Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from the Louise Brooks Society

Happy Halloween from the Louise Brooks Society . . . .


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pandora's Box rock the house in Kentucky

Musician Ben Model, who accompanied Pandora's Box last night in Huntington, Kentucky tweeted following the event: "Wow, never had Pandora's Box rock a house like it did tonight. I may have finally found the key to playing for it, for me."

We wish we were there. Were you? If so, leave a comment in the comments field and tell us all about it!

Check out Ben Model's website at www.silentfilmmusic.com/

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pandora's Box with Louise Brooks and Ben Model in Kentucky

Pandora's Box will be shown TONIGHT in Huntington, Kentucky at 7:30 pm with live musical accompaniment by the great Ben Model. Here below are the details from the host venue, the Cinema Arts Center. (Follow the link to purchase tickets or for more information.)

Louise Brooks stars in G.W. Pabst’s stunning film of Frank Wedekind’s classic about the fiery showgirl Lulu, whose explosive sexuality has a devastating effect on everyone. (Germany, 1929, 131 min., B&W, Director:  G. W. Pabst Cast: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner,  Francis Lederer)


Live Organ Accompaniment by Ben Model
Members $9 • Public $14

One of the masters of early German cinema, G. W. Pabst (The Threepenny Opera) had an innate talent for discovering actresses (including Greta Garbo). And perhaps none of his female stars shone brighter than Kansas native and onetime Ziegfeld girl Louise Brooks, whose legendary persona was defined by Pabst’s lurid, controversial melodrama Pandora’s Box.

Based on the Lulu Plays by Frank Wedekind, whose Spring Awakening has just been adapted into a hit Broadway musical, the film follows the downward spiral of the fiery, brash, yet innocent showgirl Lulu, whose sexual vivacity has a devastating effect on everyone she comes in contact with. Daring and stylish, Pandora’s Box is one of silent cinema’s great masterworks and a testament to Brooks’s dazzling individuality.

Ben Model is one of the USA’s leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silents at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the past 27 years. Ben co-curated MoMA’s “Cruel and Unusual Comedy” series and  Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle retrospective, and also curated Shout!Factory’s new “Ernie Kovacs Collection” DVD box set. A five-time recipient of the Meet The Composer grant, Ben is a regular accompanist at classic film festivals around the U.S.A. and in Norway, and performs at universities, museums, and historic theaters. Ben is the producer and co-founder of The Silent Clowns Film Series, now in its 14th season in NYC. Ben’s recorded scores can be heard on numerous DVD releases from Kino Video and others. Ben’s composed ensemble scores for films by Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd are performed around the U.S. every year by orchestras and by

Monday, October 28, 2013

Homage to Lulu: Lou Reed has died

Rock musician, former Velvet Underground singer, and poet Lou Reed has died. Follow this link for an excellent, extended obit. In 2011, Reed had collaborated with Metallica on a concept album called Lulu. It is an obtuse homage to the Lulu archetype, and Louise Brooks - notice the bobbed hair worn by the Venus-like mannequin. All-in-all, fans had a hard time relating toits  dissonant lyrics and music. The album was praised by some, but mostly panned.


Lulu was inspired by German expressionist writer Frank Wedekind's plays Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box, which tell a story of a young abused dancer's life and relationships and are now collectively known as the "Lulu Plays." Since their publication in the early 1900's, the plays have been the inspiration for the Louise Brooks silent film (Pandora's Box, 1929), an opera, and countless other creative endeavors.

Originally the lyrics and musical landscape were sketched out by Lou for a theatrical production in Berlin, but after coming together with the Metallica for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts in New York in 2009, each knew they wanted to make more music together. Lou was inspired enough by that performance to ask the band to join him in taking his theatrical Lulu piece to the next level.
In early May of 2011, they camped out recording at HQ studios in Northern California (not far from where Frank Wedekind was conceived), and complete ten songs. A deluxe packaging of the Lulu CD is pictured below.


