Friday, December 30, 2005

The Damned and the Beautiful

For a change of pace, I thought I would take a break from reading film biographies. Instead, I thought I might read up on the Jazz Age - one of my favorite periods in history. I've had a copy of The Damned and the Beautiful, by Paula Fass, sitting around for sometime. Originally published by Oxford University Press in 1977, this almost 500 page book is a sociological study of American youth in the 1920's. After the first few chapters, I decided I really couldn't finish this book. I found it somewhat dry, though interesting at times. I skimmed over the remaining chapters.



The author did her homework. She quotes from a number of books, magazine articles, and even student newspapers from the time. (Thus, I found the footnotes especially interesting! Fass cited a bunch of university newspapers, some of which I hope to eventually explore for Louise Brooks / Denishawn reviews.) One thing I especially liked about the book were the quotes which prefaced each chapter. Chapter 7 begins with these.

"To me the Jazz Age signifies an age of freedom in thought and action. The average young person of today is not bound by the strict conventions which governed the actions of previous generations." - University of Denver coed

"The word flapper to us means not a female atrocity who smokes, swears, delights in pictures like The Shiek and kisses her gentlemen friends goodnight, although there is no particular harm in any of the foregoing. We always think of the flapper as the independent, 'pally' young woman, a typical American product. Frivolity . . . . is not a crime, and flappers, being young, are naturally frivolous.

Any real girl . . . who has the vitality of young womanhood, who feels pugilistically inclined when called the 'weaker sex,' who resents being put on a pedestal and worshipped from afar, who wants to get into things herself, is a flapper . . . . The flapper is the girl who is responsible for the advancement of woman's condition in the world. The weak, retiring, 'clinging' variety of woman really does nothing in the world but cling." - Letter to the editor, Daily Illini, April 20, 1922


I will probably go back to this book sometimes, at least to pick through the footnotes. I've starting reading another, less academic, book - That Jazz, by Ethan Mordden. Originally published in 1978, this 300-plus page book is subtitled "An Idiosyncratic Social History of the American Twenties." I first notice this title in the bibliography of Louise Brooks, by Barry Paris. I am about thirty pages into it - and am liking it.

p.s. Mordden is best known as the author of well-received books on opera, film, and theater. He is also a novelist. In 1988, he published a novel entitled Everybody Loves You: Further Adventures in Gay Manhattan, in which he drops the name of a certain silent film star. . . ."When we gather at the board, I babble, dispersing the attacks. I am like a bag lady in the scattered energy of my references. I speak of Louise Brooks, of The Egoist, of Schubert's song cycles. They nod. They ask intelligent questions."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Considered the "Jennifer Aniston" of her days

I noticed a handmade jewelry box for sale on eBay. A couple of Louise Brooks images adorn the lid. However, what stood out was the description provided by the seller identifying the silent film star - "She was considered the 'Jennifer Aniston' of her days. Everyone had her haircut." That's a new one!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

LB on YouTube

YouTube is a website where individuals can watch, upload and share fast streaming videos. A search of the site will reveal four Louise Brooks clips. There are brief two minutes clips from The Show Off and Diary of a Lost Girl, as well as a longer, seven minute clip from Pandora's Box (with music by Marcella Detroit - To Die For). Also on the site is a complete one-hour, twenty minute version of The Show Off. I haven't watched it yet, thus I can't speak to quality. A search of the site also turns up clips featuring Clara Bow, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Greta Garbo, Harold Lloyd, Rudolph Valentino and Alla Nazimova and others.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Poems "about" eary film stars

My friend Gianluca, who alerted me to a recent edition of a book of poems by Tadeusz Rozewicz featuring an image of Louise Brooks on the cover, also found a webpage from Cuba featuring a handful of poems "about" eary film stars, including one "about" Louise Brooks! There are other poems "about" Theda Bara, Buster Keaton, Mary Pickford, Mae Murray, Charlie Chaplin and others. The poems are by Carlos Esquivel, a contemporary Cuban writer. Here is the Brooks' piece (whose title translates as "A Love Letter to Louise Brooks").

                                                      UNA CARTA DE AMOR PARA LOUISE BROOKS

Nada me une a ti sino lo que está más lejos:
el padre que no pude decir abrácense hijos,
esta sequía que ya aburre
 y junta las hebras de dormir con las de estar muertos,
ese perro recién nacido por los golpes y la fragilidad
de los apostadores,
y el trueno que no nos deja un águila viva.
Nada une como secar la pólvora en que hemos estado a salvo
mientras guardan en los sepulcros las hachas húmedas por la sangre
de otras muchachas.
Condenado a ser un hombre triste,
como un mensajero que se acoda
en la tribu enemiga, viviendo fuera de los muertos que le pertenecen,
doloroso y elegido en esta religión de olvidarte,
en la tierra que huele a abalorios, a coz,
advenedizo ante el oráculo y el agua áspera de las consignas.
Pero no soy quien cae de rodillas
y echa fuera de la armadura su presagio de vejez.
Sólo soy quien declara su amor como el prisionero
apostado a soñar con lo imposible.
Ya la madre no pensará en nosotros,
y en las misas los tambores llamarán a la fornicación,
heridos por el ácido de las absoluciones
y por los peñascos de quienes vaticinan
una zona blanca para los esqueletos amados.
Bienvenidos, dirán los niños,
y rezaremos ardiendo los sepulcros,
vueltos a callar en la carne y en la madera,
derribados por el coraje y la orina con que el hijo nos condenaba.
La sangre debe unir todo lo que en mí se hunde.
Debajo de esta barba de príncipe, mi corazón intacto
a las arrugas y a los zarcillos,
derramándose por las moras y los herbolarios,
húmedo de las concubinas que  habrán cobrado mi locura.
El corazón cercado,  como el tonto pájaro de Atamelipa.
Nada me une a ti sino lo que ruedea devolviéndose.
Augurar también que nos pregunten,
que en el vientre y los muslos un hijo nos pertenezca.
Nada me une más a ti que lo que no existe,
una espalda que imagino como única mentira,
y una muchacha con su cuerno de caza terminando la historia.
Quién sabe con qué esperanza tendremos el alcohol,
y la garganta hará un incendio para hacernos olvidar,
para sentarnos ante el poema
e inventar un grito.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Find in a Library

Looking for Louise Brooks: Portrait of an Anti-Star or a biography of Clara Bow or Lya Da Putti? How about a book on Denishawn or silent film? Here is a clever web application which will help you determine which libraries have what your're looking for. "Find in a Library" lets you use search sites to locate books, videos and other materials in a library near you. When your search term matches words associated with a library-owned item - such as a title or author's name - your search results can include a link for that item with the prefix "Find in a Library." And remember, if your local library doesn't have a particular title, they may be able to borrow it from another library through inter-library loan.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Angela Carter play

There is an article in today's Guardian about a play by Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus, which is being staged at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. Carter - one of the great writers of post-World War II Britian - was something of a "fan" of Louise Brooks, and she wrote about the actress on a couple of occassions. This article also discusses Brooks, femme fatales, Lulu and the Wedekind play - all of which interested Brooks.

