Friday, September 29, 2006

October events


Thru October 29, 2006: The Silent Theater company has extended their San Francisco stage production of Lulu at the Victoria Theater.  (more info)

October 3 - 8, 2006: The SEDICICORTO International Film Festival Forlì in Forlì, Italy takes place. A special category in this year festival includes films relating to Louise Brooks.  (more info)

October 7 - 14, 2006: The Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Italy will show G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box, with a newly commissioned orchestral score.  (more info)

October 12-13-14, 2006: As part of its Centenary Tribute to Louise Brooks, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents Pandora's Box.  (more info)

October 13, 2006: The Music Box Theatre in Chicago will screen Pandora's Box as part of the Roger Ebert "Great Movies" series.  (more info)

October 15, 2006: The Music Box Theatre in Chicago will screen Pandora's Box as part of the Roger Ebert "Great Movies" series.  (more info)

October 15, 2006: The Valley of the Sun Chapter of the American Theater Organ Society presents Beggars of Life as part of its "Silent Sunday" series at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.  (more info)

October 20, 2006: As part of its Centenary Tribute to Louise Brooks, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents A Girl in Every Port andDiary of a Lost Girl. Claudine Kaufmann, former Director of Collections, Cinémathèque Française, will be in attendance.  (more info)

October 21, 2006: As part of its Centenary Tribute to Louise Brooks, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents the silent version of Prix de Beauté. This new print, restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and running 109 minutes, features French intertitles and a spoken translation. Claudine Kaufmann, former Director of Collections, Cinémathèque Française, will be in attendance.  (more info)

October 23, 2006: The Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, Floria will screen Pandora's Box.  A specially commissioned poster has been created for the event.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

San Francisco Public Library annual book sale

The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library 42nd annual book sale takes place this weekend. For more info click here. I will be there Sunday morning. Can't wait to find a few treasures - books on film, biographies, dance, music, 20th century American history,  etc....

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Alma Rubens, Silent Snowbird

Lately, I've been reading Alma Rubens, Silent Snowbird, a new book edited by Gary Rhodes and Alexander Webb. The book contains a short biography of the early silent film star, as well as Rubens' sensational 1931 memoir.
Dark-eyed and distant Alma Rubens was one of the first female stars of the early feature film industry in the 1910s. She was a major star by 1920, but before the decade was over her screen career was marked and marred by cocaine abuse. She died in 1931 at age 33 - a Hollywood beauty, a casualty of Hollywood "snow," yet much more. As an actress she was versatile, demonstrating a talent that was ahead of its time with her gentle and subtle expressions.

This book contains Rubens’s autobiography, a text titled This Bright World Again that was serialized in newspapers in 1931. Ghost-written or not or somewhere in between, this long forgotten document deals with Rubens’s addiction and despair. In addition, a new biography of Rubens takes the reader from her birth in San Francisco through an impoverished upbringing, three short-lived marriages, and her career in pictures for Triangle Film, Cosmopolitan, Fox and other production companies. The story of her film career mingles with a tale of desperate drug addiction that led to hospital stays, violence and deception.
Alma Rubens, Silent Snowbird is interesting, and well worth checking out. The book contains some illustrations, and a filmography.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

SFBG reviews Lulu

From the San Francisco Bay Guardian (the alternative weekly here)
Lulu Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St; 863-7576, www.victoriatheatre.org. $20. Extended run: Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Oct 29.

Oh, to have the perfect Louise Brooks bob and the desire of all who lay eyes on you. Being irresistibly sexy is not all it’s cracked up to be, as demonstrated in the Chicago-based Silent Theatre’s adaptation of German playwright Frank Wedekind’s story cycle revolving around the self-serving femme fatale Lulu (Kyla Louise Webb). Everyone wants the vixenly cabaret performer, from her sugar daddy agent (Alzan Pelesic) to her legal guardian, the supposedly upstanding Dr. Sch�n (Nicholas DuFloth), to the doctor’s feckless son (Matthew Massaro) and the Egon Schiele-esque countess and costume designer (Lauren Ashley Fisher) for the upcoming big show. And though Lulu seems adept at handling her cadre of suitors, the stage can get pretty crowded, with one lover coming in the door, another sneaking around the sofa, and yet another pretending to be a statue in the corner. The story is told without dialogue, save for the projected intertitles, and the players move in black and white makeup and costumes like actors in the sped-up, jerky films of the 1920s to the dazzling and manic piano accompaniment of Isaiah Robinson. Director Tonika Todorova’s translation of the silent film to the stage can be elegantly seductive, as when Lulu tangos with her new dance partner, the volatile Rodrigo (Curtis M. Jackson), but also a bit messy, as when a particularly juicy make-out session between Lulu and the countess leaves their black lipstick smeared for the rest of the scene. Ah, but nothing in life is ever too tidy — especially in Lulu’s. (Giattina)
http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_id=1743&l=1

