Thursday, March 10, 2005

Doors of Perception

There's a story in the news today about a previously unknown film by Jim Morrison having surfaced. One article stated "Before The Doors' Jim Morrison made it as a rock singer, he wanted to make films. Now, 34 years after his death, the state of Florida has found and restored what it believes to be the earliest film of Morrison, shot in the early 60s when he attended Florida State University. It was discovered when the Department of State went through 1,000 films in its archive . . . . " The article went on to reference the Department of State website where one can view the Morrison film. That picqued my interest. I visited the website, and began exploring its photographic archives in hopes of finding something about you know who. It's the Old Army Game (1926), which starred W.C. Fields and Louise Brooks, was filmed in part in Ocala, Florida. (This Florida town, as it turns out, was also the setting for The Creature from the Black Lagoon.) A few scenes of  The American Venus (1926) were also filmed in the state.

Sadly, my search through the Florida Photographic Collection didn't turn-up any Brooks material. However, I did find a few images of movie stars (such as Evelyn Nesbit and Lupe Valez), and a few images of film companies on location in the state during the silent film era. The image below depicts Theda Bara shooting a scene on a beach in Florida.

A keyword search under "motion pictures" will lead you to relevant categories under which to browse or search for images. I will continue to poke around the website in hopes of finding other related material. Perhaps something related to Brooks' time in Florida as a nightclub dancer will turn up.

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