 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Louise Brooks fan Mike Doughty (ex Soul Coughing) on tour

Mike Doughty and his band of musical samurai are touring the United States playing the best of Soul Coughing, including their tribute to Louise Brooks, "St. Louise Is Listening." Get tickets and more info: https://www.facebook.com/mikedoughty/events


The above is from Mike Doughty's album of reimagined Soul Coughing songs, "Circles Super Bon Bon...". Available Now at http://georiot.co/21yW

M. DOUGHTY ON TOUR
ALL SONGS FROM RUBY VROOM, EL OSO, IRRESISTIBLE BLISS

Oct 16 2013 -- Teaneck, NJ http://tktwb.tw/11RRuF2
Oct 17 2013 -- Philadelphia, PA http://bit.ly/1ckbJ51
Oct 18 2013 -- Burlington, VT http://bit.ly/14drmBl
Oct 19 2013 -- Boston, MA http://bit.ly/17CCAl3
Oct 20 2013 -- Portland, ME http://bit.ly/1bigUP4
Oct 22 2013 -- Cleveland, OH http://tktwb.tw/13MaiXE
Oct 23 2013 -- Detroit, MI http://bit.ly/13Uhe1k
Oct 24 2013 -- Chicago, IL http://bit.ly/19gYqkC
Oct 25 2013 -- Minneapolis, MN http://bit.ly/16FdXHo
Oct 26 2013 -- St. Louis, MO http://bit.ly/16Fe1Xx
Oct 27 2013 -- Milwaukee, WI http://bit.ly/17cLZkm
Oct 29 2013 -- Boulder, CO http://bit.ly/16Fe6u9
Oct 30 2013 -- Salt Lake City, UT http://bit.ly/13UhtJM
Nov 1 2013 -- Vancouver, BC http://tktwb.tw/19gYyAE
Nov 2 2013 -- Seattle, WA http://bit.ly/1cR2J5d
Nov 3 2013 -- Portland, OR http://bit.ly/1cR2M0W
Nov 5 2013 -- Santa Cruz, CA http://tktwb.tw/16A7GL2
Nov 6 2013 -- San Francisco, CA http://bit.ly/1cR2QOa
Nov 8 2013 -- Los Angeles, CA http://bit.ly/19gYGQT
Nov 9 2013 -- Santa Ana, CA http://bit.ly/16FekS6
Nov 10 2013 -- Phoenix, AZ http://bit.ly/13p2XK6
Nov 12 2013 -- Dallas, TX http://bit.ly/1exVa1n
Nov 13 2013 -- Austin, TX http://bit.ly/1bihpIT
Nov 14 2013 -- Houston, TX http://bit.ly/19gYQrr
Nov 15 2013 -- New Orleans, LA http://tktwb.tw/14t6yds
Nov 16 2013 -- Tampa, FL http://tktwb.tw/198nAyy
Nov 17 2013 -- Orlando, FL http://ticketf.ly/13p33RT
Nov 19 2013 -- Nashville, TN http://bit.ly/14Ct5Y1
Nov 20 2013 -- Atlanta, GA http://bit.ly/19gYXmO
Nov 21 2013 -- Carrboro, NC http://bit.ly/17cMlY7
Nov 22 2013 -- Washington DC http://ticketf.ly/14GIVdh
Nov 23 2013 -- New York, NY http://bit.ly/19SwrXU

Here is video of Mike and his musicians rehearsing "True Dreams of Wichita."



Get the album:
iTunes: http://georiot.co/21yW
Amazon: http://georiot.co/3uUN
Direct: http://merchdirect.com/mikedoughty
From a local record store: http://recordstoreday.com/Item/900508...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Video: Louise Brooks in Pandora's Box (clip)



Pandora's Box will be shown in Huntington, Kentucky on Tuesday, October 29th at 7:30 pm with live musical accompaniment by Ben Model. Here are the details from the host venue, the Cinema Arts Center. (Follow the link to purchase tickets or for more information.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sammy Tramp's Traveling Flicker Factory

One time stage Lulu, now Chaplinesque hobo Sammy Tramp is traveling the world performing in venues large and small, and all the while making delightful short films. Here is her latest, "Hats a Plenty."


