Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Currently reading . . .

A few days I ago I watched, once more, Tim Burton's wonderful film Ed Wood. I enjoyed it quite a bit, not having seen it since it first came out . . . . And being in between books, Burton's film inspired me to pick up Arthur Lennig's 2003 biography, The Immortal Count: The Life and Films of Bela Lugosi. I have been meaning to read this book for a long time, for I had enjoyed Lennig's earlier film bio, Stroheim. I am only 25 pages into The Immortal Count, but am enjoying this book a great deal. It appears very well researched, very detailed, and gracefully written. Just the way I like 'em. I will report back one I have finished this 548 page "monster."
[ Some trivia: Prior to his role in Dracula, Lugosi appeared in a number of silent films in his native Hungary, as well as in Germany and the United States. He also had an affair with Clara Bow, and at one time possessed a painting of a nude Bow which he hung in his home in Los Angeles. Where is that painting now? A busy actor, Lugosi later worked with many of Louise Brooks' one-time co-stars and directors, including W.C. Fields, Richard Arlen, William Collier, Jr., Margaret Livingstone, Claire McDowell, William Gaxton, and El Brendel, as well as directors Eddie Sutherland and Michael Curtiz. Small world, wasn't it? ]
Recently, thanx to the good people at the University of Kentucky Press, I got a copy of The Bennetts: An Acting Family, by Brian Kellow. Another juicy read . . . . which I haven't yet delved into. Anyone who has read Barry Paris' biography of Louise Brooks is aware that the actress was friendly with Barbara Bennett. Kellow's new book details Louise and Barbara's friendship, as well as Brooks' observations on Barbara's more famous sisters, Constance and Joan. Brooks' name appears six times in the index, and pages 84 through 87 details the young women's budding friendship at Denishawn summer camp. Has anyone had a chance to read this new book?

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