nd, with a SRP of $29.95 for the Blu-ray and $19.95 for the DVD. This edition from Kino Classics is digitally restored from 35mm archival film elements preserved by the George Eastman Museum, and features a musical score compiled and performed by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, employing selections from the original 1928 Paramount music cue-sheet.Special features include audio commentaries by actor William Wellman, Jr., and Thomas Gladysz, founding director of the Louise Brooks Society and author of Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, and a booklet essay by film critic Nick Pinkerton. The Blu-ray and DVD also include reversible cover art.An American silent film classic, Beggars of Life (1928) stars Louise Brooks as a train-hopping hobo who dresses like a boy to survive. 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 hobos, 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 (The Ox-Bow Incident), Beggars of Life is an essential American original.Beggars of Life (1928)Director: William A. WellmanWritten by Benjamin Glazer and Jim TullyStarring Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, Louise BrooksBlu-ray and DVD Street Date: August 22, 2017Blu-ray SRP: $29.95DVD SRP: $19.95Special Features:Audio commentary by actor William Wellman, Jr.Audio commentary by Thomas Gladysz, founding director of the Louise Brooks SocietyBooklet essay by film critic Nick PinkertonMusical score compiled and performed by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, employing selections from the original 1928 Paramount cue-sheetStill images courtesy of the Louise Brooks Society[...]



My Louise Brooks KDVS Playlist

2017-07-26T20:56:47.673-07:00

Here is my playlist as heard on KDVS (90.3 FM / Davis, CA) on July 21, 2017. I was a guest DJ on "The Jerk Show," and played nearly 90 minutes of Louise Brooks related music. The show (I think) can be streamed HERE. Here is my playlist: 000 John Matthew Jones – “Louise Brooks” -- from What Will Survive EP (2013) 1:40001 Sarah Azzara – “Like Louise Brooks” -- from Revenge of Danger Girl (2000) 3:25002 Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark – “Pandora’s Box” -- from Sugar Tax (1991) 4:04003 Soul Coughing - “St. Louise is Listening” -- from el oso (1998) 4:29004 Ron Hawkins – “Lulu” -- from The Secret of My Excess (1995) 1:49005 Rhum for Pauline – “Louise Brooks' Lover” – from Miami (2010) 2:43006 Natalie  Merchant – “Lulu” -- from her self-titled album (2014) 4:15007 Jen Anderson – “Lulu: The Story” -- from Pandora’s Box: The Soundtrack (1993) 3:56008 The Prize – “Silence” -- from Silence (2002) 7:00009 Nouvelle Culture – Actress Louise Brooks Theme – from Fading Pictures (2005) 4:41010 Olivia Louvel – “Lulu a Hollywood” -- from Lulu in Suspension (2007) 4:09011 Gosta Berling – “Berlin” -- from Everybody’s Sweetheart (2008) 8:07012 Javolenus – “Waiting For You (Like Louise Brooks)” – from ccmixter website (2013) 3:12013 Paul Hayes – “Louise Brooks” -- from Vol. 1 Love Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (2003) 2:13014 The GrrrL – “Black is the Color (Louise Brooks’ Hair)” -- from Run You Luscious Lesbian (2010) 1:57015 Tombstone Teeth – “Louise Brooks On The Subway” from Bells of Orchids (2011) 1:30016 unreal dm – “Bob Your Head Like Louise Brooks” -- from LastFM website (200?)  3:50017 Lady Godiva – “Louise Brooks” -- from Louise Brooks Avenue (1999) 4:47018 Les Primitifs du Futur – “Chanson pour Louise Brooks” -- from World Musette (1999) 3:50019 Maurice Chevalier – “Louise” -- from a 78 rpm (1929) 3:12That's me, wearing a vintage Clubfoot Orchestra "Pandora's Box" t-shirtAnd here are my introductory remarks:I’ll be playing music from all over the map – electronica, new wave, alt rock, folk rock, prog rock, pop and even a little vintage jazz. But all of it is tied together by some kind of association with the silent film star Louise Brooks. Some of these songs are tributes or homage. Some only name-check the actress. But still, its pretty remarkable that so many contemporary musicians have composed songs about an actress who was working nearly a century ago.For those who might not be familiar with the actress, Louise Brooks was a silent film star popular in the 1920s. She is thought of as a flapper, and was famous for her bobbed hair. It was a style worn and copied by many women in the Jazz Age, and today you still see is worn by models and actresses and perhaps even a few students around Davis. Among Brooks’ contemporaries were familiar names like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Rudolph Valentino and Clara Bow – the IT girl. They were all people she knew.Brooks mostly played in comedies and light dramas and the occasional crime film. Some think of Brooks as a femme fatale. She made a number of films in Hollywood, as well as one movie in Berkeley, a college romance called Rolled Stockings; however, that film, like so many other silent films, is lost. Had your grandparents been in Davis in the 1920s, they would have seen Brooks films play at the old Varsity Theater. The old Varsity (located at 706 2nd Street) operated from 1921 to around 1949. That building was demolished and replaced by store buildings. A new Varsity Theater, built at 616 2nd Street, still operates today.Though Brooks was an American actress, she [...]



