Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Louise Brooks: Greetings from Poland, part 4

A continuation of the three previous posts, the results of my look through a few online Polish archives in search of any and all Louise Brooks clippings or advertisements. Here is some more of the material I found.

The film showing at the Kino Quo-Vadis in this 1929 advertisement is Ludzie Bezdomni, or Beggars of Life (1928). Ludzie Bezdomni was also the title of a popular book on the subject of homeless people, which makes keyword searching for material on the film a bit complicated. (Again, this ad is a splendid example of a mix of different typefaces.) As is this.

This 1929 ad promotes a screening of Piraci Wielkiego Miasta, the 1927 film The City Gone Wild, with Marietta Millner and Louise Brooks. Unlike the ad in a previous post, star Thomas Meighan is not mentioned. The City Gone Wild focusses on gangsters in Chicago. Piraci Wielkiego Miasta translated back into English renders as "Pirates of the big city".

Few newspapers ads pictured a film star. This one from 1929 did. It's for a Kochanek mial sto!, the 1928 film A Girl in Every Port, starring Victor McLaglen. Brooks, center, stands out with her sleek bobbed hair.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Louise Brooks: Greetings from Poland, part 3

A continuation of the two previous posts, the results of my look through a few online Polish archives in search of any and all Louise Brooks clippings or advertisements. Here is some of the material I found.

On the right is a photograph of Louise Brooks and her brother Ted, as pictured in Robotnik, the newspaper of the Polish Socialist Party. Go figure. Brooks is identified as an actress for Paramount. A handful of her early American silent films were shown in Warsaw and elsewhere around the country.

This 1930 piece promoting Gdy mlodosc szumi (or Gole Kolanka) at the Kino Apollo is for the lost 1927 film Rolled Stockings, with Richard Arlen. It notes that the film is about American college students. Maybe there is a copy still somewhere in Poland?


This 1929 advertisement, also for the Kino Apollo, promotes Piraci wielkiego miasta, the lost 1927 Brooks film known as The City Gone Wild, which stars Thomas Meighan. Maybe there is a copy still somewhere in Poland?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Louise Brooks: Greetings from Poland, part 2

A continuation of an earlier post, the results of my look through a few online Polish archives in search of any and all Louise Brooks clippings or advertisements. Here is some of the material I found.

The 1931 ad for Pamiętnik upadłej promotes the "big" premiere of Diary of a Lost Girl, as it was called in Poland. The Margarete Böhme book on which the 1929 film was based was somewhat popular, so much so, there was even a pirated edition printed at one time. Also showing at Warsaw's Kino-Teatr Palace is a Bebe Daniels film.

The above magazine clipping above includes an image of Louise Brooks, and identifies her as appearing in Puszka Pandory, which is just one of the Polish titles for Pandora's Box. It ran in May, 1929 - right around the time the film opened in Poland.

And here is an advertisement for that opening, at the Casino in Warsaw in 1929, just a few months after is opened in Berlin. The film is advertised as Lulu, not Puszka Pandory. Also, notice that Brooks is noted as being an American actress, and that the name of Frank Wedekind is also given. Polish viewers would have likely known his the German author's name. (I love the typography in this piece, which is somewhat art nouveau, and not unlike other type found in other Polish publications of the time.)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Louise Brooks Double Bill in Dublin Tomorrow

The Irish Film Institute in Dublin has scheduled a Louise Brooks double bill on June 28. The special program will feature Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl. Both films were directed by G.W. Pabst and released in 1929. More information about this special event can be found HERE.

From the Irish Film Institute website: "June’s Hangover Lounge invites you to spend an indulgent Sunday afternoon at the IFI getting a tasty brunch from the IFI Café Bar whilst enjoying a double bill featuring one of the silent cinema era’s most luminous and iconic stars, Louise Brooks, in her collaborations with German director G.W. Pabst. Brooks’ portrayal of the seductive, uninhibited Lulu in Pandora’s Box (14.00), bringing ruin upon those who love her, and ultimately herself, made Brooks a star, and is arguably the role for which she is best remembered, but she is equally impressive in Diary of a Lost Girl (16.00) playing the innocent, mistreated Thymian."

Hair of the Dog: Brunch + Double Bill - €21
Pick-me-up: Brunch + single film - €16
Just the tonic: Double Bill - €13
Quick refresher: Single Film (normal IFI prices)

*Terms, conditions and supplements apply. Brunch is served from 12pm to 4pm.
Simply book your tickets at the IFI in person or by contacting the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477. You can also book your table for brunch by calling 01 679 8712.