Monday, September 25, 2006

Lulu in Cyberspace

Just posted a links page = "Lulu in Cyberspace" at silentfilmbuff.googlepages.com/

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Buck's column - Cherryvale's movie star

The Coffeyville Journal ran an article about Louise Brooks in today's paper. "Buck's column - Cherryvale's movie star" discusses the actress from the next town over. Buck Walton's piece starts:
It must be admitted that I’ve only seen one film of Cherryvale’s Louise Brooks, and it was “Overland Stage Raiders” (1938, John Wayne), which was her last. Judging from this B-western, you’d never guess that she had been a sensation in the 1920s and has a cult following.
The article can be found in its entirety at www.cjournal.com/columns/local_story_267010823.html/

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Continueing . . .

I have continued placing inter-library loan requests and have continued visiting the library. . . . Over the last few weeks I have gathered Denishawn material from the Wasau Daily Record-Herald (from Wasau, Wisconsin) and most interestingly, the Yale Daily News (from Yale University). The students at Yale gave Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Louise Brooks and the other members of the Denishawn Dance Company considerable coverage, including a front page article and front page review. Just a few days later, Rudolph Valentino, who was also on a dance tour of his own, visited New Haven. (Valentino was on strike against Paramount, and was touring the country with his wife, Natasha Rambova.) This would not be the first time Brooks and the Denishawn Dance Company would nearly cross paths with the silent film star.

I also gathered film material from a handful of newspapers including the Poughkeepsie Eagle-News (from Poughkeepsie, New York), Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, (from Lancaster, Pa.), Knoxville Journal (from Knoxville, Tennessee), Indianapolis Times , San Antonio Express, and Denver Post. I found some nice advertisements, and a few original reviews.

Also, of late, I have also been borrowing books. I managed to get ahold of a few vintage editions of Margarete Bohme's Tagebuch einer Verlorenen, the 1907 novel which was the basis for the 1929 film Diary of a Lost Girl. It was interesting to examine different editions. I also got ahold of Un homme en habit, the 1922 French play which was the basis of the 1927 film, Evening Clothes.

Here is a scan of the remarkable cover of the first edition of Bohme's book.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Rolled Stockings, a rolled stock

Rolled Stockings (1927) lobby card is for sale on eBay. The card depicts Louise Brooks in a scene with James Hall and Richard Arlen (his pant leg pulled up, and his sock rolled down). Little known is the fact that a good deal of the film was shot around the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.  Anybody got an extra $1,125 ! 

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pola Negri

There is a Pola Negri retrospective taking place in New York City, and a Polish radio station did a story on the Polish-born actress. Follow this link to read the article or to listen to the even longer (approximately 5 minute) program.    http://www.polskieradio.pl/polonia/article.asp?tId=42221&j=2

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Centenary Tribute to Louise Brooks

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents A Centenary Tribute to Louise Brooks, October 12 - 21. Click here for more info.
October 12 - October 21 
A Centenary Tribute to Louise Brooks
 Louise Brooks was born one-hundred years ago this November 14 in Cherryvale, Kansas. Though she lived a mere six of her seventy-nine years in the glare of celebrity, she has become a cinematic icon without equal. A trained dancer who toured with Martha Graham, Brooks happily ascended to showgirl heaven in the Ziegfeld Follies, where she honed her real talents: attending parties and dazzling men. Brooks started a fashion craze with her geometric black haircut and soon appeared in magazines as an emblem of the Roaring Twenties. When the movies came knocking, she started packing, and after a brief affair with Charlie Chaplin in the summer of 1925, Brooks surfaced in Hollywood with a Paramount Pictures contract. She later married director Edward Sutherland, blazed a trail through the celebrity colony, and attracted plenty of photographers along the way. Unfortunately, her career was going nowhere until a third-act role as a gold-digging circus performer in Howard Hawks’s A Girl in Every Port caught the eye of the renowned German director Georg Wilhelm Pabst. Under pressure to cast the part of Lulu, the amoral temptress at the heart of Pandora’s Box, Pabst miraculously saw in Brooks an actress who, in the poetic words of critic Lotte Eisner, “Needed no directing, but could move across the screen causing the work of art to be born by her mere presence.” Brooks flew immediately to Berlin and embarked on a creative collaboration that produced three major films (of which one is considered a masterpiece) and ensured her fame for generations to come.