"Carter was always intrigued by the femme fatale and the 'performance' of femininity - hardly for her a universal, but a construct made up of a time's assumptions and wishes. She translated the German playwright and cabaret artist Frank Wedekind's plays Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box, where Lulu, that original turn-of-the-20th-century fatal woman, is born. Fevvers' sensational journey, the clowns and strong men of Nights, the lesbian lover and the waif, not to mention Fevvers' ribald enactment of sexual wiles and the predatory grand duke who tries to turn her into a toy, owe something to Lulu.


Carter's winged aerialist is a bold late-20th-century woman's response to the myth of the femme fatale: the woman who is both mysterious and fatal because she is made the repository of the male's forbidden desires. Writing about Louise Brooks, the great silent film incarnation of Lulu, Carter notes: "Desire does not so much transcend its object as ignore it completely in favour of a fantastic re-creation of it. Which is the process by which the femme gets credited with fatality. Because she is perceived not as herself but as the projection of those libidinous cravings which, since they are forbidden, must always prove fatal."

Lulu may just be a good-hearted girl, whore or not, but Wedekind and her suitors would have her embody mystery and become the instrument of vice. The femme fatale's punishment for sex . . . . "

I would be interested in hearing from anyone in London who has the chance to see this stage play.

Epitomized "Sad Young Men"

On this day in 1940, the great American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald died in Hollywood. (Louise Brooks had met the writer some years earlier.) "Mr. Fitzgerald in his life and writings epitomized 'all the sad young men' of the post-war generation. With the skill of a reporter and ability of an artist he captured the essence of a period when flappers and gin and 'the beautiful and the damned' were the symbols of the carefree madness of an age." More from the original New York Times obituary can be read here.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The red glove and other poems

I have just received word that a recent edition of a book of poems by Tadeusz Rozewicz entitled Il guanto rosso e altre poesie (1948)  features an image of Louise Brooks on the cover. And, apparently, the credit for the cover image reads "Cover, Louise Brooks. The Thirties, from the Louise Brooks Society Archive San Francisco." Rozewicz (born 1921) is a world famous writer, and is the author of many poems, plays and novels. He is Polish by birth. A bit more on this Italian language edition can be found on this web page.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Music and Lulu

I was scouring the web last night in search of music relating to the life and films of Louise Brooks. I ordered a half-dozen somewhat expensive CD's from Europe, and some of what I found will end up on RadioLulu once I've had a chance to listen to the discs and convert tracks to the mp3 format.

I spent a few hours searching a German site called jpc - music a la carte. One of the discs I ordered (which may never come, as it may no longer be available - we shall see) is by Berthe Slyva, a French singer. This particular disc contained two vintage recordings of two songs from Prix de beauté, the 1930 French film which starred Brooks. The songs, "Je n'ai qu'un amour c'est toi" (the familiar closing song) and "Mais quand le coeur dit oui," both ended up on sheet music associated with the film. [ Another CD I came across on another website, featuring French recordings from 1930, includes another version of  "Je n'ai qu'un amour c'est toi," this one by Marthe Coiffier. Check the box next to her name and then double click on the "Lancer L'ecoute" button to hear a 45 second sample!]  I don't feel that either version of "Je n'ai qu'un amour c'est toi" on these two discs is the version heard in the film, so there is a third recording out there somewhere. (And no, it's not Edith Piaf.) This third version (by Helene Caron) may be the one issued as a 78 record in France around 1930.

My search around jpc also turned up a remarkable disc of German film music dating from 1900 through 1945. This album, Filmmuseum Berlin - Musik zum deutschen Film Vol. 1, contains all kinds of unusual recordings such as the "Caligari-Foxtrott" and music fromNosferatu and Metropolis and Pandora's Box! From what I can tell, some of these recordings are vintage, and some are contemporary. I will find out more when and if my order comes. (More info on this recording here - as well as sound samples.)

I also purchased a CD called TanzSzene Berlin 1930, a collection of vintage dance music which includes Ilja Livschakoff's "Du bist meine Greta Garbo," as well as a disc by Will Meisel which contains his classic " Dort tanzt Lulu." Another disc had a Pola Negri track . . . .  

Filmic compositions

I recently picked up a copy of Aubert: Orchestral Works, a collection of five shorter works by Louis Aubert (1887 - 1968). I had not heard of this French composer, but I stumbled upon this CD and was drawn to the cover (which depicts Charlie Chaplin) as well as the interestingly titled second work on the disc, "Cinema, six tableaux symphoniques." According to the liner notes, this symphonic suite is taken from a ballet first staged in 1953, and each movement or episode in the work depicts a moment in the history of film. The movements are titled "Cinéma, six tableaux symphoniques Douglas Fairbanks et Mary Pickford," "Cinéma, six tableaux symphoniques Rudolph Valentino," "Cinéma, six tableaux symphoniques Chaplin et les Nymphes Hollywoodiennes," "Cinéma, six tableaux symphoniques Walt Disney," etc.... This music is charming and easy to listen to, and will appeal to those who may like Debussy or Ravel.



The liner notes refer to another French composer with whom I was not familiar, Charles Koechlin (1867 - 1950), and his "Seven Stars Symphony." According to the Wikipedia entry on Koechlin, the "Seven Stars Symphony" (1933) was "inspired by Hollywood" and "He was fascinated by the movies and wrote many 'imaginary' film scores and works dedicated to the Hollywood actress Lillian Harvey, on whom he had a crush. He also composed an "Epitaph for Jean Harlow." This webpage contains additional information on Koechlin. And this English-language Russian webpage has some really interesting material.

One doesn't often come across classical music inspired by the early cinema, especially that dating from the time. Is anyone familiar with this composer or their filmic compositions? I would like to track down some of Koechlin's work.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Flapper Monkey Too Untrained for Matrimony

It's not unsual, while looking through newspapers and magazines of the 1920's, to come upon articles about flappers. Incredibly, flappers (young women with a decidely modern outlook) were seen as a "threat" to society. And many of the articles I have come across are of the finger-wagging variety.

Yesterday, I couldn't help but notice and read and copy "Flapper Monkey Too Untrained for Matrimony; Her Three Babies Died." This is certainly one of the most ridiculous pieces I have ever read.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Still things to be found

I spent about three hours at the library today. There are still things to be found.

