Friday, February 28, 2003

Paypal

At the bottom of the LBS home page is a newly installed PayPal donation button. I am hoping individuals who enjoy this free site will make a small donation to help keep things going. (One person already has!) Monthly dial-up charges, server costs, the recently launched RadioLulu (I pay a royalty fee), and subscriptions (like those to database sites) are just some of the expenses that go into keeping the LBS on the web and groing. A donation (in any amount) will help defray the cost of photocopies, postage and research expenses. Contributions will also be used to ensure new material is added on an ongoing basis, and that the LBS continues as the largest and most comprehensive web site in the world devoted to any silent film star. The Louise Brooks Society is a money losing labor of love, and a not-for-profit web site devoted to the promotion and study of the life and films of Louise Brooks. Your interest and assistance is appreciated.

Monday, February 24, 2003

News of Lulu updates

Yesterday, a "News of Lulu" email was sent to members of the LBS. This email newsletter is hosted by Yahoo: Groups on a web site called News of Lulu. That adjunct site can be found at
groups.yahoo.com/group/newsoflulu/

News of Lulu contains a lots of interesting material, including colorized portraits, fan art, text files, a calendar of events, links and more. Recently updated is a nifty set of links called "Around the World with Louise Brooks." Also new, located under Files, is a set of folders to which LBS members may contribute original work including poems & song lyrics, essays & school papers, and short stories (including "fan fic") about Louise Brooks. If you have something to contribute along these lines,
please post your work to the appropriate folder. Pieces can be uploaded as Word documents, plain text files or html.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

On-line petition

Thank you to Amanda for alerting everyone to the on-line petition regarding silent films on DVD. The petition hopes to encourage Fox, Paramount, Warner Brothers, and other major studios to release their silent films on DVD. I agree. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider signing yourself. (Wouldn't be great to have Love Em and Leave Em or Beggars of Life on DVD?) The petition can be found at www.petitiononline.com/silentDV

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Two additions to the LBS website

Two recent additions to the Louise Brooks Society web site include: issue number 1020 of the Illustrierter Film-Kurier devoted to A Girl in Every Port www.pandorasbox.com/louisebrooks/archive/girlportIllFilKur.html

and

issue number 1314 of the Illustrierter Film-Kurier devoted to The Canary Murder Case www.pandorasbox.com/louisebrooks/archive/canaryIllFilKur.html These additions came about through the purchase of material on eBay.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Websites worth visiting

One web sites used in the compilation of the LBS bibliographies can be found at www.ancestry.com  This genealogy site contains a database of scanned historic newspapers which are searchable by - in effect - keyword. Normally, individuals use this resource to locate family records, but I have found it to be a valuable resource for film research.

So far, searches on ancestry.com have turned up a handful of articles, captioned photographs, advertisements and film reviews in small town newspapers across the United States. The result are citations from the Zanesville Times-Signal from Ohio, the Appleton Post-Cresent from Wisconsin, the Helena Indepenedent from Montana, etc. . . . Among the fascinating and sometimes rather surprising items which came to light are a February, 1925 captioned photograph mentioning Brooks return to New York from London aboard the S. S. Homeric; an interesting December, 1925 article
"Follie's Girl Sues to Supress Her Very Artistic Photographs;" a mention in a 1940 syndicated gossip column that "Louise Brooks, ex-star, is teaching the rhumba and La Conga in Wichita, Kansas;" and a small town newspaper advertisement from the mid 1950's (long after Brooks was forgotten by just about everyone) evoking glamorous movie stars of the past who started as showgirls.

[ Other similar, searchable newspaper archives include www.newspaperarchive.com and www.paperofrecord.com. Each of these sites have produced interesting material, and each is worth a visit if you are interested in family history or genealogy. Please note: Each of the previously mentioned sites require subscription.]

Silent film buffs and history buffs alike will want to check out the web site for British Pathe (located at www.britishpathe.com ). British Pathe made short newsreel films beginning around the turn-of-the-century. Thousands of these short two and three minute films are now available on-line (in a low resolution format) and can be viewed for free! There is fascinating stuff here . . . . Though there is no Brooks material, one can view vintage film of Chaplin, Fairbanks, and Valentino. For example, there is footage of Valentino's funeral in New York City, which Brooks attended. (A sobbing Poli Negri can be glimpsed, as well as Douglas Fairbanks Sr. as pallbearer.) Try searching by key words like "Charleston," "flapper" or "cinema" for other interesting material.

Another free site worth checking is the silent film database at the American Film Institute (located at www.afi.com/catalog ). There, you will find details on each of Brooks' silent films. Information on Brooks' later sound films is available only to AFI members.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

More updates

Just added is the RadioLulu Playlist, a page on the News of Lulu website. Also updated is the Dancer & Showgirl bibliography on the LBS website.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Louise Brooks bibliographies

One of the most valuable assets of the Louise Brooks Society are the many annotated bibliographies which help document the life and career of the actress. Most importantly, these bibliographies help organize the vast amount of written material about the actress, including vintage reviews of her films. The bibliographies contain not only numerous citations, but also links to select articles. Additionally, many of the citations are annotated with a brief quote or passage which in themselves make for interesting reading. These web pages - all of which are a work in progress - can be accessed at http://www.pandorasbox.com/louisebrooks/bibliographies.html

So far, material has been gathered from the places most important to the story of Louise Brooks - Cherryvale and Wichita, Kansas, New York City, Los Angeles, California, Berlin, Germany and Rochester, New York.