The story of Louise Brooks’s disappearance, rediscovery, and rehabilitation is a fascinating biography. By 1930, the icon had been etched on celluloid and the legend seeded. One of the curious aspects of Louise Brooks is how her admirers have tried to express her mysterious effects on the viewer. In 1955 Henri Langlois, director of the Cinematheque française, proclaimed to the audience, “There is no Garbo! There is no Dietrich! There is only Louise Brooks!” Anita Loos, the author of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, is the most succinct in her reference to Brooks as the most beautiful of all “black-haired blondes.” However, nothing equals theater critic Kenneth Tynan’s verbal paroxysm, with phrases like “shameless urchin tomboy” and “prairie princess,” before he retreats to the relatively sage “a creature of impulse, a creator of impulses, a temptress with no pretensions.” Perhaps Brooks put it best herself when she dryly wrote, “I guess Lulu’s life is about as close to my own as anyone’s can be.”

The films in this tribute are silent with live musical accompaniment.

Thursday, October 12, 7:30 PM
Pandora's Box
Friday, October 13, 7:30 PM
Pandora's Box
Saturday, October 14, 7:30 PM
Pandora's Box
Friday, October 20, 7:30 PM
A Girl in Every Port
and
Diary of a Lost Girl
Saturday, October 21, 7:30 PM
Prix de Beauté (the restored silent version, with spoken translation of the French intertitles)
Along with the four film series being presented by the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York this looks like the most ambitious series of screening happening in the United States.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Louise Brooks exhibit

Hollywood Lost: The Power of Louise Brooks
from www.eastmanhouse.org/exhibits/container_56/index.php
George Eastman House is celebrating the centennial of famed silent-film star Louise Brooks (1906-1985) - the magnetic and mysterious performer who lived out the last act of her life in Rochester. The anniversary is being highlighted with a film series as well as a photography exhibition, Hollywood Lost: The Power of Louise Brooks, on view Nov. 11, 2006 through Feb. 18, 2007.
The exhibition of more than 40 vintage images will span Brooks'  childhood to the end of her life, featuring personal portraits, publicity stills, photographs from the star's private collection, and personal momentos. The exhibition also will feature a media presentation and audio installation featuring Rochester native Donald McNamara's 1979 interview with Brooks.

Brooks had a close relationship with George Eastman House, coming to Rochester in the 1950s to be near the museum and its collections, spending her final days as a painter and author. At Eastman House she spent many hours conducting research for her own articles on cinema and her biography. In 1982, she was granted the prestigious George Eastman Award for her work in motion pictures.

Brooks, who was born and raised in Kansas, started her career as a dancer with the Denishawn Dance Company in 1922, performed with theZiegfeld Follies on Broadway in 1925 and went on to act in 24 films in Hollywood and Europe. She signed with Paramount Pictures in 1925, appearing at first in bit parts and eventually moving up to supporting roles in box-office hits. Due to her distaste for Hollywood filmmaking, she terminated her contract with Paramount and accepted an offer from legendary German director G. W. Pabst to make films in Germany. There Brooks emerged as a screen icon who outraged censors with her frank behavior.

Her rediscovery and reevaluation began in 1955 with the Cinémathèque Francaise’s retrospective film series covering 60 years of cinema. The Cinémathèque’s founding director Henri Langois vaulted Brooks into the realm of the iconic with the declaration: “There is no Garbo! There is no Dietrich! There is only Louise Brooks!”

"Brooks' films were a revelation to many - ritics were unanimous in their praise for her no-holds-barred performances, and audiences were enraptured with her talent, style, and beauty,  said Caroline Yeager, co-curator of the Eastman House exhibition and the Museum’s assistant curator of motion pictures. “Sporting her signature straight-cut bangs and bobbed hair, Brooks hardly seems to be acting; her performances are more about ‘being’ than anything else, as if she were effortlessly living the parts she played. Her work combines a natural ease before the camera with a raw, exuberant energy that is both startling and exhilarating.”
Louise Brooks Film Series: The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House will screen Louise Brooks films every Tuesday in November, marking the day of her 100th birthday with a lecture, booksigning, and screening of her most famous film on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Tuesday, Nov. 14th event at 6:30 pm
Peter Cowie and Jack Garner present “The Art of Louise Brooks”. On the occasion of her 100th birthday, George Eastman House will pay special tribute to the legendary Louise Brooks. Noted author and film critic Peter Cowie will discuss the alluring mystery and fascinating career of the great movie star who spent the last third of her life here in Rochester. The presentation will conclude with a question-and-answer session with Cowie and Gannett Syndicated Film Critic Jack Garner. After the event, Cowie will sign copies of his new book, Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever, which features a foreword by Garner. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 members and students. Advance tickets are available starting October 14, 2006, at the Dryden Box Office, the Museum’s admissions desk or by credit card online at www.eastmanhouse.org or by calling (585) 271-3361 ext. 218. (Ticket includes admission to screening of Pandora’s Box.)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Lulu extended