I went through two reels of microfilm of the Omaha Daily News in search of material on the December, 1922 and February, 1924 Denishawn performances (with Louise Brooks) in Omaha, Nebraska. I found a number of articles and a review. Radio was just coming in around 1922, and the Daily News devoted no less than four articles to a local broadcast on WNAL by Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis. One article, suggesting that Denishawn were hip, began "Old folks won't have a chance at the radio headsets Thursday from 7 to 7:30 pm. Youth will demand a listening, for - Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis, among the brightest luminaries in the realm of dance . . . will broadcast their famous 'History of the Dance' lecture." Perhaps it was the modernity or daring of the Denishawn aesthetic that appealed to the younger generation. A review the following day entitled "Ted Shawn Tells Fans Nude Dance Returning," noted that Shawn "declared the undraped dance on the wave of popularity."



These radio broadcasts could be heard far and wide. An article in the Omaha paper related how an earlier broadcast of Shawn and St. Denis from Davenport, Iowa over station WOC could be heard in New York City. "Skeptic Becomes Ardent Radioite" related how a Denishawn manager, listening in the Flatiron building, heard the Denishawn radio lecture. It was the manager's first experience with radio, the article reported.

The February, 1924 Denishawn performance was equally well covered. One article reported that more than 100 people would attend a luncheon for Ruth St. Denis and Denishawn dancer Doris Humphrey at the Fontenelle Hotel. (It wasn't clear if Shawn, Brooks, or the other dancers attended this event - though it did list who from Omaha would be there and were they would sit.) An effusive article in the Omaha Daily News on the day of their program at the Brandeis theater was headlined "Ruth St. Denis Transforms Body Into Flowing Liquid!" The review the following day was titled "Translate Music Into Poetic Motion."

This is the second Omaha newspaper I have looked at. I have also gone through the World-Herald. My next inter-library loan request covering this material will be for the Omaha Evening Bee.

I also went through two months of the Hollywood Citizen News. I have been tracking down a series of near daily advertisements that Louise Brooks' dance studio, the Brooks O'Shea Studio of Distinctive Ballroom Dancing, took out in Hollywood Citizen News and the Los Angeles Times. Today, I collected 42 different ads - each of them different "hints for dancers." Very interesting stuff - though I doubt Brooks had much to do with the dance instructions contained in the ads. Also, I will have to request more microfilm, as the series stopped near the end of the month with the promise to resume later in the year. (I have nearly 100 different advertisements photocopied so far!) Here is a rather little known item I also came across. It dates from 1940. I love finding stuff like this.



And for fun, I requested and searched through nine months of the Fargo Forum. I hadn't looked through any newspaper from this city before, let alone much else from North or South Dakota. And for that reason, I did it. What I found were some brief articles and advertisements for three of Brooks' films. Among them was an October, 1927 screening of The Street of Forgotten Men. Interestingly, Brooks' first film was still being shown in theaters some two years after its release.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A nice note

I received an email from a blogger by the name of sourduck who wrote: "I love your LiveJournal LB site. I link to it a lot at my linkblog.  At any rate, I came across this doing something entirely different but I thought you might appreciate this desktop wallpaper:  www.doctormacro.com/Images/Sylvie/Sylvie%20-%20Brooks,%20Louise_01.jpg  

(The page before it shows a number of desktop wallpapers: www.doctormacro.com/Movie%20Star%20Pages/Sylvie/Sylvie.htm ).

" It's nice to hear that this blog doesn't put everyone to sleep. . . . At any rate, I wanted to pass along the urls to that wallpaper site. I especially like the Theda Bara image. The Jean Harlow, Ronald Colman, and Carole Lombard wallpapers are also quite attractive.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Marion Davies, a biography

Just finished reading Marion Davies, a biography by Fred Laurence Guiles. I liked the book well enough, though it took me a while to finish it. Not sure why that was. I have been busy with work lately. Nevertheless, this 1972 biography was informative and well-researched. I have seen Davies' Show People and really liked the film, and her. (If you haven't seen the film, you should. Marion Davies is a delight.)  This book makes a case for Davies as an accomplished actress and interesting Jazz Age personality, above and beyond her relationship with William Randolph Hearst.



Has anyone read this book, or Davies' own posthumous The Times We Had ? I think I may read that next.

Monday, December 12, 2005

LBS at Flickr

Here is the url for the LBS at Flickr = http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisebrookssociety/

Sunday, December 11, 2005

David Levine Postcard Book

A caricature of Louise Brooks adorns the cover of a recently released David Levine postcard book. The "personalities" series contains twenty 4" x 6" postcards featuring different David Levine caricatures taken from 40 years of The New York Review of Books. Levine's mid-80's caricature of is featured. More info and a link to purchase can be found here.

                   

New York Review Books is the same publisher that released The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares, which also featured Louise Brooks on the cover. More info and a link to purchase for that title can be found here. That's two items from the same publisher! (p.s. The publisher is having a sale!)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

LBS 10th anniversary postage stamp

The Louise Brooks Society 10th anniversary postage stamp - for sale through Cafepress.com - will only be available through the end of the year. (This year marks the tenth anniversary of the LBS - and to celebrate, the LBS created a stamp by gum!) Approved for domestic use by the United States Postal Service, stamps are sold in sheets of 20 and are available in seven denominations, including the postcard rate. This is the perfect collectible for those stamp collectors among Louise Brooks many fans . . . .

Friday, December 9, 2005

Theda Bara documentary

There is an article in today's Fresno Bee about a new documentary on Theda Bara. Hugh Munro Neely, who directed the documentary, also directed the recent stylish documentaries on Clara Bow and Louise Brooks. I am looking forward to seeing it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Once again, I went to the library

Once again, I went to the library in search of yet more Louise Brooks material. Four inter-library loans were waiting for me. Most of my requests these days are aimed at Denishawn performances. To that end, I went through some microfilm of the now defunct Minneapolis Journal and the now defunct Albany Evening Journal. I also went through the Rockford Register-Gazette (from Rockford, Illinois). In each newspaper I found articles, advertisements and a couple of reviews. Louise Brooks was mentioned in one of the reviews. One other unusual article spoke about a visit by the Denishawn dancers to a Minneapolis hospital to visit sick children. The search goes on . . . . I have added citations to the Denishawn bibliographiesof the relevant material.



One of the advertisements I came across for Denishawn's 1923 Minneapolis performance is pictured above. Interestingly, adjoining it was an advertisement for a performance by the noted stage (and silent film) actor Fritz Leiber, who was once well known for his interpretations of Shakespeare. His son, Fritz Leiber Jr., who would become one of the great science fiction and fantasy authors of the post-War period, referenced Louise Brooks in his classic horror novel Our Lady of Darkness (1978).

