Sunday, August 28, 2016

This Summer's Research Report

Every Summer for the last ten or twelve years I have made a point of spending a day or two visiting one of the San Francisco Bay Area's university libraries. I have spent a few days at San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, Sonoma State University, as well as University of California-East Bay in Hayward and Standford University in Palo Alto. Each has a little something, a piece of the puzzle. I have also driven out to University of California-Davis and Sacramento State University. And at each I found things I hadn't seen before related to Louise Brooks.

I have also visited the University of California-Berkeley many times, perhaps three dozen times. I usually visit the school's microfilm room or great research library. This time, I decided to visit their Asian library in search of any sort of clippings I might find about Louise Brooks and her films in China or Japan. An exploration of the recently built East Asian library was something I have been meaning to do for some time.

I struck gold. I found advertisements for many of Louise Brooks' American Silents in the one or two Chinese newspapers I looked at. And remarkably, I also found an ad for Diary of a Lost Soul, which wowed me. Previously, only Pandora's Box was known to have shown in Japan. Now, the other G.W. Pabst film in another Asian country!

Here is just one of the fabulous film ads I found, this one for Rolled Stockings in Japan. I also found a magazine cover with the actress, clippings which may or may not be reviews, captioned photographs, and other miscellaneous clippings.

There is more, lots more. I was browsing the shelves when I pulled down a bound volume of a Chinese film magazine and flipped through it, finding this.

Can anyone translate this bit of text alongside the picture of Louise Brooks? I assume it is some sort of brief biographical bit.

Here is another nifty page, also from a post WWII Chinese publication, this one about director G.W. Pabst and his films, including Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl.

There is still much to be found!

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