Beggars of Life screens in Toronto, Canada on July 23

2017-07-20T19:47:26.021-07:00

Louise Brooks stars in the new digital restoration of Beggars of Life, screening at 1:30 pm on Sunday, July 23 in Toronto, Canada under the auspices of the Toronto International Film Festival. It is an event not to be missed. Beggars of Life is a riveting late silent directed by future multiple Oscar winner William A. Wellman. Besides Brooks, the film also stars future Oscar winner Wallace Beery and late 1920s and early 1930s leading man Richard Arlen. More on this event can be found HERE.According to the TIFF website: "Recently rediscovered, this almost-lost silent classic directed by the great William Wellman was a remarkably prescient precursor to the rail-riding reality that would face many during the Great Depression. Loosely adapted from the autobiographical 1924 novel by Jim Tully, which described the author's hardscrabble life during the recession years of the 1890s and 1900s, Beggars of Life stars Wellman's Wings leading man Richard Arlen as Jim, a handsome young hobo who hooks up with abused young orphan Nancy (Louise Brooks) after she perforates her incestuously inclined stepfather. Disguising Nancy as a boy, Jim takes her on the road with him; but when Nancy's identity is eventually revealed when the pair stops at a hobo camp, the local kingpin Oklahoma Red (Wallace Beery) claims the girl as his royal right.""[Wellman] stages exciting and brilliantly parsed action scenes aboard moving freight trains … Though the sentimental spark of love may conquer all, [he] leaves a sour air of disgust on the dusty trail" (Richard Brody, The New Yorker)."This special screening of Beggars of Life will feature piano accompaniment by William O'Meara. More on this event can be found HERE.William O'Meara has accompanied films for the Toronto International Film Festival, the Ottawa International Silent Film Festival, the National Gallery of Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Goethe Institute, the Picolo Spoleto Festival (Charleston, South Carolina), Toronto Film Society, Cobourg Vintage Film Festival, Pacific Cinematheque (Vancouver), the Elora Festival, the Toronto Theatre Organ Society, and for the world's largest festival of silent films: Le Giornate del Cinema Muto (Pordenone, Italy). He was also the piano accompanist for Cinematheque Ontario screenings at Jackman Hall. William is also accompanist for many choirs in Toronto including Toronto Choral Society, Victoria Scholars and the choirs of St. Michael's Choir School.If you enjoy the film and want to learn more, be sure an check out a new book, Beggars of Life: A  Companion to the 1928 Film, by Thomas Gladysz and with a forward by William Wellman, Jr. This just published work features more 50 rare images.[...]



Louise Brooks on the air this Friday afternoon

2017-07-19T19:50:22.191-07:00

Should all go according to plan THIS TIME, I will be guest DJ-ing on KDVS this Friday afternoon. KDVS is a free-form college radio station (out of Davis, California), and I will be spinning Louise Brooks and silent film related rock & pop and jazz from 1 - 2:30 pm PST. (I will be playing tunes heard on RadioLulu.) I suspect more than a few tunes I play will make their West Coast radio debut! Listen over the air in the Davis / Sacramento area at 90.3 FM, or stream online at https://kdvs.org/ (I'm not sure if the show is archived for later listening.)    [...]



Louise Brooks programing on the radio

2017-07-14T20:11:15.973-07:00

UPDATE: My gig has been postponed. I will let everyone know when I have been rescheduled.

Should all go according to plan, I will be guest DJing on radio station KDVS this Saturday afternoon. KDVS is a free-form college radio station (located in Davis, California at the University of California, Davis). I will be appearing on the "Groove Theory" show, and will be spinning Louise Brooks and silent film related rock, pop and jazz starting at 2 pm PST.

Most of what I plan on playing are contemporary recordings, from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000's. And perhaps, I might play a vintage track as well. I suspect a few tunes will make their West Coast radio debut! 

Listen over the air in the Davis / Sacramento, California area at 90.3 FM, or stream online at https://kdvs.org/







Autographed copies of new Beggars of Life book now available

2017-07-12T09:11:11.177-07:00

With excitement building for the forthcoming release of Beggars of Life on DVD / Blu-ray (see previous post), I wanted to let everyone know that autographed copies of my recently released book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film are available for only $15.00 (includes postage within the USA). To order, simply send me an email at silentfilmbuff AT gmailDOTcom -- payment may be made to my Paypal account at the same address.I am also happy to inscribe books, and rubber stamp it with the famous Louise Brooks caricature by Rick Geery.




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.