Along with a bunch of Denishawn material, I also scored some articles, reviews and advertisements for The Street of Forgotten MenA Social Celebrity, and The Show Off. This material came from the Minneapolis JournalAlbany Evening News (the successor to the Albany Evening Journal) and Des Moines Register (from Des Moines, Iowa). I think I have gotten everything I can from the Des Moines Register.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

On this day in 1929

On this day in 1929: The New York Sun declared Pandora's Box ". . . has smashed the Fifty-fifth Street Playhouse's box office records. It will therefore be held for another week." This week-long engagement marked the film's American debut.

Monday, December 5, 2005

J. Peterman winter coat

I remember seeing these "Louise Brooks" winter coats (so-named) in the J. Peterman catalogs a number of years ago. Now, one of them has turned up on eBay. I think they were a popular item, as the company carried them for a few years running. "Composed of softest wool and cashmere and accented with sumptuous shearling on a huge collar and decadent cuffs, secured with a single outer and inner button and lined in coppered bronze satin . . . ." Just in time for the cold winter months.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Reading

Any film buff who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area will want to check out a new book, Theatres of San Francisco, by Jack Tillmany. Recently, I had a chance to meet the author during his book signing at the historic Castro Theater.


Jack Tillmany documents the city's many theatres through a remarkable selection of vintage images drawn from the author's personal archive.This new book paints a detailed picture of the golden age of going to the theatre in San Francisco. This volume reminds us that almost every neighborhood in the City boasted its own beloved theatre. Ironially, the one theatre closest to my San Francisco residence - the Searchlight, is not depicted. The Searchlight opened in 1916 at 1596 Church Street, and operated under nearly a dozen names during the next 50 years. Though the building still stands, no photographs of the building as a theater are known.

"Only a handful of the 100 or so neighborhood theatres that once graced these streets are left in San Francisco, but they live on in the photographs featured in this book. The heyday of such venues as the Clay, Noe, Metro, New Mission, Alexandria, Coronet, Fox, Uptown, Coliseum, Surf, El Rey, and Royal was a time when San Franciscans thronged to the movies and vaudeville shows, dressed to the hilt, to see and be seen in majestic art deco palaces." Also included is the Granada, where all of Louise Brooks' Paramount features were shown.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Are you The American Venus of Eau Claire?

Yesterday's trip to the library was worthwhile. I looked at two newspapers on microfilm, the Eau Claire Leader (from Eau Claire, Wisconsin) and the Hannibal Evening Courier-Post (from Hannibal, Missouri). Both papers yielded Denishawn material (some articles, some distinct advertisements, and reviews), as each city was a destination on the Denishawn tour during the years Louise Brooks was with the company.

While looking through the Hannibal newspaper around the time of Denishawn performance, I came across this remarkable advertisement.



Along with the Denishawn dates, I had also requested a couple of months of microfilm of the Eau Claire Leader, on the off-chance I might run across some film reviews in that Wisconsin paper. And in fact, I did come across material on local screenings of The American Venus and A Social Celebrity. I found articles promoting each film, and some advertisements. Each were no doubt supplied by the studio, and were nothing I hadn't seen before. I one unsual item I did run across was this advertisement promoting a local beauty contest to be held in conjunction with the screening of The American Venus.



Such contests were held elsewhere (I have run across a few such instances), but this promotion has a local angle to it. Very nifty!

Friday, December 2, 2005

Watching and listening

The other day, I watched a somewhat interesting silent film called Sex in Chains (1928). William Dieterle directed and starred in this social drama, which had been banned by the German government because of its subject matter - sexual relations between male prisoners. (Needless-to-say, the sexuality is oblique.) The film centers on a young man who's incarcerated for causing an accidental death and who develops sexual relations with a fellow inmate. Also in the film was Carl Goetz, who, less than one year later, would play Schigolch in Pandora's Box.

[ Under the title, "Gay-Themed Films of the Silent Era," Kino released Sex in Chains as part of a set of four films that were controversial in their day.The set also included G.W. Pabst's Diary of a Lost Girl, Carl Theodor Dreyer's Michael, and Richard Oswald's  Different from the Others. ]

I also recently listened to a BBC radio documentary about Charlie Chaplin, which was narrated by Robert Downey, Jr. "Smile: The Genius of Charlie Chaplin" aired earlier in the week and can be listened to again at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/documentaries/#chaplin Part two of this recommended program airs on Tuesday, December 6th. Check it out.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Hairstyle Keeps Bobbing Along

An article in today's Hartford Courant, "Hairstyle Keeps Bobbing Along," mentions Louise Brooks. The article begins, "Aeon Flux, opening Friday, is set 400 years in the future. But the hairdo Charlize Theron sports as the title character is as old as the Roaring Twenties. Theron's dramatic black symmetrical hairstyle can be traced all the way back to Louise Brooks, the dark-haired star of silent films of the 1920s and '30s who was famous for her trend-setting bob hairstyle."  . . . And ends, "Brooks might be taken aback by today's entertainments, but she'd no doubt be thrilled to see her bangs bobbing about on stage and screen."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

On this day in 1925, first reports of the so-called 'draped nudes'

On this day in 1925, first reports of the so-called 'draped nudes' scandal appear in the New York Mirror.

On this day in 1925

On this day in 1925, the first reports of the so-called 'draped nudes' scandal appear in the New York Mirror.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

1920's hand fan for sale

A 1920's hand fan - depicting Louise Brooks and other Paramount stars - is for sale on eBay. Very nifty.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What I found and didn't find

Returned to the library today. I looked at some microfilm of the Commercial Appeal, and dug out some good material (an article, a review, and some advertisements) relating to the November, 1922 Denishawn performance in Memphis, Tennessee. While looking for later film reviews, I stumbled upon a review of a personal appearance Fay Lanphier made in Memphis in June, 1926. (Lanphier, who was crowned Miss America in 1925, appeared along with Louise Brooks in The American Venus. That film, which screened in Memphis in late February, 1926, was the high point of Lanphier's career. She would appear in only one other film, a Laurel and Hardy short from 1928.) Here is a nifty advertisement promoting Lanphier's appearance.



Along with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, I also looked at microfilm of the Wellington Daily News. This small Kansas town hosted Denishawn in 1924, but before that, in 1921, a 14 year old Louise Brooks danced there. According to the Barry Paris biography, "In September there was a five-night engagement at the Wheat Show in Wellington." I decided to scour the September issues of the Wellington newspaper in hopes of finding some reference to Brooks. But nothing turned up.

What I found was that at the beginning of September, 1921 - starting on Labor Day, Wellington hosted a Golden Jubilee and Home Coming. People came from all over for the celebrations, which featured various entertainments and pageants. It was at this event that  Brooks likely danced. (A 1924 article in the Wellington paper, which appeared around the time of the Denishawn performance, mentions Brooks having given "a balloon dance at the Kansas Pageant at the Wellington Fall Festival a number of years ago.") A Wheat Festival did take place, but not until the end of September in Wichita.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Prix de Beauté on DVD

Bruce Calvert reports that he received the new Kino on Video catalog yesterday, and noticed that Kino has announced that Prix de Beauté (1930) will be released on DVD in Spring 2006. It looks like next year - the Brooks centennial - is shaping up to be a big year for all things Brooksie!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Lulu play in Chicago

The Silent Theater Company in Chicago, Illinois is currently staging LULU at City Lit Theater, which is located at 1020 West Bryn Mawr in Chicago. Performances run Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 pm and Sundays at 8:00 pm through December 18th, 2005. Tickets are $15 and are available through the box office; call 773-544-1749.



