Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Louise Brooks a la Valentina news stand in Rome

Gianluca Chiovelli sent this snapshot of a news stand in Rome which features an image of Valentina, the Italian comix character based on Louise Brooks.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Jean Paul Gaultier designed scarf said to depict Louise Brooks

A Jean Paul Gaultier designed scarf (dimensions 63 X 81 cm) for sale on eBay is said to depict Louise Brooks, but IMHO, it does not. Perhaps there is vague resemblance, but to me, that don't look like her. What do you think?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Louise Brooks film Diary of a Lost Girl coming on Blu-ray

I am pleased to let everyone know that KINO will be releasing the 1929 Louise Brooks film, Diary of a Lost Girl, on Blu-ray in the Fall. And that this new release will feature audio commentary by yours truly, Thomas Gladysz. 

Below is a sneak peak at the cover art. The print on the Blu-ray is the Murnau Stiftung restoration (the best we are likely to ever get). My commentary will reveal a number of previously unknown bits about the cast and film - like the fact that the actor who plays the elder Count Osdorff was a friend of James Joyce and had a role in the original stage production of Pandora's Box alongside author Frank Wedekind! And then there is the Cabinet of Doctor Caligari connection....

Friday, July 31, 2015

Louise Brooks film and blues moaner Clara Smith

Over the years, I've come across newspaper advertisements for one or another of Louise Brooks' films which have included musical acts on the bill. That's because back in the 1920's, many theaters programmed musical or vaudeville acts to accompany films.

For example, I have found advertisements which had a Brooks' film and performances by Paul Ash and Vincent Lopez (each a noted band leader of the time), as well as another with a Brooks' film and the great jazz pianist Art Tatum!

And here is another I just came across, proclaiming an appearance by the great Clara Smith (c. 1894 – February 2, 1935), an African America blues singer billed as the "Queen of the Moaners". Also showing was the 1926 Louise Brooks' film Love Em and Leave Em.

This particular ad promotes the Royal Theater, one of Baltimore finest and one of a circuit of five such theaters for Black entertainment in big cities. (Its sister theaters were the Apollo in Harlem, the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., the Regal Theatre in Chicago, and the Earl Theater in Philadelphia.) The biggest stars in Black entertainment, including jazz and blues singers aand musicians, performed at the Royal. Ethel Waters debuted there, as did Pearl Bailey, who sang in a chorus line. Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller worked as accompanists, while Louis Jordan, Duke Ellington and others performed at The Royal.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sacred Space: Louise Brooks in India

Found these two selections of quotations in the Times of India. Each date from the early 2000's and each include Louise Brooks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lulu in Bollywood - Louise Brooks in India

In search of all things Louise Brooks... I had the chance to look through past issues of the Times of India, the English-language daily newspaper. Today, it is the largest selling English-language daily in the world.

Back in the 1920s and 1930's, the Times of India covered the Bombay (now Mumbai) and New Delhi entertainment scenes. That included films, and of special interest, the films of Louise Brooks.

As far as I could find, at least eight of the actress' films were shown in India. I found editorial coverage and / or advertisements for The American Venus (1-26 / 9-27), Just Another Blonde (12-26 / 7-27), Evening Clothes (3-27 / 5-29), Now We're in the Air (10-27 / 9-29), Beggars of Life (10-28 / 3-29), The Canary Murder Case (2-29 / 5-30), and as well, When You're in Love (2-37 / 9-37), and King of Gamblers (5-37 / 11-37). The dates in parenthesis represent the month of the film's American release / followed by the month of the film's showing in either Bombay or New Delhi, India.

In terms of editorial, both Beggars of Life and The Canary Murder Case received a fair amount of coverage, as did When You're in Love. In terms of newspaper advertisements, many of the ads were something like the one pictured to the left for Now We're in the Air. Cool, but somewhat modest. However, I did find a couple of rather large advertisements for both The American Venus and Beggars of Life. Each took-up nearly 1/5th of the page! Wow!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The era's attitudes toward bobbed hair

This UK editorial cartoon from 1926 reflects the era's attitudes toward bobbed hair.