Kino Lorber announces Beggars of Life DVD / Blu-ray release

2017-07-11T09:09:28.816-07:00

Kino Lorber has just announced its August releases, and among them is Beggars of Life, the sensational 1928 William Wellman directed film starring Louise Brooks. The new disc is available for purchase through Kino Lorber or amazon. Here are the details.Beggars of Life (Kino Classics, Blu-ray & DVD) Blu-ray and DVD Street Date: August 22, 2017Blu-ray SRP: $29.95DVD SRP: $19.95Director: William A. WellmanStarring: Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, Louise Brooks1928 / Adventure-Drama / 81 min / NR / B&WSynopsis: An American silent film classic, Beggars of Life (1928) stars Louise Brooks as a train-hopping hobo who dresses like a boy to survive. 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 hobos, 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 (The Ox-Bow Incident), Beggars of Life is an essential American original.Special Features: Digitally restored 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.And of course, also just out is Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, by Thomas Gladysz, which is also available on amazon.[...]



Diary of a Lost Girl shows 3 times this week in Baltimore, Maryland

2017-07-03T09:46:45.872-07:00

The sensational 1929 Louise Brooks film, Diary of a Lost Girl, is being shown 3 times this week at the Charles Theater in Baltimore, Maryland. HERE are the details.

DIARY OF A LOST GIRL

SATURDAY, JULY 1 11:30 AM;
MONDAY, JULY 3 7 PM;
THURSDAY, JULY 6 9 PM.

“G.W. Pabst’s 1929 follow-up to his notorious Pandora’s Box, again with the American starlet Louise Brooks, though this time as sexual victim rather than predator. The daughter of a pharmacist, she is seduced by a shop assistant and launched on a series of humiliations, which include bearing a baby out of wedlock, a term in a reformatory, working in a brothel, and a marriage to a drooling aristocrat….With Fritz Rasp, Josef Rovensky, and Sybille Schmitz, who was Fassbinder’s model for Veronika Voss.” (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader)

1929 Dir. G.W. Pabst 1.33:1 B&W DCP Silent with music track. 112 min.

And don't forget.... both the FILM and the BOOK are available for purchase on amazon and at better shops.





Pandora's Box shows in Paris July 3

2017-07-02T22:18:29.557-07:00

The 1929 Louise Brooks' film, Pandora's Box, will be shown on July 3 at La cinémathèque française, located at 51 Rue de Bercy, 75012 in Paris, France. Here are the details. Rétrospective Révisons nos classiques lundi 3 juillet 2017, 14h30 Salle Henri Langlois 14h30 → 16h45 (134 min) Loulou Die Büchse der Pandora Georg Wilhelm Pabst Allemagne / 1929 / 134 min / 35mm / INT.FR. D'après Die Büchse der Pandora et Erdgeist de Frank Wedekind. Avec Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Franz Lederer, Alice Roberts. Loulou, orpheline perverse et manipulatrice, devient la maîtresse d'un directeur de journal, le docteur Schön, mais son autre amant voudrait qu'elle soit à lui seul. Réalisateur : Georg Wilhelm Pabst Assistants réalisateurs : Marc Sorkin, Paul Falkenberg Auteur de l'oeuvre originale : Frank Wedekind d'après les pièces de théâtre "Die Büchse der Pandora" et "Erdgeist" Adaptateurs : Ladislaus Vajda, Joseph R. Fleisler Société de production : Nero-Film A.G. (Berlin) Producteur : Seymour Nebenzahl Directeur de la photographie : Günther Krampf [...]



Beggars of Life shows this weekend in Portland, Oregon

2017-06-30T07:09:51.942-07:00

Beggars of Life (1928) will be shown twice this weekend in Portland, Oregon. The film will be shown on Saturday and Sunday at the historic Hollywood Theater. HERE are the details. This month, our Cinema Classics series presents a new digital restoration of the early sound film BEGGARS OF LIFE!  Widely regarded as Louise Brooks’ best film, BEGGARS OF LIFE features a largely silent narrative supplemented with talking sequences and recorded score.  The Sunday screening is free for Hollywood Theatre members!BEGGARS OF LIFE (1928): After killing her violent stepfather, Nancy (Louise Brooks) tries to evade police and flee the country.  She befriends kindly drifter Jim (Richard Arlen) and, dressed as a boy, rides the rails with him en route to Canada, until an encounter with a rowdy band of hobos led by the blustery Oklahoma Red (Wallace Beery) leads to a 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, BEGGARS OF LIFE is an essential American original.  Featuring a new original score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Director: William WellmanStarring: Louise Brooks, Richard Arlen, Wallace BeeryYear: 1928Forma: DigitalRuntim: 100 minsAssistive Listening: Available Buy TicketsSaturday July 01 2:00 PM Sunday July, 02 1:00 PM With this showing, it is a good time to remind folks (especially those who might attend this Pacific Northwest event, that I have just recently authored a new book on this important silent film. The book is called Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film. Get your copy today! [...]



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' f[...]



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)[...]