Friday, October 31, 2014

Spectres from the Past ~ A spooky video featuring Louise Brooks

For Halloween.... Visions from a past, once forgotten...but now scarcely remembered. Courtesy of our "Dream Girl" Louise Brooks, of course.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Pandora's Box," as depicted by Arthur Rackham



"Pandora's Box," as depicted by Arthur Rackham

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hair and make-up suggestions with Louise Brooks

Looking for a Halloween look? Here are some hair and make-up suggestions inspired by Louise Brooks.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Cool pic of the day: Louise Brooks, as saint or martyr

An uusual portrait of Louise Brooks, circa 1928.

Louise Brooks: as saint or martyr

Sunday, October 26, 2014

RadioLulu, a Louise Brooks-inspired, silent film themed online radio station

Don't forget to "tune-in" to the recently updated RadioLulu, a Louise Brooks-inspired, silent film themed online radio station streaming music of the Teens, Twenties, Thirties, and today. RadioLulu's unique mix of programming features music from Brooks' film, recordings by Brooks' co-stars, along with the biggest hits of the Jazz Age, songs sung by silent film stars, music from early talkies, show tunes, novelty numbers, and lots, lots more.




RadioLulu has a Facebook page and a Twitter account @Radio_Lulu. Please visit each and "like" or follow each. Thanks for your interest and support, and thanks for listening!


Friday, October 24, 2014

So sad

The program for Das Tagebuch einer Verlorenen, or The Diary of a Lost Girl (1929). So sad.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Diary of a Lost Girl - A round up of reviews

Das Tagebuch einer Verlorenen, Louise Brooks' sixteenth film, was officially released on this day in 1929. Das Tagebuch einer Verlorenen, or Diary of a Lost Girl, is the story of a young girl who is seduced and sent to a brutal reformatory. She escapes to a brothel, comes into money, and changes her life.

The film stars Louise Brooks as Thymiane, Fritz Rasp as Meinert, Andrews Engelmann as Director of the reformatory, Valeska Gert as the Director's wife, Edith Meinhard as Erika, Josef Rovenský as Thymiane's father, André Roanne as Count Nicolas Osdorff, Sybille Schmitz as Elisabeth, the Governess, Vera Pawlowa as Aunt Frieda, Arnold Korff as Elder Count Osdorff, Siegfried Arno as a Guest, and Kurt Gerron as Dr. Vitalis. Also appearing in the film are Hedwig Schlichter, Hans Casparius, and Michael von Newlinsky.

This 8 real German silent film is drawn from a screenplay by Rudolf Leonhardt, as adapted from the famous book by Margarete Böhme. The director was Georg Wilhelm Pabst. The film was not as widely shown as Brooks' earlier Pabst directed film, Pandora's Box. Here are a few English language  reviews drawn from the Louise Brooks Society archive.

 
anonymous. "Diary of a Lost Girl." Variety, November 20, 1929.
--- "This time he has also been unfortunate in the choice of his heroine. Louise Brooks (American) is monotonous in the tragedy which she has to present."

anonymous. "Famous Hollywood Thrillers." London Times, March 9, 1961.
--- ". . . and the two films in which Pabst directed that now almost legendary star of the twenties, Louise Brooks" (announcement of screening of Diary of a Lost One and Pandora's Box at the National Film Theater in London)

Milne, Tom. "Das tagebuch einer verlorenen." Monthly Film Bulletin, December, 1982.
--- "And Louise Brooks, of course, is divine."

Kauffmann, Stanley. "Two Anomalous Careers." New Republic, October 10, 1983.
--- "Because Brooks's personal qualities completely suffuse the screen, a lot of critics have written a lot of nonsense about her acting ability."

Cosford, Bill. "A 'lost' actress found in 'Diary'." Miami Herald, November 14, 1984.
--- " . . . is thus a fascinating piece of evidence for speculation on the career that never was."

Christie, Ian. "Film Guide." Daily Express, February 21, 1986.
--- "Lovely Louise Brooks stars in G. W. Pabst's silent German classic about a girl who goes to the dogs after being seduced by a chemist."

Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide. New York: Signet, 1998.
--- "Pabst and Brooks' followup to their Pandora Box's is even more sordid, yet in some ways more intriguing: Louise is, in succession, raped, gives birth, is put in a detention home, then a brothel, inherits money, marries, is widowed... and writer Rudolf Leonhardt claims only the first half of his script was filmed. Fascinating nonetheless, with an explicitness that's still surprising; a must for devotees of German stylistics (and of course, Brooks). Fully restored version was reissued in 1984."

Thomajan, Dale. "Diary of a Lost Girl." TV Guide Online, circa 2001.
--- "Despite its conventional, abrupt, and unsatisfying ending, it is still valuable for its frequent audacity, its scathing dissection of bourgeois selfishness and hypocrisy, and its showcasing of the incomparable Louise Brooks in her prime."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Now We're in the Air - A round up of reviews

Now We're in the Air, Louise Brooks' tenth film, was officially released on this day in 1927. The film is a comedy about a couple of "aeronuts" who stumble into an air battle in France in World War I. The film stars Wallace Beery as Wally, Raymond Hatton as Ray, Russell Simpson as Lord Abercrombie McTavish, and Louise Brooks as twins, Griselle & Grisette. It is the only film in which Brooks played two roles in the same film.

The 6 reel Paramount film is drawn from a screenplay by Thomas J. Geraghty, adapted from an original story idea by Monte Brice and Keene Thompson, with titles by George Marion. The director was Frank R. Strayer. Here is a round up of a magazine and newspaper reviews and articles drawn from the Louise Brooks Society archive.



Woodruff, Fuzzy "Beery and Hatton Play Same Lively Tempo." Atlanta Georgian, October 19, 1927.
--- "Nothing however can take away from the roaring technique of the two stars, nor can any subject dim the luster of the beauty of Louise Brooks."

J., L. D. "At the Des Moines." Des Moines Register, October 24, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks, the charming black haired Follies girl who plays twin sisters in Now We're in the Air, came out of Kansas City to prove that the few screen stars who hail from that state are not mere accidents."

anonymous. "The New Pictures." Indianapolis Star, October 31, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks is the leading woman for the stars, playing a dual role. She is lovely and capable in the part, but has little to do."

anonymous. "Fight Pictures Prove Feature At The Strand." Portland Evening Express, November 1, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks is the young lady who is the charming m'm'selle, and she does add something to the picture although unable to lift it entirely from the gutter type of comedy to which it sometimes descends."

anonymous. "The New Saenger." New Orleans Item, November 6, 1927.
--- "The added feature of Now We're in the Air is the presence of Louise Brooks as the heroine. One of the cleverest of the new stars, she has immense ability to appear 'dumb' but like those early Nineteenth Century actresses, commended by Chas. Lamb, she makes the spectators realize that she is only playing at being dumb."

anonymous. "Beery and Hatton in Breezy Comedy Film." Philadelphia Inquirer, November 8, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks is clever in the double part of the twins."

anonymous. "New Films of Comedy, Romance and Melodrama on Photoplay Programs." Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 8, 1927.
--- "In a helping way, Louise Brooks proves to be the real thing and it is to her that a lot of credit must go for her for her sincere work in a dual role."

anonymous. "Beery and Harry Again." Washington Star, November 13, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks as the leading lady, too, was a happy selection, it is said. Young, beautiful and charming, in this picture she is doubly so, because she's twins, or in other words she has a dual role. She is French and German as well as clever and cunning."

anonymous. "At The Theaters." Providence Journal, November 14, 1927.
--- "They fall in love with twin sisters, one of whom has been raised a German, the other a French girl, and who can scarecely be told apart, which is not surprising, since Louise Brooks plays both parts."

anonymous. "Offerings at Local Theaters." Washington Post, November 14, 1927.
--- "Just for romance, there are twin sisters, economically and delightfully played by Louise Brooks."

