Saturday, November 29, 2003

Diana Serra Cary ("Baby Peggy")

Two books I recently finished reading - and really enjoyed a whole lot - are Jackie Coogan: The World's Boy King by Diana Serra Cary, and What Ever Happened to Baby Peggy?, also by by Diana Serra Cary. After having read the Coogan book - I wanted more, and so immediately turned to the author's equally compelling autobiography. Each were very charming, anecdotal-filled stories of success and hardship. In the 1920's, Diana was an actress known as "Baby Peggy." And next to Jackie Coogan (whom she knew back then!), Diana was one of the most famous child movie stars in the whole world. In both books, she offers an insider's perspective on fame and fortune.

I really admire the author, who is now in her eighties. I have had the pleasure of meeting her on a few occasions. She has written four books to date, and I would recommend them to anyone.

                      

Friday, November 21, 2003

Paul Robeson

Recently viewed Paul Robeson: Here I Stand, an excellent 1999 documentary which originally aired as part of the American Master's series on PBS. I thought this film was one of the better documentaries I have seen, and very interesting as well. 

A footnote: according to Martin Duberman's biography of the singer and actor, Robeson once met Louise Brooks. Sometime around April 21, 1925, Robeson met Brooks at a party at the apartment of writer / photographer Carl Van Vechten, according to Essie Robeson's diary. Essie Robeson wrote of Brooks, she "was very late and I couldn't wait for her, but . . . Paul said she was very conceited and impossible."

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Italian website devoted to Brooks

There are a number of web pages and websites devoted to Louise Brooks. One of the best is this multi-page site from Italy, which contains biographical information, articles, interviews, obituaries, pictures and much more. If you haven't already checked it out, please do so.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Happy Birthday, Louise Brooks!

Mary Louise Brooks was born on this day in Cherryvale, Kansas in 1906. The Cherryvale Daily News ran a small item on the front page of newspaper.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Neve Campbell w roli Lulu

[ An article in Polish about Neve Campbell's desire to play Louise Brooks. ]

Neve Campbell w roli Lulu

Neve Campbell ("Krzyk", "Krzyk 2", "Krzyk 3") przygotowuje się do roli w filmie opowiadającym o życiu Louise Brooks, legendarnej gwiazdy kina niemego. Obraz pod tytułem "Lulu" przedstawi okres sławy aktorki, a potem zaskakujące porzucenie przez nią kariery ekranowej. Campbell sama nabyła prawa do scenariusza projektu, a obecnie poszukuje producentów i reżysera.



Louise Brooks urodziła się w 1906 roku w stanie Kansas. Karierę rozpoczynała jako tancerka rewiowa, pojawiała się także na Broadway'u.

Na ekranie zadebiutowała w 1925 roku. Po występie w kilkunastu filmach hollywoodzkich (m.in. "Amerykańskiej Wenus" i "Dziewczynie w każdym porcie") przeniosła się do Europy, gdzie dwoma dziełami (i niezwykle charakterystyczną fryzurą) zapewniła sobie ważne miejsce w historii kina.

Tytułami tymi były zrealizowane w 1929 roku "Puszka Pandory" i "Dusze bez steru" niemieckiego reżysera Georga Wilhelma Pabsta. Louise Brooks stała się jednym z klasyczych wampów ekranowych.

Po powrocie do USA niepokorna i niezależna aktorka zagrała w jeszcze kilku obrazach i... w 1938 roku definitywnie rozstała z kinem. Zarabiała na życie jako tancerka, poświęcała się malarstwu i lekturze, a z czasem została cenioną pisarką. Wśród jej licznych książek znalazła się również autobiografia.

Louise Brooks zmarła na zawał serca w Nowym Jorku w 1985 roku.

Neve Campbell chciała przenieść historię gwiazdy na ekran już od wielu lat. Teraz, gdy kupiła scenariusz "Lulu", który napisali Peter Nickowitz i Bill Oliver, znalazla się bardzo blisko realizacji tego celu.

Kanadyjska aktorka wystąpiła niedawno w opartym na własnym pomyśle filmie "The Company" Roberta Altmana (była także producentką tego projektu) i komedii "Churchill: The Hollywood Years" z Christianem Slaterem.

Wśród kolejnych planów Campbell są m.in. thriller "Blind Horizon" z Valem Kilmerem oraz dramat "When Will I Be Loved" Jamesa Tobacka.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Empty Saddles / Overland Stage Raiders

The other day, I got a flier in the male from Grapevine Video. Among their new offerings is a "Louise Brooks Double Feature" dvd-r featuring Empty Saddles and Overland Stage Raiders. The item number is #LBDFDVD abnd it retails for $14.95.

As was announced earlier, Grapevine is going out of business. So, if you are interested in this release or any of their earlier dvd-r or vhs items, the time to order is now. More info at http://www.grapevinevideo.com

Sunday, November 9, 2003

Nude on eBay

There is an image for sale on eBay which is described as "NUDE LOUISE BROOKS AS ZIEGFELD GIRL, photo."

To my eyes, this is not actually Brooks, but just someone who merely resembles her. (The face doesn't quite resemble the actress, and her partially exposed breast seems too big. Brooks had small breasts, like "little pears.") Many Ziegfeld Follies girls wore bobs, and many posed for this sort of cheesecake photo.

What do you think ? There are a couple of copies of this image for sale, both from the same seller. Here is a link for those interested.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3637182104&category=2211

Saturday, November 1, 2003

Recent research

I managed to borrow a few years of the Musical Courier, a performing arts trade journal. That publication yielded some articles, reviews and advertisements for Brooks' appearances with the Denishawn dance company. I also found some brief reviews of Brooks' films when they showed in NYC.

Some of the newspapers I have been looking at of late include the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, St. Louis Times, Milwaukee Leader, and Louisville Courier-Journal.
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