Friday, January 30, 2004
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Spend part of the day in the periodicals room at the library on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Scrolled through microfilm of various foreign newspapers, mostly - this time, from South Africa and South America. The library at this university has a tremendous collection of microfilm! This is at least the 25th times I have visited this library. Also spent some time scanning the local San Rafael Independent.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Just finished reading Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara, by Eve Golden. I liked this book quite a bit, and would recommend it to anyone interested in silent film. The book's photographic section is also quite worthwhile.
Bara was an early 20th century sex symbol. She was the original cinematic "vamp," and played Carmen, Salome, and other "bad girl" roles. Photographs of the actress as Clepoatra wearing a coiled-snake bra have become something of an iconic image. (I knew that image long before I became interested in silent film).
[Eve Golden has written a few other books which I own and hope to read someday soon. I have also read many of her biographical portraits of silent film stars - obscure and little known - in the pages of Classic Images.]
Sunday, January 25, 2004
Spent the afternoon at the library at the California State University, Hayward.Hayward is on the other side of the Bay from San Francisco, and it takes about 40 minutes to drive there. This is my fifth or sixth trip to that university library.
I scrolled through microfilm of the Washington Post dating from the 1920's in order to complete my survey of that newspaper. Found a bunch of cool stuff. I also looked through microfilm of a few local newspapers, such as the Hayward Review, Oakland Free Press, San Leandro Reporter, and Niles Township Register. The material I have been collecting lately from the multitude of Bay Area newspapers will likely end up in a book-length project I am working on called Lulu by the Bay: Louise Brooks and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Spent the afternoon at the Alameda Free Public Library, where I scrolled through a few years of the Alameda Times Star in search of Louise Brooks material. The two microfilm readers at this small town library were in especially poor condition. The microfilm, as well, was quite worn.
Alameda is on the other side of the Bay from San Francisco. It took about 30 minutes to drive there. Alameda is just south of the much larger and better known towns of Oakland and Berkeley, and like them, in the 1920's, it had a few movie theaters. I found a few short reviews and some advertisements. The most interesting material had to do with The American Venus (1926), which featured Fay Lanphier, a local girl who was named Miss America in 1925.
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Spent the morning and afternoon at the San Mateo Public Library, where I scrolled through nearly five years of the San Mateo Times in search of Louise Brooks material. Searching took a while, as the two microfilm readers at this small town library were in poor condition. The microfilm, as well, was worn.
San Mateo is about half-way between San Francisco and Palo Alto, and in the 1920's, it had a few movie theaters. I found a bunch of brief articles, a few short reviews, and some advertisements. The most interesting material had to do with The American Venus (1926), which featured Fay Lanphier, a local girl who was named Miss America in 1925.
Saturday, January 3, 2004
Some of the non-American newspapers I have been looking at on microfilm include La Epoca and ABC from Madrid, L'Action Francaise and Le Populaire from Paris, Kurjer Warszawski from Warsaw, and the Ottawa Citizen and Toronto Globe from Canada. Some of the American newspapers I have been looking at include the Morning Tulsa Daily World, Daily Oklahoman, Topeka Daily Journal, Kansas City Times, Boston Post and Boston Daily Advertiser. Each yielded a review, article or clipping. It is remarkable how many newspapers there were back in the Twenties and Thirties.
(n.b. L'Action Francaise was a French fascist newspaper. I managed to find reviews of both Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl in that publication. I have looked in a right-wing German newspaper affiliated with the Nazi party, but was unable to find any relevant material. However, it's unlikely that they would have written about the Pabst films, as Pabst was known as being left of center.)