Sammy Tramp's Traveling Flicker Factory is a one-of-a-kind old fashioned, moving picture company that creates "instant" silent films featuring local vaudevillian and burlesque performers and original story lines. Sammy Tramp, one of the nation's premiere vaudevillians and the artistic director of The Beggar's Carnivale, travels from town to town, works with locales and performers within that location and puts together a delightful, comedic and clever silent film. Taking the silver screen to the the modern age and then taking it back in time again.

In this edition Sammy goes down under in Melbourne Australia. Sammy is also available for bookings. For more information please visit SammyTramp.tumblr.com

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jan Wahl - author extraordinaire and friend of Louise Brooks

I just got off the phone with Jan Wahl, the celebrated children's book author and longtime friend of Louise Brooks.

We talked about many things, including books, old theaters, the movies - both classic and contemporary, and of course Brooks herself. This is the first time Jan and I have spoken on the phone, though we have exchanged letters and books. (I also met Jan's niece some years back.)

Jan recounted a number of stories about the Brooks, some of which were included in his books and other writings, and some of which I had never heard before (and wouldn't dare repeat).

Jan has known and befriended many interesting and famous people over the years. He several months working with noted filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer during the filming of Ordet (The Word), and later turned that into a fascinating book from the University Press of Kentucky. He was also for a time the personal secretary to Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), the celebrated novelist and short story writer.

In the course of our 30 minute conversation, Wahl also recounted anecdotes of encounters with the likes of artist Jasper Johns, sculptor Alexander Calder, and photographer Edward Steichen.

His very first book, Pleasant Fieldmouse (1964), was illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Another early book, Cobweb Castle (1968), was illustrated by Edward Gorey, whom he knew.

I want to encourage everyone to seek out Jan Wahl's books. They are recommended, and he is a gifted writer and storyteller. These two books by Wahl, Dear Stinkpot: Letters From Louise Brooks, and Through a Lens Darkly, belong on the bookshelf of every Brooks fan. Go get a copy today!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cool pics of the Day: Louise Brooks in profile

Here are a three smashing portraits of Louise Brooks, each in profile or semi-profile. Each was taken in the mid-to-late 1920s, and each shows off her delicious bob.




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Smoking with Lulu in London anyone?

Had anyone had the chance to see the latest production of Smoking with Lulu in London? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please post in the comments field, or email the Louise Brooks Society. The LBS has written earlier about the play here.

The only notice regarding the play which I saw online was this brief bit from September 30 from TimeOut London, which described Janet Munsil's play thus:

"Theatre critic Kennth Tynan and legendary silent movie star Louise Brooks once met and this play is about that fateful moment."

There was also short write-up on a site called skiddle.com.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New novel features Louise Brooks Society

A just published novel features the Louise Brooks Society. The Vanity, by Robert Murillo, is a lovely, Jack Finney like story about one man's love of Lulu. And what's more, Louise Brooks appears on the cover. Here's more from the publisher.

". . . . It’s three o’clock in the morning in Beverly Hills and fiction writer Mike Lundy is standing at his front window, watching a vintage Duesenberg slowly pass by his house. Sitting in the backseat is popular silent film star Louise Brooks, hoping to recover compromising photos she has left at Mike’s house. Possible? Yes, if it were 1927. But Mike lives in the year 2011! And the photos? They’re in the possession of her cuckold husband, movie director Eddie Sutherland, who has plans to turn the pictures over to the Los Angeles Times—unaware that the exposé will not only lead to his and Louise’s banishment from the movie industry but to her suicide and his murder. Mike, able to see their futures, must decide if he should try to stop Eddie from publishing the revealing photos. But if he does, he realizes he would be altering the past, and in doing so, changing history."