Lulu - the Silent Theatre production currently at the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco - has been extended through October 29th. The production is now showing Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 7pm. There will be no performances on September 23, 29, 30 and October 5, 2006. I plan to see it at least once more, and also plan to take in the company's "Vaudeville" - which is being performed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jen Anderson

Tonight, I had the pleasure of meeting Jen Anderson, the gifted Australian composer and musician. Jen is on tour with the Larrikans - a musical group - accompanying screenings of The Sentimental Bloke (1919), an Australian film being shown around the United States. It is a charming film. And I liked Anderson's original score a good deal. It is certainly the first Australian silent film I have ever seen.


It was a pleasure to meet Anderson because she is also the composer of an original score for Pandora's Box, which accompanied the Louise Brooks film when it was screened "down under" around 1993. And one of her songs from that soundtrack - "Lulu: The Song" - is featured onRadioLulu. (It's one of my favorite contemporary Louise Brooks-themed songs.) It was nice to at last meet, as we had exchanged emails a long, long time ago. Perhaps ten years ago! Tonight, I asked Jen about the availability of copies of the Pandora's Box soundtrack. She said that she thought it was out of print, though there may be a very few left. If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy, email me and I will let you know what I find out when I find out more. Jen said she would let me know.



Jen Anderson also told me that she had just been to Rochester, New York - where she performed at a screening of The Sentinmental Bloke at the George Eastman House. (It's that institution that owns the 35mm print which was screened this evening.) While there, the musician said, she was shown some of Brooks' possessions. No doubt, they were preparing for the upcoming exhibit devoted to the actress.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lulu review - SF Chronicle

Lulu - the Silent Theatre production currently at the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco - just got a terrific review in the San Francisco Chronicle. If you live in the Bay Area and haven't already seen this enjoyable production, do check it out. It's really good - and Kyla Webb as Lulu is terrific! From today's review:
It's not just the title character, though Kyla Louise Webb's Lulu is almost as irresistible an embodiment of female sexuality as Louise Brooks was in G.W. Pabst's 1928 film, "Pandora's Box." As conceived and directed by Tonika Todorova, Silent's "Lulu" is a feast of exaggerated silent movie-style comic and melodramatic acting -- in living black and white, with blown-up supertitles and composer Isaiah Robinson's period-perfect piano accompaniment -- with a surprisingly flavorful tragic aftertaste. . . . 

"Lulu" also has something of a local connection. Though he was born in Germany, mostly raised in Switzerland and never visited America, Benjamin Franklin Wedekind's parents met in San Francisco and he was conceived in Oakland. Perhaps in keeping with his founding father namesake, Wedekind set out to revolutionize German theater, becoming a prime mover in the creation of expressionism and a major influence on Brecht, among many others. . . . 

Brooks, whose centennial is being celebrated this year, memorably captured that quality on film. Webb, in classic Brooks black bob, re-creates it onstage in a combination of expressionist stylization, Jazz Age jitterbugging verve and a more contemporary sexual assertiveness. But she doesn't do it alone. The entire company brings her fatal attraction to life, from her succession of doomed husbands and other lovers to the observers of her rise and tawdry fall. . . .

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Adolphe Menjou book



I just received this book in the mail, which I had ordered from a book dealer in France. Its a short, 64 page, softcover book about Adolphe Menjou - his beginings, his films, and his adventures. It was published in June, 1927. As one would expect, it contains a number of portraits and stills from Menjou's films up to that time. Among the stills are a few from A Social Celebrity (1926), which featured Louise Brooks. And among them is one which depicts Louise Brooks - which makes this book the earliest I know of to include an image of Louise Brooks. I was secretly hoping that might be the case when I ordered it - and it turned out to be so. There is also a bit of text - a paragraph - about the film and Menjou's role in it. Notably, the book is co-authored by Robert Florey, who ten years later would direct Louise Brooks in King of Gamblers.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Legendary Sin Cities

I recently rented a DVD documentary, Legendary Sin Cities, which I want to recommend.  This three-part Canadian CBC documentary focuses on the most notoriously decadent cities in modern history: Berlin, Paris and Shanghai during the 1920s and 1930s. I was especially impressed with the uncommon film clips, intelligent commentary, and interesting line-up of experts offering perspective and opinion.