Feldkamp, Frances V. "Movie Reviews." St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 14, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks is cast in a dual role of twin sisters, one sympathizing with Germany, the other siding with France in the conflict. She looks good in both parts."

Swint, Curran D. "Great Entertainment at St. Francis, Imperial and Warfield." San Francisco News, November 14, 1927.
--- "Both the hulking and ungainly Beery and the cocky little Hatton give goofingly good accounts of themselves. Then there is Louise Brooks. She's the girl - or the girls - in the case, for Louise is twins in the story, and about this fact much of the comedy is woven."

Waite, Edgar. "Beery, Hatton at St. Francis." San Francisco Examiner, November 14, 1927.
--- " . . . . may not be as screamingly funny as some, but it's certainly funny enough to please a great many people."

Warren, George C. "St. Francis is Offering Beery, Hatton." San Francisco Chronicle, November 14, 1927.
--- " . . . and they are disporting themselves and making big audiences scream with laughter."

anonymous. "Great Cast in Now We're in the Air." Appleton Post-Cresent, November 20, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks, the leading woman who has the dual role, playing twin sisters of different nationalities, which can only be done in a comedy, is one of the most popular young beauties of the Parmount organization. Her distinctive bob and charm appeared to advantage in Rolled Stockings, in the Adolphe Menjou picture Evening Clothes, and before that in The American Venus, It's the Old Army Game and A Social Celebrity."

Soanes, Wood. "Now We're in the Air Opens at American." Oakland Tribune, November 21, 1927.
--- "An effort was also made to inject a little romance into the manuscript by having Louise Brooks play twins so that both Beery and Hatton could get a wife without having to hire a pair of leading women."

Parsons, Louella O. "Now We're in the Air. Big Laughfest at Metropolitan." Los Angeles Examiner, November 25, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks, in a dual role, looks very young and very pretty even though she has very little to do. One would think playing a twin would keep her busy, but the whole film is Beery and Hatton."

anonymous. "Now We're in the Air." Photoplay, December, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks makes a pert pair of twins supplying two wives which the boys can't tell from one another."

anonymous. "Boob Aviators at Five Houses." Boston Post, December 5, 1927.
--- "You see there are pretty twin sisters, Grisette and Griselle, both played by the fetching Louise Brooks, who marry Wally and Ray, who cannot tell their wives apart except by their dogs, one a poodle, one a daschund."

Heffernan, Harold. "The New Movies in Review." Detroit News, December 5, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks plays twin sisters and aids greatly in decorating the proceedings."

Tinee, Mae. "Wallace and Raymond Take a Little Flyer in Aviation." Chicago Tribune, December 6, 1927. (United States)
--- "Louise Brooks as twins, is - are - a beautiful foil for the stars and if you think she doesn't marry both of them before the picture ends, why, cogitate again, my darlings."

M., E. F. "Films of the Week." Boston Evening Transcript, December 7, 1927.
--- (the film opened simultaneously in five theaters in the Boston area) "But they are persuasive fellows in their bustling way and most of the audience at the Washington Street Olympia this week were so moved by mirth that they were close to tears. Presumably the experience has been the same at the Scollay Square Olympia, the Fenway, the Capitol in Allston and the Central Square in Cambridge."

Cannon, Regina. "Louise Brooks Puts Snap in Now We're in the Air." New York American, December 12, 1927.
--- "Miss Brooks is the brightest spot in Now We're in the Air, for she may be always depended upon to be interesting, trig and snappy."

Harris, Radie. "Now We're in the Air Seen at the Rialto." Morning Telegraph, December 12, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks is seen as the feminine lead. She essays the role of twins. Which, if you know Louise, is mighty satisfactory. She is decorative enough to admire once, but when you are allowed the privilege of seeing her double, the effect is devastating."

H., J. K. "New Photoplays." New York Post, December 12, 1927.
--- "Louise Brooks wanders in and out between gags. She is very beautiful. She is especially beautiful when seen beside Mr. Beery."

