Sunday, November 26, 2006

Still keeping busy

Despite all that is going on lately in the world of Louise Brooks, I have been able to make it to the library pretty much every week over the course of the last month . . . as I am trying to keep up with my research. I am still requesting inter-library loans - and microfilm still arrives for me to look through. Lately, I have secured Louise Brooks-Denishawn material from the Sharon Herald(from Sharon, PA.) and Knickerbocker Press (from Albany, New York). I figure I have acquired material on about 95% of the Denishawn engagements with which Brooks was involved. Striving towards completion, I still have a couple dozen New York and Pennsylvannia dates to acquire

I also recently looked through the Atlanta Georgian (a Hearst newspaper), Knoxville JournalTulsa Daily WorldCapitol Times (from Madison, Wisconsin),  and Waterbury American (from Conneticut). And in each of these newspapers I found a few more film reviews and advertisements. The pile grows. Slowly, I am also finishing up my gathering of film-related material from major American cities and towns. My goal has been to gather articles and reviews from the 30 or 40 biggest urban centers, as well as material from every region and state. To that end, I also recently looked at microfilm of the Arizona Republican (from Phoenix) and Santa Fe New Mexican, but I found nothing in either of those papers. Phoenix and Santa Fe were pretty small towns back then - and didn't seem to support much of a movie culture.

The most interesting material I came across concerned the Better Films Committee of Atlanta, Georgia. In the review I found for A Girl in Every Port (1928), the journalist reported that the local committee gave the film a rating of "A - G," which basically means it was deemed "very good" but for an "adult" audience. This was not a "general audience" rating that some of the other films playing in town received. I guess "A - G" might be the equivalent of today's "R" rating. Apparently, the local committee back then found the theme of "flirtation, fighting and friendship" a bit strong.

And, while looking through September issues of the Capitol Times for material on The Street of Forgotten Men (1925), I happened to notice the paper's radio guide included a listing for a live broadcast of the Atlantic City beauty contest. Wow - I never knew! That was the same contest which served as the backdrop for The American Venus (1926), Brooks' second film. I wonder if Brooks herself was there? Certainly, Paramount film crews were, as was Brooks' friend and fellow Ziegfeld Follies performer Dorothy Knapp. One can only wonder.

These are the sort of interesting things I find on occassion, and that's why I keep on looking. To be continued . . . .

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