About the author: Robert S Murillo taught English for more than ten years before a career as a financial advisor. Today, he spends most of his time writing fiction—mostly short stories; The Vanity is his first novel. He considers J.D. Salinger, Ray Bradbury, and Jack Finney to be the writers who have influenced him the most, though he remains in awe of such artists as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck. When not writing, he enjoys the beaches of the Sea of Cortez. He lives near Berkeley with his lovely bride, Suzanne, and their two cats, Phoebe and Chaplin.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Donna Tartt reading Barry Paris bio of Louise Brooks

In the New York Times, Donna Tartt, the celebrated author of The Secret History and now The Goldfinch, says she is reading among other books the Barry Paris biography of Louise Brooks.
Fore more, check out this brief interview with the author, part of the newspaper's ongoing "By the Book" series. 


Author Donna Tartt and the cover of her new book, The Goldfinch.
(courtesy of Beowulf Sheehan; Little, Brown and Company)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Louise Brooks & Pandora's Box plays in Huntington, Kentucky

Pandora's Box will be shown in Huntington, Kentucky on Tuesday, October 29th at 7:30 pm with live musical accompaniment by Ben Model. Here are the details from the host venue, the Cinema Arts Center. (Follow the link to purchase tickets or for more information.)


Louise Brooks stars in G.W. Pabst’s stunning film of Frank Wedekind’s classic about the fiery showgirl Lulu, whose explosive sexuality has a devastating effect on everyone. (Germany, 1929, 131 min., B&W, Director:  G. W. Pabst Cast: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner,  Francis Lederer)

Live Organ Accompaniment by Ben Model
Members $9 • Public $14

One of the masters of early German cinema, G. W. Pabst (The Threepenny Opera) had an innate talent for discovering actresses (including Greta Garbo). And perhaps none of his female stars shone brighter than Kansas native and onetime Ziegfeld girl Louise Brooks, whose legendary persona was defined by Pabst’s lurid, controversial melodrama Pandora’s Box.

Based on the Lulu Plays by Frank Wedekind, whose Spring Awakening has just been adapted into a hit Broadway musical, the film follows the downward spiral of the fiery, brash, yet innocent showgirl Lulu, whose sexual vivacity has a devastating effect on everyone she comes in contact with. Daring and stylish, Pandora’s Box is one of silent cinema’s great masterworks and a testament to Brooks’s dazzling individuality.

Ben Model is one of the USA’s leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silents at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the past 27 years. Ben co-curated MoMA’s “Cruel and Unusual Comedy” series and  Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle retrospective, and also curated Shout!Factory’s new “Ernie Kovacs Collection” DVD box set. A five-time recipient of the Meet The Composer grant, Ben is a regular accompanist at classic film festivals around the U.S.A. and in Norway, and performs at universities, museums, and historic theaters. Ben is the producer and co-founder of The Silent Clowns Film Series, now in its 14th season in NYC. Ben’s recorded scores can be heard on numerous DVD releases from Kino Video and others. Ben’s composed ensemble scores for films by Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd are performed around the U.S. every year by orchestras and by concert bands.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

William Kentridge Lulu inspired by Louise Brooks Lulu

An article in today's New York Times confirmed what the Louise Brooks Society had suspected or at least secretly hoped for, that South African-born artist William Kentridge's upcoming production of Alban Berg's opera Lulu is inspired in part by Louise Brooks' performance as Lulu in G.W.  Pabst's 1929 film, Pandora's Box. (See this earlier LBS blog about Kentridge's involvement in the Metropolitan production, which is set to open in 2015.)

The New York Times stated:
“Lulu,” Berg’s final opera, is in part about art: It features an artist who falls in love with a femme fatale after painting her portrait. And in the second act it calls for a silent film — which might be tailor-made for Mr. Kentridge, who is as well known for his videos as he is for his drawings, sculptures and tapestries....

