Friday, June 26, 2015

Louise Brooks: Greetings from Poland, part 1

I seek her here, I seek her there, I seek her everywhere.... I recently had the chance to visit Poland. I recently spent a good number of hours exploring a few online Polish archives, including Polona at I was in search of any and all Louise Brooks clippings or advertisements. Here is some of the material I found. Each is a window into another world.

From what I uncovered, I would say that the actress had a bit of a following in Poland. At least 10 of her films, and likely more, were shown that country. And often, Brooks was promoted ahead of the film's lead. And what's more, it seems as though both Diary of a Lost Girl and Prix de Beaute were as big of a deal as was Pandora's Box. In fact, Prix de Beaute continued to be shown over the course of three years. I found screenings listed from 1930 through 1932. That is somewhat remarkable, and long lived.

The above magazine page, from late 1928, includes an image of Louise Brooks, and identifies her as appearing in Puszka Pandory, which is just one of the Polish titles for Pandora's Box. As best I can tell, the article has nothing to do with Brooks.

A 1929 newspaper advertisement for Puszka Pandory starring Luiza Brooks. Like her film titles, which were subject to translation and even retitling, Brooks' name was also adapted. (The same for Clara Bow, here listed as "Klara Bow.") In other pieces I found, Brooks' name was given as Louisa Brooks and simply Louise Brooks. One piece even had her listed as Lonisa Brooks. All this makes a difference when searching using keywords.

I need help with this rare 1931 advertisement, shown above. The fourth theater listed from the top, the Kino Rialto, promotes a showing of The Canary Murder Case, starring Luiza Brooks and William Powell. However, I can't exactly make out the translated title of the film. Is it Kryuk z za Swlatow or Kryuk z za Swlatew or Kryuk z za Swiatow, or some other variation ? Help if you can.

Being or partial Polish heritage, I was especially pleased to take this expedition through time and place. Check back to this blog in the coming days as I post more of my findings. Dziękuję bardzo.

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