O., H.H. "Stage and Screen." Ann Arbor Daily News, January 3, 1928.
--- "And this time they actually win the girl, or girls, played by the charming Louise Brooks."

anonymous. "King Is Offering Big Laugh Show At 5th Avenue." Seattle Times, January 9, 1928.
--- " . . . an absurd thing filled with laugh-provoking gags."

anonymous. "Beery, Hatton on Capitol Bill." Sacramento Union, January 25, 1928.
--- "The qualities of the film are emphasized with the appearance of delectable Louise Brooks."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ever charming, Louise Brooks in Now We're in the Air

Louise Brooks in Now We're in the Air (1927)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Louise Brooks Society on Twitter @LB_Society


The Louise Brooks Society is on Twitter @LB_Society.


 As of today, the LBS is followed by more than 3000 individuals. Are you one of them? Why not join the conversation? Be sure and visit the official LBS Twitter profile, and check out the more than 3,800 LBS tweets! For those who like to follow the flow, the LBS twitter stream can also be found in the right hand column of this blog.

And that's not all. 


RadioLulu ♪♫♬♪

also has a Twitter account at @Radio_Lulu

           As of now, RadioLulu is followed by more than 3000 individuals, and has posted more than 175 tweets!This recently established account tweets about Louise Brooks and music as well as additions to
RadioLulu - the long running online radio station of the Louise Brooks Society
at live365.com/stations/298896 Check them both out! 

And for those who want to, check out the Twitter account of Thomas Gladysz, founding director of the Louise Brooks Society, at @thomas_gladysz 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Modish Coiffure

Here is a nifty advertisement I came across while looking through microfilm at the library. It dates from 1925.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fascinatin' Rhythm on NPR

If you like music of the twenties, thirties and forties - you'll want to check out a weekly one hour radio show called "Fascinatin' Rhythm," which airs on National Public Radio. (The show can also be heard on NPR stations over the internet.)  I have been a fan of this program for some time. And everytime I hear it I learn to love some new song or singer. One program I heard, for example, reminded me how much I like Annette Hanshaw - a wonderful singer from the 1930's.

This special show is also an inspiration for RadioLulu. More about "Fascinatin' Rhythm" can be found on this webpage. Check your local NPR listings to see if "Fascinatin' Rhythm" is broadcast in your area.
Fascinatin' Rhythm explores the history and themes of American popular music from Stephen Foster to Stephen Sondheim. These weekly "radio essays," illustrated by recordings, won the 1994 George Foster Peabody Award for letting "our treasury of popular tunes speak (and sing) for itself with sparkling commentary tracing the contributions of the composers and performers to American society." The Peabody citation called Fascinatin' Rhythm "a celebration of American culture." The program originates from WXXI-Classical 91.5. and is nationally syndicated.

Each program features a theme - a particular kind of stage or movie musical, a single composer or lyricist, a distinctive performer, or defining image or idea. Fascinatin' Rhythm blends education and entertainment, as it also shows how songs from the Golden Age of American popular music (1920-1960) anticipate today's popular music. Heard nationally from Orlando to San Francisco and Honolulu, Fascinatin' Rhythm reveals America to America through popular songs

Thursday, October 16, 2014

On this day in 1927 . . . .

On this day in 1927,the Kansas City Star ran an article on Now We're in the Air and stated "This film is said to have an increased love interest. It will at least have our interest since Louise Brooks is the heroine. We gather from the pictures we have seen of the production that Miss Brooks is some sort of circus performer, as she is shown succumbing to the temptation of abbreviated skirts. That is Miss Brooks's old weakness." 