“Those were things that kind of easily drew me to it,” said Mr. Kentridge, who explained that his “Lulu” was being inspired by German Expressionism, Weimar cinema (including, of course, “Pandora’s Box,” the G. W. Pabst version of the Lulu story starring Louise Brooks), Max Beckmann drypoints depicting brothels and the like, and other art projects he is working on. “But boy, there’s a lot of other stuff as well.”
How much Brooks' role in Pandora's Box leaves its mark on Kentridge's opera remains to be seen. The New York Times went on to add, "A funny but nightmarish section of a silent film shot in Johannesburg featured a black-and-white montage of, among other things, a man smoking a comically large cigar as gunshot wounds appear on his chest; a Louise Brooks-like Lulu figure holding a pistol spewing a stream of smoke; a dancing policeman; a judge with the overdone eye makeup of the silent-film era; a very creepy doctor; and a syringe oozing smoke."

As Louise Brooks / Lulu devotees know, Berg's opera, Lulu, was based on the Lulu plays by Frank Wedekind, which also served as basis for the G.W. Pabst film, Pandora's Box, starring Louise Brooks. In later years, Berg's widow has stated that the composer had seen the Pabst film; interestingly, he included a filmic element in his opera. How Kentridge stages his version of Berg's early 20th century opera should prove fascinating.

More on this exciting story will be posted as things develop!

UPDATE:

The Louise Brooks Society just came across a newspaper article from last month which reported that William Kentridge had visited the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. The Eastman House and Rochester were, of course, the film archive and city were Louise Brooks spent the last decades of her life. The article, "William Kentridge, South Africa's best known artist, to visit Rochester," appeared in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on September 17th. The plot thickens.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Louise Brooks Society is "famous" in Italy

The Louise Brooks Society is "famous" in Italy! Today, I received a complimentary copy of the Italian edition of Laura Moriarty's terrific Louise Brooks inspired novel, The Chaperone, on which the the LBS received an acknowledgement. See the October 12th blog for details about this new edition.

And today as well, the LBS got a photo credit on this Italian article about Moriarty's book, which has just been released in Italy. "Louise Brooks: sensuale e ingenua" is di Marina Jonna. Check it out.

Monday, October 14, 2013

London play about Louise Brooks - Smoking with Lulu


SMOKING WITH LULU by Janet Munsil

Directed by Peter Turner
15 – 20 October 2013
Evenings 20.00
Matinee (Sun only) 17.00
London Theatre, SE14
Box Office: 0208 694 1888
http://beyondtheatre.org/smoking-with-lulu/

Smoking with Lulu was first performed in Calgary, Canada in 1997 and subsequently at The west Yorkshire Playhouse in association with Soho Theatre Company. The action of the play takes place in a small apartment in Rochester, New York and is based on the real life meetings that took place in 1978 between Kenneth Tynan, the renowned and very decadent British theatre critic, and Louise Brooks, the iconic silent screen star of the late 1920’s.

At the time of the meetings Tynan was, in his mid-fifties, suffering from emphysema, and Brooks was in her mid-seventies. The purpose of the meetings was that Tynan was to write a profile of Brooks for The New Yorker magazine which when published in 1979 was called ‘The girl in the black helmet’ – a reference to Brook’s trademark black bob hairstyle. Yet Kenneth Tynan wasn’t just researching, he was sexually obsessed by Louise Brooks and had been for many years. It was an obsession grown out of his fascination of her film career and in particular her portrayal of Lulu in GW Pabst 1929 film ‘Pandora’s Box’. And for Louise Brooks, after having a lifetime experience of fuelling men’s, and women’s , erotic desire for her, expertly drew him into her web.

