Thursday, August 11, 2005

From Santiago, Chile

Returned to Berkeley today, where I went through more microfilm. This visit, I scanned two years (all of 1926 and 1927) of El Mercurio, a daily newspaper from Santiago, Chile. Things started slow. I went through six months and found nothing. My eyelids were growing heavy. I was fidgitting. I didn't feel well. And I thought about giving up when I came across a slew of material onLa Venus Americana. Wow. I was saved. El Mercurio ran illustrated articles (with incredibly long titles), like the one pictured above, three days in a row. A couple of other brief articles followed. As with the material I found in O Estado de S. Paulo ( link to earlier entry ), Brooks' second film seemed to be hot stuff in South America. I also found some typical theater advertisements, like this one.

From what I gathered, the Victoria was one of the main movie theaters in Santiago. This July 23, 1926 ad features La Venus Americana as the main attraction. The supporting film is La Calle del Olvido, better known to American audiences as The Street of Forgotten Men. I wonder if any patrons noticed the spunky, bobbed brunette who appeared in both films? (Who knows, perhaps Pablo Neruda was in the audience. I came across an article about the poet in my search through this Chilean newspaper.) My look through 1926 and 1927 also turned up a little material on two films featuring Adolph Menjou and Louise Brooks, Figaro en Sociedad (1926) and Las que no aman (1927). Can you guess the titles?

I plan to return to Berkeley once, perhaps twice more this month. Parts of the library are either moving or closing while the library building undergoes earthquake repairs.

Here is another interesting item I happened to spot. It's from El Mercurio from June, 1927. The name "Lulu" caught my eye. I have tried to figure out what film this might be, as Willy Fristch and Lucy Doraine were both European actors. (Is it a film, or a stage performance?) Does anyone have any idea what this is? I'm curious.

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