Articles and film reviews are also being gathered from newspapers in nearly two dozen of the largest American cities of the 1920's - as well as select metropolitan areas in the then less populated South, Southwest and Far West. Taken together, these many articles offer a perspective on the actress in the words of her contemporaries. Additionally, many fascinating and previously unknown articles and bits of information have been uncovered. Work on the bibliographies has been going on for nearly two years, with another nine to twelve months of effort (research, interlibrary loans, reading microfilm, etc...) already mapped out.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Need research help in Atlantic City

Do you live near Atlantic City, New Jersey ? If so, the Louise Brooks Society needs your help! The LBS would like to track down newspaper articles which appeared in the Atlantic City Evening Union. However, the only source for that paper on microfilm is the Atlantic County Historical Society (located at 907 Shore Rd., Somers Point, NJ 08244 phone 609-927-5218). And unfortunately for the LBS - which is located in San Francisco, California - that institution does not loan its holdings.

As a member of the Denishawn Dance Company, Louise Brooks performed at the Apollo Theatre in Atlantic City in October, 1923. (The Denishawn engagement ran October 15th through the 23rd.) Nearly two years later, in September of 1925, the Miss America contest was held in Atlantic City. That event provided the backdrop for Brooks' second film, The American Venus. (Participants in the contest began arriving around September 7th, and Fay Lanphier - who is starred in the film - was crowned on September 12th.)

The LBS would like to track down any and all articles, reviews or clippings about the Denishawn performance, relevant articles about the Miss America contest (especially if the making of  The American Venus is mentioned), and reviews of the movie after its showing in Atlantic City in January or February of 1926. Certainly, the Atlantic City Evening Union gave coverage to one or all of these events. (Another possible source for clippings is the Atlantic City Daily Press - though it is uncertain if this newspaper was being published in the mid 1920's.) Please email the LBS if you are able to help with this special research project. The LBS would be happy to reimburse individuals for photocopies made from microfilm.

Friday, February 7, 2003

New film in the works

I can't say much - BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW MUCH - but the LBS has been told that a dramatic film based on the life of Louise Brooks is in the works. It centers on the filming of Pandora's Box. An actress has already been chosen to play Louise. Watch the LBS website for details as further information becomes available.

Sunday, February 2, 2003

RadioLulu is on the air

The Louise Brooks Society is proud to announce the launch of RadioLulu, an internet-only station featuring music of the Twenties through today. This streaming radio station - featuring "all things Lulu" - includes a handful of songs directly related to the actress. The station - which was created December 29, 2002 - can be found at
http://www.live365.com/stations/298896

Included on RadioLulu is the theme from Beggars of Life, songs by the actress' contemporaries, friends and co-stars, jazz and show tunes of the 1920's, and a handful of standards (including Brooks' favorite Gershwin tune, "Somebody Loves Me"). The contemporary era is represented by rock music, soundtrack recordings and musical tributes from around the world.

Everyone from Maurice Chevalier (singing the ever popular "Louise") and the torch singer Libby Holman (a friend of Brooks) to actors Adolphe Menjou, Noah Berry and Rudolph Valentino are highlighted on this unique station. The playlist is arranged in loose chronological order, with themes such as "Louise Brooks in the Jazz Age," "European Sojourn," "The 1930's - National Depression and Professional Decline," and "Contemporary Lulu" helping to organize dozens of songs.

Besides providing more than three hours of entertaining music, RadioLulu also provides the rare opportunity to actually hear hard-to-find vintage and contemporary recordings associated with the actress.

Additional tracks, such as the Xavier Cugart recordings recommended by Brooks in her 1940 booklet The Fundamental of Good Ballroom Dancing, will be added to the station sometime in the future. Right now, however, your help is needed. Does anyone have an mp3 of the theme song to Prix de Beaute ? Or one for "Darling of the Jazz Age" from the recent Swiss production, Brooksie the Jazz Age Musical ? Or any rock music recordings not already included on the station, such as the little known Louise Brooks by Legendary Bang? If so, please email the LBS.

Saturday, February 1, 2003

New citations added to bibliographies

A handful of citations have been added to the film bibliographies, with corresponding articles gathered into the LBS archive. Citiations have been collected from the Indianapolis Star, Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Chronicle-Telegram from Elyria, Ohio, and the Appleton Post-Cresent from Wisconsin. Also, a number of pages have been updated or revised - additional information has been added to the filmography pages, and additional images have been added to a few of the portrait galleries.

Also new is the donate (via PayPal) button at the bottom of the homepage. A donation (in any amount) will help pay the expense of hosting and maintaining this website, as well as defray the cost of photocopies, postage and other research expenses. Contributions will be used to ensure that this website is further developed and that additional material is addeds. If possible, please use PayPal to make a donation to the Louise Brooks Society. Click on the PayPal button below to make a contribution of as little as $1.00. The Louise Brooks Society is a not-for-profit website devoted to the promotion and study of the life and films of Louise Brooks. Your interest and assistance is appreciated.
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