By 1978 Brooks was ill, old, penniless, and hard-bitten but she knew exactly which devices to employ to turn Tynan on. Cleverly using Tynan’s vision of her as the amoral Lulu in ‘Pandora’s Box’ Brooks was able to bend Tynan to her will. Or did he bend her to his. Yes he was addicted to sex but how far was the ageing Louise Brooks prepared to go to have Kenneth Tynan be besotted by her? Aroused by his obsession, did she need a love slave for one last final time?

CAST AND CREW

Louise – Maureen Bennett
Ken – Simon Chappell
Lulu – Nadia Musa

Director – Peter Turner
Lighting Design – Sky Bembury

ABOUT BEYOND THEATRE

Beyond Theatre was founded as The Chelsea Players in 1959, and the present company are proud of those roots which give it fifty years’ experience on the London Theatre Scene. More information at http://beyondtheatre.org/smoking-with-lulu/

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Louise Brooks in Italy: "Le stelle brillano a New York" di Laura Moriarty

As readers of this blog know, Louise Brooks is something of a cult figure in Italy (as she is in France, and Germany too). The latest instance of the spotlight being shown on the actress is the newly released Italian-language edition of Laura Moriarty's bestselling, Louise Brooks-inspired novel, The Chaperone. For the Italian edition published by Piemme, the novel has been given a new title, Le stelle brillano a New York (or Stars Shine in New York).

As with the American edition, the Italian edition features a lovely images of the actress on the cover. Here is the publisher supplied description of book and the the author.

"È impossibile non essere stregati dalla bellissima ragazza che sta salendo sul treno per New York. Sarà anche per quello sguardo, così sfrontato in una quindicenne. O per il suo cortissimo caschetto di capelli neri, così moderno per il 1922 e quella piccola città del Kansas. È irrequieta, si vede. Ha fretta di partire, respirare l’energia della lontana metropoli pulsante di vita, entrare nella compagnia di danza più prestigiosa del momento. Ma neppure lei, per quanto ostinata e ambiziosa, s’immagina che di lì a pochi anni sarà una stella del cinema muto e il suo nome – Louise Brooks – avrà fatto il giro del mondo. Con grande disappunto, viaggia però accompagnata. A farle da chaperon è una rispettabile vicina di casa, Cora Carlisle. Trentasei anni, moglie e madre modello, ligia alle convenzioni, Cora non sa ancora cosa l’aspetti con la ribelle e anticonformista Louise. Ma sa che quel viaggio è un’occasione unica per allontanarsi dal suo matrimonio apparentemente perfetto e intraprendere una ricerca troppo a lungo rimandata. Perché la verità sul suo passato è a New York.Mentre cerca di domare lo spirito libero di Louise sotto le luci sfavillanti di Broadway, dove si respira l’euforia di quegli anni ruggenti, Cora inizierà tuttavia a mettere in discussione i limiti che ha sempre imposto alla propria esistenza. E addentrandosi nella sua ricerca segreta scoprirà un nuovo lato di sé, imparando ad accettare tutte le donne che è stata e quelle che può ancora essere. Finché anche lei, come Louise, muoverà i primi passi verso i suoi sogni, in quell’estate indimenticabile in cui entrambe prenderanno finalmente in mano il proprio destino."

"Laura Moriarty insegna scrittura creativa all’Università del Kansas. Grande bestseller negli Stati Uniti, Le stelle brillano a New York diventerà un film interpretato da Elizabeth McGovern, star della fortunatissima serie tv Downton Abbey. Per maggiori informazioni: www.lauramoriarty.net"

Titolo: Le stelle brillano a New York
Titolo originale: The chaperone
Autore: Laura Moriarty
Traduttore: Margherita Crepax (the translator is the niece of Guido Crepax, author of Valentina)
Editore: Piemme
Collana: Narrativa
Pagine: 462

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Louise Brooks as Mary Pickford - a rare image

Here is a seldom seen image of Louise Brooks, made up like Mary Pickford. This image is from a series.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Video: Louise Brooks Tribute / Telepathe - 'So Fine'

Another Louise Brooks tribute video found on YouTube. Nicely done, except the image of the nude kneeling before a statue of Buddha is not Louise Brooks. The song is "So Fine" by Telepathe, an electronic pop duo from Brooklyn.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Beggars of Life twice today

Beggars of Life (1928), the sensational William Wellman directed film starring silent screen legend Louise Brooks, will be shown twice on October 6th.

