Monday, February 25, 2008

Jim Tully

Over the weekend, I received word that something of a Jim Tully revival can be expected this Fall. Tully, as readers of this blog may know, was the author of Beggars of Life, the novel which became the 1928 film of the same name starring Louise Brooks. Just last year, that film was transferred to 35mm and is now enjoying it's own revival in theaters across the country.

Tully was a colorful character as well as a popular writer in the 1920's and 1930's. Gritty and forceful, he also left his mark on some of the hard-boiled writers who followed in his wake. (Some might consider him the Charles Bukowski of his day?) This Fall's revival will see the long awaited release of the first ever biography of the writer by Kent State University press, as well as the reissue of a handful of Tully's seminal books including Beggars of LifeCircus Parade and others. I have been in touch with the biographers, and can't wait to read their book. I will post additional updates as warranted.

p.s. Louise Brooks and Jim Tully met during the filming of Beggars of Life, and from accounts of the time, Brooks did not care for Tully and his gruff manner.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Raymond Kennedy (1934-2008)

Raymond Kennedy, a writer known for his dark, absurdist novels, died last week in Brooklyn. He was 73. Kennedy was the author of the 1988 novel Lulu Incognito. More about the author and his work can be found in this article in the New York Times. The New York Sun also ran an article on the writer.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Louise Brooks on "Lost"



Silent film star Louise Brooks makes an "appearance" on tonight's episode of Lost, the ABC series about a group of castaways on a mysterious island. Continuing the tradition of using a well-placed book to provide clues to the mysteries of the hit show, tonight's episode features the character Sawyer reading the New York Review of Books edition of The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Cesares, which features Brooks on the cover.

Though I posted the cover of the book in my previous entry (on the passing of novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet ), here it is again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Alain Robbe-Grillet, 85, French Author, Is Dead

Alain Robbe-Grillet, an author and filmmaker who was one of France’s most important avant-garde writers, died on Monday. He was 85 years old. As a novelist, Robbe-Grillet helped establish the New Novel, a genre that rejected conventional storytelling. As a screenwriter, he was best known for his work on Alain Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad (1961), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

The film was considered "an enigmatic work whose characters, often bored and identified only by initials, live in an otherworldly chateau, not sure whether they are planning seductions or remembering them." Last Year at Marienbad was "released in the United States in early 1962 and became one of the most talked-about art films of the year."

What's the Louise Brooks connection? Last Year at Marienbad was inspired by Adolpho Bioy Casares 1940 novella, The Invention of Morel, one of whose central characters was in turn inspired by Louise Brooks. That connection is spelled out in Thomas Beltzer's rather interesting essay, "Last Year at Marienbad: An Intertextual Meditation."

(More about Alain Robbe-Grillet can be found here and possibly here.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Babes Whose Babeness Matters

What's most amusing, or perhaps interesting, about City Paper's recent article about the most beautiful actresses of all time is Louise Brooks' inclusion. It's not that I don't think she belongs - but the company that she keeps is a rather odd mix. There's Sally Field, Clara Bow, Alyson Hannigan, Maila Nurmi, Traci Lords, Summer Glau, etc.....) This is what the  alternative weekly had to say about Brooks (who ranked 17th):

17) Louise Brooks
An ethereally beautiful booze hound with a salty tongue and caustic wit that rivaled Dorothy Parker's, Louise Brooks disappeared from film after 1938--but not without leaving a permanent mark in the shape of her trademark spit-curled bob. The quintessential flapper, bristling with wry, intelligent sexuality. See Pandora's Box. (EF)
Check out the article and see for yourself.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Isn't it splendid?

Thank you to Meredith who pointed out that this picture of Louise Brooks ran in yesterday's Guardian newspaper. THe British newspaper ran this piece in anticipation, I believe, of a forthcoming Edward Steichen exhibit. Isn't it splendid?

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