Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Girl in Every Port to show in Chicago

The seldom screened 1928 Louise Brooks film, A Girl in Every Port, will be shown in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, July 22. This special screening, with live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren, is being put on by the Silent Film Society of Chicago. More info on the event can be found at my Louise Brooks column on examiner.com

When the film first showed in the Windy City in February, 1928 the local newspapers praised both the film and Brooks' role in it. Arthur Sheekman, writing in the Chicago Daily Journal, declared, "Your correspondent, partial to all the McLaglen performances, had a grand time watching A Girl in Every Port, in which so much loveliness is contributed by that dark young venus, Miss Brooks." While the curiously named Mae Tinee, writing in the Chicago Tribune said, "Various damsels rage through the action, but to Louise Brooks falls, as should, the plum feminine characterization. She pulls it off in her customary deft fashion - and the enchanting bob in which she first appeared before the movie camera."

I wish I lived in Chicago. I would be there in a heartbeat!

The Silent Film Society of Chicago's "Silent Summer" Film Festival runs Fridays from July 22 through August 26 at the Portage Theater (4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.) in Chicago. More on the festival and the Silent Film Society of Chicago can be found at www.silentfilmchicago.com/

Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Portage Theater box office during event box office hours, or by calling 773.736.4050. Tickets are also on sale at City Newsstand, (4018 N. Cicero Ave.). Tickets are $12 on the day of show (excepting $17 for the special August 12 screening of Sunrise). Advance prices and student / senior discounts are also available.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

YouTube tribute to Louise Brooks

Here is a rather swell YouTube tribute to the one and only Louise Brooks. The music is by Phil Harris. The song is called "Vamp."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two new ebooks about Louise Brooks

Two new e-books about Louise Brooks have been published for Kindle, the amazon e-reader. I've written short reviews of each on the amazon.com website. Here are my reviews, with links to each book. 
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My Afternoon With Louise Brooks
by Tom Graves
Publisher: Rhythm Oil Publications (June 10, 2011)

I can't get enough of Louise Brooks, the legendary silent film star. That's why I was excited when I came across this new e-pub by a professional writer with articles in major newspapers and magazines as well as a couple of earlier books to his credit. (Author Tom Graves is legit, and his 1982 meeting with the actress is mentioned in Barry Paris' definitive 1989 biography, Louise Brooks.) However, I found myself disappointed by this rather slight account of a now long ago encounter with the reclusive actress. More an anecdotal essay than a book (which can be read in under 10 minutes), "My Afternoon With Louise Brooks" largely fails to deliver. It is short on detail and perspective, and except for the striking cover image, there are no illustrations. The author mentions research and interviews he conducted with Brooks' family and friends - as well as the first chapters he wrote for a planned biography - but they are nowhere to be seen. I would like to read more.  [More info here.]

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Louise Brooks: Her men, affairs, scandals and persona
by Maximillien de Lafayette
Publisher: Times Square Press (May 23, 2011)

This "book" is terrible. It is poorly written, poorly laid out, padded with extraneous material (and lots and lots of white space) and otherwise riddled with innuendo, half-truths and errors. For example, I spotted one image of a Brooks look-alike who isn't Louise Brooks! There is no bibliography or list of sources to support the author's many outrageous claims regarding the actress, but there are numerous images seemingly gleamed from the internet. Where does the author get this stuff from? Or does he make it up? To call this rather slight cut-and-paste e-pub a "hack job" would be to give it too much credit. It's not worth the paper its not printed on.  [More info here.]

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Crazy Rhythm
by Daniel Vian
Publisher: Spectrum Beacon (May 31, 2010)

There is third book out, a work of fiction, which I have purchased but haven't had time to read. It is called Crazy Rhythm: A Novel of Hollywood, by Daniel Vian. Has anyone read it?  [More info here.]

One other recently released ebook - a work of erotic fiction,  Nymph: The Singularity by J.E. Lansing, features a character based on Louise Brooks. 'Nuf said. [More info here.]
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