The first screening takes place on the Bournemouth Pier in Bournemouth, England. The film will be accompanied by the renown Dodge Brothers musical group. Beggars of Life will also be shown in Italy as part of the Pordenone Silent Film Festival's "Canon Revisited" series. Günter Buchwald will provide live musical accompaniment for this latter screening.

Directed by multiple Oscar winner William Wellman, Beggars of Life (1928) tells the story of a girl who goes on the run after killing her abusive stepfather. She dresses as a boy, and together with another young vagabond, they hop freight trains, confront a group of hobos, and steal a car in their attempt to escape the police and reach Canada. The film stars future Oscar winner Wallace Beery as rail-riding hobo Oklahoma Red, Louise Brooks as Nancy, the girl on the run, and Richard Arlen as her vagabond companion.

Many consider Beggars of Life Brooks' best American film. An American film magazine of the time, Picture Play, described it as "Sordid, grim and unpleasant," though added, "it is nevertheless interesting and is certainly a departure from the usual movie."

Both the Bournemouth and Pordenone screenings should prove to be examples of an invigorating combination of a great silent movie and dynamic live music - no matter how different that music may be.

The Dodge Brothers, an Americana-drenched quartet featuring the English film critic and BBC commentator Mark Kermode, will set the musical mood in Bournemouth . When The Dodge Brothers accompanied Beggars of Life at the British Film Institute, the Bradford International Film Festival, at Barbican, and elsewhere across England at prior outings, they each time wowed an appreciative audience.

The Dodge Brothers are "renowned for playing the hell out of classic Americana." Described as ‘wonderful stuff’ by UK Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris, they play an exuberant hybrid of country blue, rockabilly, jugband and skiffle. With the fifth Dodge Brother Neil Brand, expert silent pianist and composer, the musicians bring the jug band/ skiffle style to accompany Welman's classic film. The other Dodge Brothers are musicians Aly Hirji, Mike Hammond, and Alex Hammond.

Following their accompaniment of Beggars of Life, the Dodge Brothers will perform a show at the Pier Theatre. More information at http://artsbournemouth.org.uk/events/the-dodge-brothers/

The Pordenone screening promises to be just as special. As devotees know, the Pordenone festival, sponsored by the Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, is widely regarded as the leading silent film festival in the world. It draws film scholars, film buffs, archivists, musicians and viewers from all over the world.

Befitting its stature, the Festival issues a substantial bi-lingual catalog documenting each of the many films screened at the annual event. Follow this link to read or download the pdf of the festival program/catalog. It contains a few image of the actress, as well as an essay on Beggars of Life by the Academy Award winning film historian evin Brownlow. In writing about the film, Brownlow recalls his own friendship with Brooks and Wellman. The Pordenone catalog is in both Italian and English.

Günter Buchwald, the musician accompanying Beggars of Life, is one of the pioneers of the renaissance of silent film music and one of the most experienced practitioners in the world. He has accompanied silent films for over 25 years with a repertoire of more than 2000 titles. He is director of the Silent Movie Music Company and conducts the Freiburg Filmharmonic Orchestra, which he founded in 1992. His wide experience in music from Baroque to Jazz allows him a huge stylistic variety in musical improvisation. Since 1984 he has appeared regularly at film festivals from Berlin to Zurigo (among others).

More information about Pordenone and Le Giornate del Cinema Muto may be found at http://www.cinetecadelfriuli.org/gcm/giornate/questa_edizione/introduction.html The introduction states, "William Wellman’s Beggars of Life, with the magnificent Louise Brooks, will be shown as a dedicated serata, with ensemble musical accompaniment."