Pandora’s Box: 110 minutes, Germany, 1928, Silent, Black and White, 35mm
Diary of a Lost Girl: 113 minutes, Germany, 1929, Silent, Black and White, Blu-Ray

The "Louise Brooks:Greetings from Poland" series continues tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Louise Brooks: Greetings from Poland, part 1

I seek her here, I seek her there, I seek her everywhere.... I recently had the chance to visit Poland. I recently spent a good number of hours exploring a few online Polish archives, including Polona at http://polona.pl/. I was in search of any and all Louise Brooks clippings or advertisements. Here is some of the material I found. Each is a window into another world.

From what I uncovered, I would say that the actress had a bit of a following in Poland. At least 10 of her films, and likely more, were shown that country. And often, Brooks was promoted ahead of the film's lead. And what's more, it seems as though both Diary of a Lost Girl and Prix de Beaute were as big of a deal as was Pandora's Box. In fact, Prix de Beaute continued to be shown over the course of three years. I found screenings listed from 1930 through 1932. That is somewhat remarkable, and long lived.

The above magazine page, from late 1928, includes an image of Louise Brooks, and identifies her as appearing in Puszka Pandory, which is just one of the Polish titles for Pandora's Box. As best I can tell, the article has nothing to do with Brooks.

A 1929 newspaper advertisement for Puszka Pandory starring Luiza Brooks. Like her film titles, which were subject to translation and even retitling, Brooks' name was also adapted. (The same for Clara Bow, here listed as "Klara Bow.") In other pieces I found, Brooks' name was given as Louisa Brooks and simply Louise Brooks. One piece even had her listed as Lonisa Brooks. All this makes a difference when searching using keywords.

I need help with this rare 1931 advertisement, shown above. The fourth theater listed from the top, the Kino Rialto, promotes a showing of The Canary Murder Case, starring Luiza Brooks and William Powell. However, I can't exactly make out the translated title of the film. Is it Kryuk z za Swlatow or Kryuk z za Swlatew or Kryuk z za Swiatow, or some other variation ? Help if you can.

Being or partial Polish heritage, I was especially pleased to take this expedition through time and place. Check back to this blog in the coming days as I post more of my findings. Dziękuję bardzo.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Louise Brooks pictured in advertisement on Rome metro

Gianluca Chiovelli sent this picture of a cinema advertisement on the Rome metro which pictures Louise Brooks. How cool. Thank you Gianluca.

Monday, June 22, 2015

New ebook features Louise Brooks, Frank Zappa, & Other Charmers & Dreamers

A recently published ebook features Louise Brooks both inside and out. Tom Graves' 297 page ebook from Devault-Graves Digital Editions (published April 29, 2015) is titled Louise Brooks, Frank Zappa, & Other Charmers & Dreamers. It contains a selection of the author's journalism relating not only to film but also music and literature. Notably, the book contains the author's previously published My Afternoon with Louise Brooks (based on the journalist's encounter with the actress), as well as a chapter from Fallen Angel, Graves' aborted biography of Brooks.

Here is the publisher description: "Award-winning author and journalist Tom Graves in "Louise Brooks, Frank Zappa, & Other Charmers & Dreamers" collects the best of his long-form journalism articles and profiles as well as his in-depth interviews with a variety of curious personalities. The lead piece is "My Afternoon with Louise Brooks" about Graves's encounter in 1982 with the reclusive silent film legend Louise Brooks. He was the last journalist ever to sit bedside with Miss Brooks, who allowed very few people into her life. Also included are Graves's 1979 sit down with the king of Southern grit lit, Harry Crews, his discovery of the first Elvis impersonator, his search with the help of Quentin Tarantino to find actress Linda Haynes, who had vanished from Hollywood. Included are also Graves's in-depth question and answer interviews with: Frank Zappa, Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, Lee Mavers of the cult band the La's, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, and rock critic Dave Marsh. Some of Graves's best essays are also part of this anthology: his piece on the Sex Pistols in Memphis, an apology for biographer Albert Goldman, a revisit of Woodstock, interviews with CD remastering gurus, and more."

One Amazon.com reviewer said this: "When I read Tom Graves' work, I immediately see his passion, his deep interest in the people whom he interviews, an interest that precedes and leads up to insightful and personal articles about people who have had an extraordinary impact in our history and culture."

It's true. This book belongs on the shelf of every serious Louise Brooks collector. Check it out. I did. I just bought the a copy of Louise Brooks, Frank Zappa, & Other Charmers & Dreamers through amazon.com. For those wanting more, be sure and check out Tom Graves blog at http://tomgraves.blogspot.com/