From the press release: "LULU marks the inaugural production for Silent Theater Company. This new company is dedicated to pushing the envelope and stretching the limits of what we conceive theatre to be today.  This production was originally produced as part of The Journeymen Theater Company's 2002 season. It received critical success including being 'Highly recommended' by the Chicago Reader. Now, tonika todorova, artistic Director for Silent Theater Company, revisits her work. She states: 'The journey of this woman is as captivating as it is reflective on society and its attitude toward the amoral.'

LULU is adapted from German playwright Frank Wedekind's 1894 Lulu cycle Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box and follows the escapades of the unbearably sexy Lulu who causes many to destroy themselves while pursuing the maddening passion she inspires.

LULU is beautiful, narcissistic and young. She is a woman who possesses a thrilling combination of powerful sexuality and candid innocence that has made her the object of ardent admiration since childhood. As Lulu passes through Berlin's high society, she exercises a cruel power over the many men and women who love her to the point of obsession, exploiting them before she herself can be used. But her beauty is cursed, and her power short-lived; it is she who will ultimately be destroyed by her lovers.

LULU presents its story in complete silence. It takes the silent film genre, combined with German expressionism and portrays it on stage to accent with gesticulation and body language, what words sometimes fail to express. And on Christmas Eve, the concupiscent nature of Lulu reminds us that every man's desire to sin deserves to be answered. On Christmas Eve, Lulu finally gets her wish.

LULU includes: Brendan Greenwood Balfe, Nicholas DuFloth, Lauren Ashley Fisher, Gillian Hastings, Curtis M. Jackson, Matthew Massaro, Al an Pelesi , Marvin Eduardo Quijada, Joe Vonderhaar and Kyla Louise Webb. Lighting design by:  Jennifer Larkin. Set design by: Rick Gleeson.LULU is directed by tonika todorova with original music by Isaiah Robinson."

For more information and additional images see www.silenttheatre.com Should any readers of this LiveJournal attend the play in Chicago I would ask that they post their impressions.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Some neat Louise Brooks pics

Some neat Louise Brooks pics can be found at http://editorial.acionline.biz/  Once there, search for "Louise Brooks." This commercial photo archive also has pics of other silent film stars like Nazimova, Garbo, Clara Bow, Esther Ralston and others.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Believe it or not


This falls under believe it or not . . . . An article in today's North Adams Transcript (the newspaper serving the Northern Berkshires in Massachusetts) called my attention to a bizarre website called The Bone Trade which claims to possess genetic samples from various deceased movie stars - including Louise Brooks.



The website specializes in necrobilia, with their stated aim being "the 'resurrection' of actresses from the Golden era of silent cinema." The small specimens collection claims genetic material from the likes of Garbo, Nazimova, Clara Bow, Colleen Moore, Gloria Swanson, Pola Negri, Olive Thomas, etc.... "To do this we are securing a large body of quality genetic material from a variety of sources which is subjected to rigorous testing to ensure its validity . . . .We intend to work closely with science organisations to perfect safe and reliable human duplication techniques. We are already in discussion with several studios interested in becoming parents to these new stars of old." What will they think of next?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

North Carolina and New Jersey

Yesterday, I looked through microfilm of two newspapers, the Charlottle Observer (from Charlotte, North Carolina) and theJerseyman (from Morristown, New Jersey). And in each, I found material about a Louise Brooks' appearance with the Denishawn Dance Company as well as her later role in The American Venus (1926).

Denishawn appeared in Charlotte in February, 1923 - and the substantial review which ran in the Observer noted "Denishawn Company Plays to Large House Here." I found that review, an earlier article, and some advertisements. That coverage was dwarfed by what appeared in the Jerseyman. This small town New Jersey newspaper gave the troupe a substantial front page review of their late April, 1924 performance. Prior to that, the paper had devoted two other front page stories to Denishawn - each noting their upcoming engagement. I also uncovered two distinct advertisements for their appearance at the Morristown High School Auditorium. (This Denishawn event - like many others - was a benefit. This engagement benefitted "the Fund for the Installation of the greatest Carillon of Bells now in this country, recently erected at Morristown." The performance raised more than $2,000.)



Along with the Denishawn material, I also found a few items relating to the screening of  The American Venus in Morristown. (Especially interesting are reviews of this film from New Jersey newspapers, as the film was partially shot at the Atlantic City Miss America contest of 1925.) Among the material I found in the Jerseyman was an article entitled "How Fay Lanphier Was Chosen 'Miss America' and 'American Venus'." No doubt supplied by the studio, it addressed the controversy over Lanphier's selection as Miss America and her awarding of a movie contract (by Walter Wanger) to appear in The American Venus.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Russian rarity

A Russian postcard depicting Louise Brooks is for sale on eBay. The card dates to 1928! It is amazing to think that Brooks' modest fame travelled as far as the U.S.S.R. (Interestingly, the portrait of Brooks is by M.I. Boris, who before he moved to New York City was at one-time a court photographer in the Austrio-Hungarian Empire!) Also, please note: this card has been trimmed

Monday, November 14, 2005

Today

Today would have been Louise Brooks 99th birthday. Happy birthday Louise, our Lulu.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Beyond the Rocks

I enjoyed Beyond the Rocks (1922), which I saw this afternoon at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. The story, by Elinor Glyn, was melodramatic and the weakest aspect of the film. It was great to see the film's two stars - Rudolph Valentino (who had little to do) and Gloria Swanson (who looked great in her various changes of clothes). Bevan Dufty, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who also happens to be Swanson's step-son, introduced the film with a few anecdotes about her step-mother. Has anyone else seen this film elsewhere?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Louise Brooks and the New Woman in Weimar Cinema

"New Histories of Photography 11: Louise Brooks and the New Woman in Weimar Cinema" is currently scheduled to be on view at the International Center of Photography from December 8, 2006 - February 25, 2007. The International Center of Photography is located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street in New York City. The exhibit will likely be on view at the George Eastman House in Rochester during the fall of 2005.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Some neat Louise Brooks pics

Some neat Louise Brooks pics can be found at http://editorial.acionline.biz/  Once there, search for "Louise Brooks." This commercial photo archive also has pics of other silent film stars like Nazimova, Garbo, Clara Bow, Esther Ralston and others.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Indianapolis News & Montreal Star & two advertisements

Microfilm of the Montreal Daily Star and the Indianapolis News was waiting for me at the library this week. I went through a number of months of each, where I uncovered articles and reviews relating to the Denishawn performances in each town. Denishawn performed twice in Indianapolis during Louise Brooks' tenure with the company, and though she wasn't mentioned by name in the Indianapolis News reviews (she was mentione din an earlier article), one of pieces she and three others performed was singled out for praise. (Martha Graham's efforts were deemed "satisfactory.") Here is an advertisement from the Indianapolis News for the December 4, 1922 Denishawn performance. Notice that Rachmaninoff - the great pianist and composer - followed the Denishawn performance in Indianapolis just six days later.