Newspaper reporters certainly had a way with words back then.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Other stations that I like and listen to

Along with RadioLulu, here are some other Live365.com stations that I like and listen to:

Radio Dismuke - 1920s & 1930s Pop & Jazz

Absinthe Radio - The Greatest Hits of the 1920s and 1930s

Sweet & Lovely - Sweet & Lovely, Hot & Sassy ! Songs from the 20's & 30's (Jazz Age 20s, Songbird 30s)

Weimar Rundfunk - Jazz-Swing / European Hot Dance Bands, European Dance Orchestras

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

William K. Everson archive

Well worth checking out is the William K. Everson Collection, a website which archives publicity material, photographs and most importantly the film notes (short essays) of the film historian, author, critic, teacher, archivist, and collector. 
Everson knew Louise Brooks, and wrote highly of her in his terrific 1978 book, American Silent Film. And some years ago before his death, I had the pleasure of seeing Everson's 16 mm print of Beggars of Life.
Film buffs will enjoy exploring this site.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Max Ferguson's new watercolor of Louise Brooks

Max Ferguson's new watercolor of Louise Brooks is now viewable online. Check it out, along with the artists' other work, here. (The pianist is Ben Model.)




Saturday, October 11, 2014

What do Louise Brooks, Nicki Minaj, Lindsay Lohan, and Rosamund Pike have in common?

Louise Brooks and her iconic bob continue to influence and be discussed. And today, she was in the news:



Refinery29
Did Nicki Minaj Just Change The Bob Game?
The 'do she's rocking would put Louise Brooks to shame — it's like a modern take on Vidal Sassoon's iconic cuts. And, while we're having a serious bob moment (and so is all of Hollywood) . . . .

The Lindsay Lohan Mystery
Lindsay Lohan’s development as a screen actor has been unnaturally thwarted, but one thing she has is the rare and purely cinematic quality, never quite visible in stills, which found its fullest expression in the Louise Brooks of Diary of a Lost Girl or Pandora’s Box: a thrill and possibility located not in the body but in the face, especially the eyes, as if someone has turned all the lights on inside.


Telegraph.co.uk
Rosamund Pike's Gone Girl bob: so sharp, it could be a murder weapon
The outstanding filmic hair moments over the past century - from Louise Brooks' almost shockingly modern bob in Pandora's Box (1928), to Cate Blanchett's Freudian red wig in Elizabeth (1998) and Kirsten Dunst's (2006) mauve tinged bouffant in Marie Antoinette - have been awarded to whackos, psychos and shopaholics.
 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Brooksie: The Jazz Age Musical

For those who haven't already checked it out, well worth visiting is the Swiss website for Brooksie: The Jazz Age Musical. You can even order CD's.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Virtually Forever, a novel featuring Louise Brooks

In the past, I've blogged about Virtually Forever, a new novel which features Louise Brooks as a character. The actress and silent film star appears on the cover of the book, which was published in November of last year. The author of Virtually Forever is Anthony Eames, a former newspaper journalist and television producer-scriptwriter who lives in Australia. Recently, Eames sent me a link to a video interview about the book.


Here is the description of the book from the publisher. "Virtually Forever is a love story with an unusual twist. Michael Stanton has an obsessive interest in the long-dead, hauntingly beautiful silent screen actor, Louise Brooks. Involved in an military program to replicate world leaders in a virtual reality domain, he clandestinely uses this technology to recreate the Jazz Age world of Louise Brooks. Entering it, he appears as a wealthy and mysterious stranger and, soon after meeting Louise, a love affair follows against the backdrop of Hollywood parties and studio politics. Back in the real world, Michael’s colleagues have discovered that there is an unknown intruder in their top-secret computer system. The plot weaves between Michael's tempestuous love affair with Louise and his desperate struggle to safeguard her and her world from annihilation — at any cost."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Japanese Anime

A while back, my Italian friend Gianluca sent me an email about a Japanese Anime artist. According to this page on the Anime News Network, "Rumiko Takahashi's design for Nabiki Tendo is patterned after silent film actress Louise Brooks (1906-1985)." It is amazing how many comics, cartoons, graphic novels and anime Louise Brooks has inspired. Thank you Gianluca.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Lulu Project, by Bruce Brownlee

The Lulu Project, by Bruce Brownlee. Transformations of photographs of silent film actress Louise Brooks. Created in 2006.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Today: «Loulou», de Pabst, avec Louise Brooks, en version ciné-concert à Strasbourg

Today, at the Festival Musica in Strasbourg, France - Pandora's Box (or LouLou) will be screened. Musical accompaniment by Ensemble Kontraste. More information here and here

...