Plot Synopsis: Of all the remarkable events of this century perhaps the most fascinating has been the spontaneous growth, flowering and then decay of a handful of great cities. These cities were places where art, culture and political liberties co-mingled with corruption, brutality and decadence. Everything and just about anyone could be bought and sold. The immigrant would struggle beside the artist. Gamblers, thieves and prostitutes co-habited with soul-savers, the rich and the powerful. The exhilarating combination of the seamy with the sublime made these places a magnet for all the lost souls and refugees of the world. Pushing the limits of tolerance and freedom, they defined the social, political and sexual culture of the 20th century.

Contemporary footage mixed with rare and richly evocative archival films, stock shots and stills give resonance to the stories of an extraordinary cast of characters: novelists and artists, musicians and journalists, rogues and sinners. Added to the mix are excerpts from feature films, married with the music of those remarkable times. What results is a richly drawn portrait of a time and place that helped define our century. Contains nudity :) but no mention of Louise Brooks, who briefly inhabited both Berlin and Paris in their decadent heyday.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pandora's Box to screen in Jacksonville, Florida

Just received word from Mike about a screening of Pandora's Box in Jacksonville, Florida.  Mike writes "The Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida presents the restored version of Pandora's Box as part of the "Reel People" film series. This one-time only screening will take place at 7 pm.  For more information, go to www.jacksonvillefilmfestival.com/reel_index.htm."  The film will be accompanied by live music.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

The First Lulu

Speaking of rare book acquisitions, and speaking of Wedekind's play (the subjects of my last two entries) - I recently acquired a copy of the first American publication of Pandora's Box. It's pictured below. This softcover book dates from 1914. The translation is by Samuel A. Eliot. Four years later, the play would be published in hardback. And five years after that, it was published in a collection of Wedekind's plays titled Tragedies of Sex. I have copies of each.



I guess you could say I am a completeist. Or a detailist . . . . Interestingly, its a little known fact that Pandora's Box was staged in New York City in 1925 while Louise Brooks was living there. That production had only a short run, and there is no indication that Brooks saw it or was aware of it. (The play was considered both somewhat "modern" and somewhat "artsy.")

Friday, September 8, 2006

Review of Pandora's Box DVD


A review of the new Pandora's Box DVD appears in Sunday's New York Times. The article notes that the DVD will be released on November 10th.
G. W. PABST’S tragic fable, from two plays by Frank Wedekind about a prostitute whose love for — and conquest of — a married man begins her spiral of decline, is one of the most beautifully filmed of all silent movies. Pabst’s unobtrusive but masterly compositions and disarmingly delicate lighting effects are the stuff of rapture. Then again, when Louise Brooks is your star, it’s your duty to place her in a context of perfection. Brooks plays the doomed, exquisite Lulu, who, with her sable bob and mischievous, calculating smile, became an enduring symbol of jazz-age freedom and joyousness. If beauty and saucy charm were all Brooks had to offer, she would have ended up a caricature. But this performance is so vital and so infinitely shaded that it inspires wonder each time you see it.
Brooks’s Lulu is an image of relaxed modernity: she may be willful, petulant and manipulative, but she is also a woman striding toward an uncertain future in a world that doesn’t provide easy comforts.
On the night of her disastrous wedding to the rich Dr. Schön (Fritz Kortner), who believes he adores her but really wants to possess her, she stands in front of the mirror, preparing to remove her wedding finery. The first thing to come off is a new strand of pearls, which represent the safe, pampered life she has been striving for. She lets the glowing beads pool in the palm of her hand, and we see her face in the mirror, an ivory moon framed by darkness. The faint smile that crosses her lips is not one of greed or catlike satisfaction but of quiet relief: she has set herself up for a life without worry and strife, not yet knowing that such a life is impossible. We have seen how frivolous and thoughtless she can be, and we have witnessed her gentle treachery, but judging her is unthinkable. We can’t trust Lulu; we can only believe her.
In addition to a new, restored transfer of the film, this two-disc set has four different musical scores (two of which were commissioned for this release) and a booklet that includes an essay by J. Hoberman, the Village Voice film critic, and Kenneth Tynan’s essential Brooks profile, “The Girl in the Black Helmet.” (Criterion Collection, Nov. 10, $39.95.)     STEPHANIE ZACHAREK