Culturally speaking, those were heady times: Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Louise Brooks, Martha Graham and Sergie Rachmaninoff in conjunction. I noticed another interesting advertisement while looking through the Indianapolis News. The ad was for a local hardware store run by Kurt Vonnegut's family. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - the now celebrated novelist and author of Slaughterhouse Five (one of my favorite novels and movies) - was born in Indianapolis just three weeks prior to the Denishawn performance. Kurt Jr. would later work in the family hardware store.



Besides the Denishawn material (and some nifty period advertisements), I also scored film reviews of The American Venus (1926) and A Social Celebrity (1926) from both the Montreal Daily Star and the Indianapolis News. It was a good day at the library. Citations for this material will be added to the LBS bibliographies later today.


Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Katherine Pancol's new book

Word comes from France that Katherine Pancol's most recent bookEmbrassez-moi, features Louise Brooks on the cover. This novel, whose title translates as Kiss Me, includes our favorite actress.

I don't much about this well regarded author except that she once interviewed Brooks, and authored a long article on the actress which appeared inParis Match in 1985. Pancol is a best-selling novelist and a journalist. Born in Casablanca, Pancol has lived in both France and New York. She has published ten other books, notably Moi d'abord (1980), La Barbare (1995), J'étais là avant (1999), and Un homme à distance (2002).More about Pancol can be found on her website. Has anyone read this book?

Monday, November 7, 2005

Frappr

Google maps are very cool! I have been looking into developing an application for them on the Louise Brooks Society website. Eventually, I hope to plot the two Louise Brooks-Denishawn tours using Google maps. In the meantime, LBS members are invited to place their pin in the newly created membership map.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Die Dame aus Berlin

I recently bought a copy of Die Dame aus Berlin by Frank and Vautrin. The book is in German. The eBay seller said it had something to do with Louise Brooks. And in fact, she is mentioned on the back, "ratselhaft wie die Garbo, klug wie Louise Brooks, fatal wie die Dietrich." (Norma Shearer is on the cover.) Is anyone familar with this book? Has anyone read it? It is fiction, I assume. According to the copyright page, it was originally published in Paris in 1987 under the title Les Adventures de Boro, reporter photographe. Here is a link to the amazon.de page on this title, as well as the amazon.fr page. Any information would be appreciated.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Beyond the Rocks / booksignings


On Sunday November 13, 2005, The San Francisco Silent Film Festival will present the West Coast Premiere Revival Screening of Beyond the Rocks (1922), the only film that Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson made together. For nearly 80 years, only a one-minute fragment of Beyond the Rocks was thought to exist. But in 2003, a complete print was discovered among 2,000 unmarked cans of film by the Nederlands Filmmuseum. In partnership with Haghefilm Conservation, the Nederlands Filmmuseum employed state-of-the-art technology to create a dazzling new print of this long-sought-after film. 
Based on a novel by Elinor Glyn (author of IT ), Beyond the Rocks features Valentino as Lord Bracondale, a desirable bachelor who finds himself enchanted by Theodora (Swanson), a simple girl from the Dorset coast. There will be two screenings (at 2 pm and 7 pm) of this romantic drama at the Castro Theatre. Both programs will be presented with live musical accompaniment on the Mighty Wurlitzer by Dennis James. The Booksmith will also be on hand selling books on silent film, including new releases and autographed titles, as well as hosting three booksignings!

Lenny Kaye signing "You Call It Madness: The Sensous Song of the Croon"
after the 2 pm screening (signing will start at approximately 3:45 pm)

--- Crooner / Jazz Age personality Russ Columbo is the subject of a new book, a musical history combining the drama of a bestselling novel and a soundtrack from the Golden Age of Broadway and Hollywood. Hailed as "The Romeo of Radio" and "The Valentino of Song," and romantically linked to actresses Pola Negri and Carole Lombard, Russ Columbo is all but forgotten today, his limitless promise cut short in a tragic and controversial accident as he stood on the verge of winning the stardom that Bing Crosby, his great rival, would soon achieve.

Lenny Kaye is an acclaimed music writer whose work has appeared in Rolling StoneThe Village VoiceHit Parader, and Crawdaddy! He has been a guitarist for poet-rocker Patti Smith since her band's inception thirty years ago and serves on the nominating committee forthe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Jack Tillmany signing "Theaters of San Francisco"
after the 2 pm screening (signing will start at approximately 3:45 pm)

--- Only a handful of the 100 or so neighborhood theatres that once graced the streets of San Francisco's streets still stand. However, they live on in the photographs featured in Jack Tillmany's new book. The heyday of such venues as the Clay, Noe, Metro, New Mission, Alexandria, Coronet, Fox, Uptown, Coliseum, Surf, El Rey, and Royal was a time when San Franciscans thronged to the movies and vaudeville shows, dressed to the hilt, to see and be seen in majestic art deco palaces.

Jack Tillmany, former owner of the Gateway Cinema in San Francisco and a revival programming pioneer, brings the city's theatres to life in this amazing selection of vintage images. Drawing from his personal archive collected during a 30-year career in cinema management, he paints a detailed story of the golden age of theatre, both live and cinematic. It was a time of stunning architecture, elegance, and opulence, and this volume is a reminder of the pre-multiplex days when almost every neighborhood boasted its own beloved theatre. 

Emily W. Leider signing "Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino"
prior to the 7 pm screening (signing will start at approximately 6:30 pm) 
--- Tango pirate, gigolo, powder puff, Adonis ­ all have been used to describe the silent-film icon Rudolph Valentino. From his early days as a taxi dancer in New York to his near apotheosis as the ultimate Hollywood heartthrob, Rudolph Valentino (often to his distress) occupied a space squarely at the center of controversy. In this thoughtful retelling of Valentino's short and tragic life ­ the first fully documented  biography of the star Emily W. Leider looks at the Great Lover's life and legacy, and explores the events and issues that made him emblematic of the Jazz Age. 
Emily W. Leider is the author of "Becoming Mae West" and other books. She lives in San Francisco, and will introduce the 7 pm screening.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Check out this site - hear Pola Negri sing

If you love music of the 1920's and 1930's, you will want to check out the Weimar Rundfunk Music website. You can even hear Pola Negri sing!