En réalisant l’un des derniers grands chefs d’œuvre du cinéma muet, Georg Wilhelm Pabst révéla Louise Brooks autant que l’actrice irradia son film. Musica en donne une version où la musique de Peer Raben, compositeur de la plupart des musiques de film de Rainer Werner Fassbinder, est jouée live par l’ensemble.
Son identification au personnage fut telle qu’elle reste à jamais son incarnation. Louise Brooks, alors âgée de 21 ans, est d’une beauté, d’un naturel, d’une liberté de mouvement, d’un érotisme subversif qui font que sa présence à l’écran sera vécue, à la sortie du film en 1929, comme une provocation. On lui reprocha notamment – c’est un comble ! – de n’être pas actrice, de n’être qu’elle-même, de n’avoir aucune distance avec ce personnage à la fois sulfureux et innocent.
Tiré de deux pièces de Frank Wedekind écrites au tournant du XXe siècle et elles aussi sujettes à scandales, le sujet est dans l’air du temps : Berg débutera l’écriture de son opéra un an avant la sortie du film et s’inspirera des deux mêmes textes : La Boîte de Pandore et L’Esprit de la terre. Si les situations de l’opéra diffèrent un peu de celles du film, la charge tragique et amorale demeure centrale.

Maîtresse fatale des hommes qui l’entourent, voire même des femmes qui l’approchent (la comtesse Geschwitz), Loulou finira son existence à Londres, après plusieurs meurtres et un procès qui l’oblige à fuir, dans les bras de Jack l’Éventreur. Des fastes des salons berlinois aux bas-fonds londoniens, c’est de cette descente aux enfers toujours doublée de fulgurance qu’il s’agit. Pabst, alors totalement obnubilé par son actrice, en donne une vision indépassable.

Le film fut censuré et resta longtemps incomplet, comme l’opéra resta longtemps inachevé ; il aura fallu attendre la toute fin des années soixante-dix pour, dans un cas comme dans l’autre, les apprécier dans leur complétude – 1979 pour l’opéra terminé par Friedrich Cerha, 1980 pour le film, enfin remonté selon les vœux de son réalisateur.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Universal Lulu: Το Κουτί της Πανδώρας-G.W. Pabst

Greek adaption of Pandora's Box, directed by G.W. Pabst and starring Louise Brooks.

Στις 26 Ιανουαρίου κυκλοφορεί σε επανέκδοση από τη New Star, το αριστούργημα του G.W. Pabst, Το κουτί της Πανδώρας.
Μία από τις καλύτερες ταινίες του μεσοπολέμου και μία από τις κλασσικότερες ταινίες όλων των εποχών.
Ένα tour de force κινηματογραφικού ερωτισμού με την αξεπέραστη Louise Brooks

Friday, October 3, 2014

Another "Louise" (Brooks)

Here's another vintage version of "Louise," this one by Bob Haring and His Orchestra. This song and other versions can be heard on RadioLulu. Give a listen at http://www.live365.com/stations/298896

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Forthcoming novel has Louise Brooks character

Louise Brooks is a character in a forthcoming novel, The Roaring Road. The book, whose publication date has not been set, describes itself as "A Story of Adventure and Mayhem on the Highways and Railroads and in the Wineries and Speakeasies of the Roaring Twenties." The picture below comes from the novel's website, www.theroaringroad.com, which is worth checking out.


Other Jazz Age entertainment personalities who figure in the book include Wallace Reid - famous silent movie film star, Dorothy Davenport - Wallace Reid's widow, Paul Whiteman - band leader and musician, Billie Dove - lovely silent movie era actress, Douglas Fairbanks - famous movie star, and
W.C. Fields - famous movie star.
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