Saturday, October 5, 2013

More news: Beggars of Life with Louise Brooks in England and Italy

Beggars of Life (1928), the sensational William Wellman directed film starring Louise Brooks, will be shown twice in October.

The first screening takes place on Sunday, October 6th on the Bournemouth Pier in Bournemouth, England. The film will be accompanied by the Dodge Brothers musical group. Here are the details for what promises to be a fantastic event.

The Dodge Brothers play live at the Pier Theatre on Sunday October 6, preceded by a live performance to the classic silent movie, Beggars of Life; combined ticket + Fish and chip dinner only £20. More information at http://artsbournemouth.org.uk/events/the-dodge-brothers/


The Dodge Brothers are "renowned for playing the hell out of classic Americana." Described as ‘wonderful stuff’ by UK Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris, they play an exuberant hybrid of country blue, rockabilly, jugband and skiffle. With the fifth Dodge Brother Neil Brand, expert silent pianist and composer, the musicians bring the jug band/ skiffle style to accompany William Welman's classic film, starring the enigmatic, cross-dressing Louise Brooks. The Dodge Brothers are Mike Hammond, Mark Kermode, Aly Hirji and Alex Hammond.

5pm Film  £8 // 8pm Gig £10
Combined ticket film+gig+fish & chips £20 (Fish and chips to be served in Key West next to the Pier Theatre). To book:  The Dodge Brothers Live on the Pier


As was mentioned in an earlier blog, Beggars of Life will also be shown in Italy as part of the Pordenone Silent Film Festival. Beggars of Life will be shown as part of the Festival's "Canon Revisited" series on Sunday, October 6th at 8:30 pm. Günter Buchwald will provide live musical accompaniment.

Follow THIS LINK to read or download  the program/catalog for the festival. It contains three rather nice image of the actress, as well as an essay on the film by Kevin Brownlow. The Academy Award winning film historian's text, as well as the entire catalog, are in both Italian and English.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pandora's Box with Louise Brooks screens in Barcelona

Pandora's Box, the sensational 1929 G.W. Pabst directed film starring Louise Brooks, will be shown three times in Barcelona, Spain as part of the "Cinema of the Weimar" series being screened throughout the month of October at the FilmoTeca de Cataluyna. The film will be shown on October 4th, October 6th, and October 9th. More information in Catalonian may be found at THIS LINK.

"Die Büchse der Pandora" porta el subtítol "Variacions sobre el tema de la Lulu", ja que adaptava aquesta famosa obra literària de Frank Wedekind. El film va permetre a l’actriu americana Louise Brooks crear un prototipus de dona amoral i moderna que acaba devorada per les pròpies apetències sexuals, amb una gran càrrega eròtica i sensual, i perfectament vigent avui dia. Acompanyament musical a càrrec del mestre Josep Maria Baldomà.


Apta per a tots els públics 
Dv, 04/10/2013 - 18:30 h.
Sala Laya
Dg, 06/10/2013 - 21:15 h.
Sala Chomón
Dc, 09/10/2013 - 20:00 h.
Sala Chomón

Direcció: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Interpretació: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Franz Lederer, Carl Goetz, Alice Roberts, Krafft-Raschig
Producció: Alemanya
Any: 1928-1929
Idioma original: Muda, amb rètols en català
Versió: S/D
Durada: 141'
Format: 35 mm
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Louise Brooks referenced in National Geographic

Louise Brooks scholar Tim Moore found this: "October’s National Geographic magazine – "Special 125th Anniversary Edition: The Power of Photography" – concludes with a color image of the couple who gave Louise Brooks the opportunity to leave Wichita for bigger and better things when she was 15. The caption implies she was a student of theirs in Los Angeles, but it was New York and New Hampshire." It's a beautiful image. 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cool Pic of the Day: Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks, pictured here in the late 1920s
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