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Thanks to Amanda


Amanda Howard - a longtime LBS member from Wichita, Kansas - has done it again!

Amanda took some time out of her busy schedule to hunt down Denishawn material from two Kansas newspapers - theWellington Daily News and the Lawrence Daily Journal-World. Amanda found an amazing assortment of newspaper advertisements, related articles, and reviews of each performance. One of the local-interest articles spoke of a pre-Denishawn dance recital by Louise Brooks at the Wellington Home Coming and Golden Jubilee in which she "used a large number of vari-colored balloons" in an "especially attractive" routine. Wow! What a find! The other material was also quite interesting . . . one local article spoke of a reception for the dance company, and one of the reviews praised Brooks by name. [ Citations for this new material have been added to the appropriate LBS bibliographies. ]

During her research, Amanda also came across a photograph (circa 1890) of the building which Brooks and her family would later call home starting in the late teens. What a wonderfull structure.



Thank you Amanda for your excellent efforts.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

I found some good material

A couple of inter-library loans arrived. I went through microfilm of the Daily Pantagraph, where I found good material relating to the two Denishawn performances in Bloomington, Illinois.

I also went through the March, 1926 microfilm of the Palm Beach Post. I was hoping to find articles about or references to the making of It's the Old Army Game, which was filmed in both Palm Beach and nearby Ocala, Florida. I did find one article, "Ocala is Enjoying Movie Popularity," which mentioned the film and its star, W.C. Fields. An article I had come across in the Fields fan club newsletter mentioned another article, but I failed to find that piece.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Pre-code film fest features Paramount flicks

"During the pre-Code era -- the five years before the imposition of a restrictive production code on July 1, 1934 -- Hollywood made a series of racy and socially daring films. This is widely known. What is not widely known is that the naughtiest studio of them all was Paramount."

The Balboa Theater in San Francisco is about to start a pre-code film festival. What makes this one special is that all of the films were made by one studio - Paramount. Author / photo historian Mark Vieira will be in attendance to introduce tomorrow night's film, as well as sign books. (Vieira is the author of the sexy, scholarly pictorial Sin in Soft Focus, as well as one of the two new books on Garbo.) Mick LaSalle, the film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, has a long article in today's newspaper about the festival. It's well worth reading. I will be there Thursday night as well. (p.s. Amanda, I will get your copy of Sin in Soft Focus signed at this screening. At last!)

Monday, October 31, 2005

On this day in 1923

On this day in 1923, in it's review of the previous evening's Denishawn performance, the Baltimore News wrote " . . . for all the amazing nudity not once has a salacious note sounded."


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Thank you James Dilworth

A big thank you to James Dilworth, who took some time and dug a bunch of reviews and articles out of the Reno, Nevada newspapers. The articles James found all date from the the 1920's. Here is one rather delightful item.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Further notes

This week, I put in an ILL request for two reels of microfilm of the Hannibal Courier-Post and Hannibal Journal. The Denishawn Dance Company, with Louise Brooks, performed in Hannibal, Missouri on January 2, 1924. The lending institution, the State Historical Society of Missouri, just raised their rates for out-of-state requests from $7.00 to $10.00. So, until I can deliver a new check, my search for this material will be briefly delayed.

On a related note, my ILL request for the Beaumont Enterprise was rejected, as there are no lending institutions. Anyone live in Beaumont, Texas willing to look up a couple of articles? Denishawn performed in Beaumont on 
Friday, February 2, 1923 at the Kyle Theatre and on  Thursday, January 10, 1924 at the Kyle Theatre.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Notes from the library

Earlier this summer, I ran across a 1925 clipping regarding The Street of Forgotten Men while looking through Neil Hamilton's scrapbooks at the New York Public Library. (Actor Neil Hamilton - best known as Commissoner Gordon on the 1960's BatmanTV series - was featured in The Street of Forgotten Men, which also happened to be Louise Brooks' first film!) And just now, at the end of October, I got around to borrowing the microfilm of the Wilmington Morning News, the Delaware newspaper in which that clipping appeared. I tracked down a few additional articles and advertisements. REMARKABLY, that film was paired with a (unknown to me) documentary short about the then recent Atlantic City beauty pageant. Of course, as any Brooks' fan knows, that beauty pageant - one of the early Miss America contests - provided the background subject for the next Louise Brooks' film,The American Venus, which was released just a few months later.

This is exciting. Who knows what is on that short film - perhaps some brief footage about the making of the feature film? (I doubt that Brooks was present in Atlantic City. But who knows . . . .) I also ran across a brief article entitled, "Beauty Pageant Showing At Stanley Theatres." The article reads thus: "The thousands of Wilmingtonians who did not get the opportunity to be present in Atlantic City during the Beauty Pageant just completed there on Friday will see the principal scenes of the entire celebration in film at the Queen, Arcadia and Majestic Theaters beginning today. The scenes were especially 'shot' by the Stanley cameraman for the theaters of this organization." I'll pay anyone a dollar if they can provide me with a copy of that short film. I think it is titled Atlantic City Beauty Pageant.

Today, five inter-library loans were waiting for me. I also looked at some Denishawn material from the New Haven Journal-Courier (from New Haven, Connecticut) and the Wisconsin State Journal (from Madison, Wisconsin). Each yielded some long, detail-filled reviews and a few neat advertisements.

And, as well, I went through a number of months of two "other" American newspapers, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (from the Territory of Hawaii) and the Alaska Daily Empire (also then a territory, pre-statehood). My search through the Star-Bulletin was based on my having earlier found film reviews in the Honolulu Advertiser (microfilm of which I stumbled upon in Sacramento, California. The Star-Bulletin microfilm came on loan from the Library of Congress). I checked my Advertiser dates in the Star-Bulletin and came up with a  couple of new reviews.

However, the Alaska Daily Empire (from Juneau) yielded nothing. I skimmed nearly six months of this newspaper, which only ran only eight pages on a daily basis. I found advertisements and short, generic articles about films showing in town - but none featuring Louise Brooks. There were at least two or three movie theaters in Juneau in the late 1920's - and they showed motion pictures starring the likes of Buster Keaton and Erich von Stroheim. Apparently, Juneau didn't show many or any Paramount films. One day, I hope to find or acquire some Alaska citations for the LBS bibliographies. I have citations from almost every other state.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The LBS hopes to fully document

The LBS hopes to fully document the life and career of Louise Brooks. One ongoing project is the collection of magazine and newspaper articles about the actress, especially vintage reviews of Brooks' films. Hundreds of articles have already been found. But more await discovery. The LBS is especially interested in obtaining photocopies of newspaper articles and films reviews.