Thursday, September 7, 2006

I just saw Lulu



I've just returned from the Victoria Theatre, where I had the great pleasure of seeing the Silent Theatre production of Lulu. (Tonight was it's San Francisco debut.) I liked it very much. The acting was terrific, the music superb. And the approach - of staging a play as a silent film, was engaging and clever and well done. Kyla Louise Webb, the young actress who played Lulu, was especially good. I plan to see this production at least once more while it is here in San Francisco.

Before things started, I took a few snapshots outside the theater. There were Lulu posters in the display cases, etc.... Also, parked out front was the theater company tour bus, which they named "Pandora's Bus." According to the play's director, who I had the pleasure of meeting before the play started, the company were touring around San Francisco earlier in the day attracting attention to their production.



I recommend that everyone who has a chance to see this production do so. You will like it. For more info on the company, also check out their MySpace account at www.myspace.com/silenttheatre It has additional pictures, music from the play, and more.

[ A footnote: this production marks a kind of homecoming for Lulu. The German author Frank Wedekind (1864 - 1918) - author of the plays which serve as the basis for this prodction as well as the G. W. Pabst film and Alban Berg opera - was actually conceived in San Francisco. For a time, Wedekind's parents lived in gold rush San Francisco. His mother was a saloon entertainer. And, while she was pregnant with the future writer, Wedekind's parents decided to make a visit to Germany. Benjamin Franklin Wedekind was born there, and the parents stayed put. ]

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Lulu in alt weeklies

Lulu, which opens tomorrow in San Francisco, got short write-ups in the two local weeklies. The SF Weekly carried a short article and pic, as did the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Here is what the SFBG had to say.

LuLu
Based on Pandora’s Box, an 1890s German play and later a 1928 film that featured early silver screen starlet Louise Brooks, the new play Lulu follows a sexy female character who drives both men and women mad with the passion she inspires. Presented by the Silent Theatre Company, the production endeavors to re-create the early style of cinema, with no spoken dialogue and costuming and sets colored only in black and white, which are heavily inspired by the German expressionist style that was prevalent at the time. (Sean McCourt)
Through Sept. 17    Tues-Sat, 8 p.m.; Sun, 7p.m.         Victoria Theater  2961 16th St., SF    $20
(415) 863-7576    www.victoriatheatre.org    www.silenttheatre.com
I plan to be there opening night !

Monday, September 4, 2006

On this day in 1926

On this day in 1926, Louise Brooks looms large on movie screens in the San Francisco Bay Area. The recently released comedy, The Show-Off, is being shown in San Jose and Oakland, while The American Venus (released some seven months earlier) plays in revival in nearby Berkeley. We've always liked her here!

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Diary of a Lost Girl


I am currently reading Margarete Bohme's 1905 novel, The Diary of a Lost Girl (in English translation). I am enjoying it. It is very different from the film, but also interesting as a period piece.

Speaking of which, I just came across a related video clip on YouTube. It features the clips from the 1929 Louise Brooks film, The Diary of a Lost Girl, set to music by the Dresden Dolls. (The song is "Neccessary Evil.")

Friday, September 1, 2006

Just added Louise Brooks events


Just added - more Louise Brooks events in 2006:

October 13 and 15, 2006: The Music Box Theatre in Chicago will screen Pandora's Box, with live musical accompaniment, as part of Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" series.  (more info)

November 6, 2006: The seldom shown 1926 comedy, Love 'em and Leave 'em, will be screened at Museum of the City of New York. This special event is sponsored by the Silent Clowns Film Series. The film will be preceded by the 1926 Hal Roach comedy short Love 'em and Weep starring Stan Laurel and Tyler Brooke.  Live piano accompaniment by Ben Model.  ( more info )

November 8, 9, 10, 2006: 
The Slovenska kinoteka - the film archive located in Ljubljana, Slovenia - celebrates the centenary of Louise Brooks with a series of screenings.   ( details to come )

November 20, 2006: 
A new 35mm print of Pandora's Box will be shown in the student union at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The film starts at 7 pm.   ( more info )

December 8 - 10, 2006: The Detroit Institute of the Arts will screen Pandora's Box in the Detroit Film Theater. ( more info )

These and many other Louise Brooks Centenary events can be found at www.pandorasbox.com/features/centenary.html

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