Monday, November 1, 2004

Brooks mention in David Thomson article


David Thomson is an especially good film critic. He is also the author of the magnificent New Biographical Dictionary of Film (a book that belongs in every home), as well as many other worthwhile books and articles. Today's Independent newspaper from the U.K. carried an interesting article by Thomson which referenced Louise Brooks.
"But as the feeling dawned so pretty girls were named and hired and put on our screens week after week. In that process, the female soul was radically divided: there were the virgins, the very good girls - as typified by Lillian Gish, and to a rather cheekier degree by Mary Pickford. These women were models for human behaviour, even if they were already a little antiquated. For instance, D W Griffith was still honouring Gish's saintly woman as the First World War and its aftermath introduced the "jazz baby", the flapper, the "wild kid" - the kind of woman best celebrated by the fabulous Clara Bow and the young Gloria Swanson. And then there was the bad girl, the femme fatale, the temptress. That is a tradition that includes Theda Bara - the enchantress women in Cecil B De Mille films - and even Louise Brooks - though Brooks was too candid and carnal for American tastes and only found full expression in Germany, in G W Pabst's Pandora's Box."
Thanx to Christy, a regular reader of British newspapers, for pointing this out.

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