The LBS is interested in any and all clippings (film reviews, articles, advertisements, etc....) from Colorado, Utah, Montana (excluding those from the Helena Independent - those have already been excavated), Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Alaska. As well, any clippings from Hawaii (excluding the Honolulu papers) and western Canada (excluding the Manitoba Free Press) would be useful. Clippings from Vancouver are of particular interest!

The LBS has many clippings from various Berlin newspapers, as well as from various German film magazines. The LBS would be interested in obtaining copies of vintage articles (especially about the two Pabst films) from any newspapers from Munich, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuggart, Dresden, etc. . . . Your consideration and help is appreciated!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More books on-line

The Open Content Alliance is scanning in hundreds of thousands of public-domain books. According to the Internet Archive, "At an Internet Archive event in San Francisco tonight 14 libraries and MSN joined the Open Content Alliance. MSN kicked off their association by committing to scan 150,000 books in 2006." That's good news for those engaged in Louise Brooks studies - who knows what Frank Wedekind, Ruth St. Denis, film related or Kansas history books may show-up. Or even other books of interest . . . .

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Monday, October 24, 2005

On this day in 1929

On this day in 1929, Das Tagebuch Einer Verlorenen (or The Diary of a Lost Girl), starring Louise Brooks, Fritz Rasp and Valeska Gert (an actress and avant garde dancer), premiered at the UFA Kurfurstendamn Theater in Berlin. The LBS would appreciate hearing from any readers who were there on opening night  . . . .

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I got some good Denishawn material

Some inter-library loans arrived. I got some good Denishawn material from the curiously named Evening Day (from New London, Connecticut) as well as the Lewiston Sentinel (from Lewistown, Pennsylvania). What is notable about the Lewiston performance is that it was the first of the 1922-1923 season, and the first in which Louise Brooks was a member. Brooks, in fact, was referenced in the front page review which appeared the day following their appearance. I looked through some later months of each paper, and in each I found some material on The American Venus (1926). I also found some clipping on Beggars of Life (1928) in the Lewiston Sentinel dating from March, 1929. The William Wellman directed story of hoboes, tramping, and railroads would be one of the last silent films shown at the Rialto Theater in Lewiston. A week or so later, newly arrived sound equipment would be installed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Some smart new pics of Chantal

Earlier, I had blogged about Chantal Kury, a gifted make-up artist and Louise Brooks' fan from Switzerland. Yesterday, I received a letter and some pictures of Chantal which I wanted to share. I like them, and think you will too.

      

For those who read German, here is a link to an illustrated article (pdf format) about Chantal and "Retro Styling."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tagebuch einer Verlorenen

For sale through eBay, the program for Das Tagebuch einer Verlorenen, or The Diary of a Lost Girl (1929). So sad.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

On this day in 1927

On this day in 1927, the Kansas City Star ran an article on Now We're in the Air and stated 'This film is said to have an increased love interest. It will at least have our interest since Louise Brooks is the heroine. We gather from the pictures we have seen of the production that Miss Brooks is some sort of circus performer, as she is shown succumbing to the temptation of abbreviated skirts. That is Miss Brooks's old weakness." Newspaper reporters certainly had a way with words back then.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Live365 stations that I like and listen to

Along with RadioLulu, here are some other Live365.com stations that I like and listen to:

Radio Dismuke - 1920s & 1930s Pop & JazzAbsinthe Radio - The Greatest Hits of the 1920s and 1930sSweet & Lovely - Sweet & Lovely, Hot & Sassy ! Songs from the 20's & 30's (Jazz Age 20s, Songbird 30s)Weimar Rundfunk - Jazz-Swing / European Hot Dance Bands, European Dance Orchestras

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Denishawn articles and reviews


Another on-going project is the gathering of reviews of each of the performances given by Denishawn during the two seasons Louise Brooks was a member of the dance company. Many reviews have already been gathered, but some have proven difficult to track down. The LBS would like to obtain local newspaper coverage (articles, advertisements, or reviews) of the following engagements:
November 25, 1922 - Marlowe Theatre - Jackson, Tennessee
(need Jacksonian clippings)

January 10, 1923 - Memorial Auditorium - Lowell, Massachusetts
(need Lowell SunLowell Evening Leader; and Courier-Citizen clippings)

January 11, 1923 - Worcester Theatre - Worcester, Massachusetts
(need Worcester Evening PostWorcester Telegram; and Evening Gazette clippings)

January 26, 1923 - Grand Theatre - Macon, Georgia
(need Macon News clippings)

January 27, 1923 - Lucerne Theatre - Orlando, Florida
(need Orlando Morning Sentinel clippings)

February 10, 1923 - Brenan Auditorium - Gainesville, Georgia
(need Gainesville EagleGainesville News; and Gainesville Daily Times clippings)

February 13, 1923 - Academy of Music - Charleston, South Carolina
(need Charleston American clippings)

February 14, 1923 - Garden Theatre - Bennettsville, South Carolina
(need Pee Dee Advocate clippings)

March 9, 1923 - Marvin Theatre - Findlay, Ohio
(need Findlay Daily Courier clippings)

October 15-20, 1923 - Apollo Theatre - Atlantic City, New Jersey
(need Atlantic City Evening UnionAtlantic City Press; and Atlantic City Gazette-Review clippings)

October 23, 1923 - Memorial Auditorium - Lowell, Massachusetts
(need Lowell SunLowell Evening Leader; and Courier-Citizen clippings)

November 6, 1923 - Academy Theatre - Hagerstown, Maryland
(need Daily Mail clippings)

December 10, 1923 - Moore’s Opera House - Clarksburg, West Virginia
(need Daily Telegram clippings)

December 11, 1923 - Camden Theatre - Parkersburg, West Virginia
(need Parkersburg News clippings)

December 15, 1923 - Auditorium - Hopkinsville, Kentucky
(need Daily Kentuckian; and Daily Kentucky New Era clippings)

January 11, 1924 - Grand Theatre - Galveston, Texas
(need Galveston Daily News clippings)

April 8, 1924 - Worcester Theatre - Worcester, Massachusett
(need Worcester Evening PostWorcester Telegram; and Evening Gazette clippings)


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Alfred Cheney Johnston portrait of Louise Brooks

A rather nice Alfred Cheney Johnston portrait of Louise Brooks has shown up on eBay. Check it out here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque

From today's Newsday: "Blockbuster probably won't stock it, but the subject of Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinemathequeis the reason Blockbuster and its ilk exist at all. When the bearish Langlois founded the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris in 1936, cinema was considered by its founders and creators to be a disposable diversion. Langlois called it art and saved everything he could. Langlois is the reason why certain masters and masterpieces of early cinema can still be seen at all today. (He rescued the 1919 German Expressionist classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and liberated 1920s screen star Louise Brooks from oblivion). . . . "  Here is a link to the online version of this article. Has anyone seen this film?
LinkWithin