Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Louise Brooks related book launch in NYC today!

What happens when an Irish author living in Australia is so taken by an American painter's work that he writes 60 short stories inspired by his paintings? The result is 


LULU IN NEW YORK & OTHER TALES
Words by Robert Power  -  Paintings by Max Ferguson


Book Launch
Wednesday, May 24th
6:30-9:00 PM

Readings by the author and DJ Ken Dashow
Models dressed as they are in the paintings
Unveiling of a new painting
A splendid time is guaranteed for all!



Books may be ordered from:


In conjunction with the book launch, 
there is an exhibition of Max Ferguson paintings.

MAX FERGUSON
SOLO EXHIBTION

Through May 27th

37 West 57th Street
New York

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Win tickets to Now We're in the Air starring Louise Brooks

How would you like to win a pair of tickets to the world premiere of the recently found & newly restored Louise Brooks' film Now We're in the Air (1927)? The 23-minute fragment will be shown with the recently recovered Clara Bow film, Get Your Man (1927), on Friday June 2nd at the historic Castro Theater in San Francisco. To enter, simply email the Louise Brooks Society (LouiseBrooksSociety AT gmailDOTcom) a sentence or two or three stating as to why you would like to see this very special program. (This contest does not provide transportation to the theater, simply entrance in.) The winner will be picked and announced on Saturday, May 27th.

Imagine being among the first people in the world to see these two films 90 years after they were first released--and what's more, to see them on the big screen in a silent era theater and with live musical accompaniment! It's almost like time travel. Here is a little more about this very special event.

FRIDAY, JUNE 2
1:00 pm  $16 / $14
direct ticket link

GET YOUR MAN with live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne
Directed by Dorothy Arzner | USA, 1927 | 53 m.
With Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Josef Swickard

Silent-era “It” girl Clara Bow falls for French aristocrat (Buddy Rogers!) after they are locked overnight in a Paris wax museum. There’s a sticking point, though—Rogers’s blueblood is betrothed to another! The Library of Congress has reconstructed the film from recovered materials, filling in missing sequences with key photos and intertitles—and in the process rescuing Bow’s incandescent performance for posterity.
Restored by the Library of Congress
Presented in 35mm



NOW WE'RE IN THE AIR with live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne
Directed by Frank Strayer | USA, 1927 | 23 m.
With Wallace Beery, Raymond Hatton, Louise Brooks

Plus: SFSFF’s Rob Byrne made a remarkable discovery in the National Film Archive of the Czech Republic—footage from the lost Wallace Beery/Louise Brooks comedy, Now We’re in the Air! He was able to restore the 23-minute fragment in time for its premiere in this program.
Restored by San Francisco Silent Film Festival
Presented in 35mm



Remember, to enter, simply email the Louise Brooks Society (LouiseBrooksSociety AT gmailDOTcom) a sentence or two or three stating as to why you would like to see this very special program.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

American Cinematheque interview about Louise Brooks

Ahead of its May 20th screening of a pair of Louise Brooks films, Beggars of Life (1928) and Diary of a Lost Girl (1929)  in Hollywood, the American Cinematheque ran an interview about Brooks on its blog, "Movies on the Big Screen." The interview, conducted by former Los Angeles Times journalist Susan King, features comments from acclaimed film historian Cari Beauchamp, author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood and other books, and myself, Thomas Gladysz, author of Beggars of Life, A Companion to the 1928 Film, and editor of the "Louise Brooks edition" of The Diary of a Lost Girl.


Check out the interview, "The Eternal Louise Brooks," HERE.




DIARY OF A LOST GIRL / BEGGARS OF LIFE
Screening format: DCP

Join us in the courtyard at 6:15 PM, when The Chapwinds will perform music from Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera (which premiered in Germany the year before DIARY OF A LOST GIRL) and Samuel Barber’s “Summer Music,” the most prominent American work in the wind quintet canon.
DIARY OF A LOST GIRL

DAS TAGEBUCH EINER VERLORENEN
1929, Kino Lorber, 112 min, Germany, Dir: G.W. Pabst 
Seduced and abandoned by her father’s assistant, Louise Brooks descends into a lurid hell of reformatories and whorehouses. For a debauched party scene, Pabst insisted on realism – so Brooks complied by playing “the whole scene stewed on hot, sweet German champagne.” // New 2K Restoration!



BEGGARS OF LIFE
1928, Kino Lorber, 100 min, USA, Dir: William A. Wellman 
Rough-and-tumble writer Jim Tully’s autobiography served as the basis for what many consider Louise Brooks’ best American film. She plays a young woman who kills her abusive stepfather and hits the road (in the company of Richard Arlen) hoping to make it to safety in Canada. Wallace Beery delivers a memorable performance as hobo Oklahoma Red in this beautifully shot silent. // New 2K Restoration!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Louise Brooks related book launch in NYC on May 24th

What happens when an Irish author 
living in Australia is so taken by an 
American painter's work that he writes 
60 short stories inspired by his paintings?
The result is 

LULU IN NEW YORK & OTHER TALES
Words by Robert Power  -  Paintings by Max Ferguson



UNICORN PUBLISHING GROUP


Book Launch
Wednesday, May 24th
6:30-9:00 PM

Readings by the author and DJ Ken Dashow
Models dressed as they are in the paintings
Unveiling of a new painting
A splendid time is guaranteed for all!


Books may also be ordered from:

STRAND  |  

In conjunction with the book launch, 
there is an exhibition of Max Ferguson paintings.

MAX FERGUSON
SOLO EXHIBTION

Through May 27th

37 West 57th Street
New York

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Louise Brooks story THE CHAPERONE to air on PBS Masterpiece

Hooray. This PBS press release relays some good news from the Public Broadcasting System:

San Diego, CA; May 16, 2017—PBS and MASTERPIECE have announced that MASTERPIECE is producing its first feature film which will reunite the writer, director and star of Downton Abbey.

The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s best-selling American novel, will be scripted by Julian Fellowes, directed by Michael Engler, and star Elizabeth McGovern, who played Lady Grantham in the hit series. It will air on PBS stations nationwide after its initial theatrical run.


The Chaperone takes place against the backdrop of the tumultuous times of the early 1920’s. A Kansas woman (McGovern) is forever changed when she chaperones a beautiful and talented 15-year-old dancer (Julia Goldani Telles, The Affair) named Louise Brooks to New York for the summer. One of them is eager to fulfill her destiny of dance and movie stardom; the other is on a mission to unearth the mysteries of her past.


Speaking at the PBS Annual Meeting in San Diego, MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton said, “It feels so right to reunite Julian Fellowes, Elizabeth McGovern, and director Michael Engler for our first feature film. Like Downton Abbey, The Chaperone is a beautifully told period drama set in a changing world, but now the setting is New York City.”

Arclight Films is financing and is handling international sales for The Chaperone. PBS Distribution will distribute the film theatrically and to home entertainment markets in the U.S. UTA Independent Film Group handled North America rights. The finance for The Chaperone is provided by Altus Media of which Paul Brett and John Fields are directors and for which Peter Nichols acts as a consultant. The Chaperone is a coproduction of MASTERPIECE and Rose Pictures, in association with Anonymous Content.

Julian Fellowes said, “I am absolutely delighted to be working with MASTERPIECE and Elizabeth McGovern on The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s novel, which is captivating and beguiling and resonant in so many ways.”

“It is a thrill and an honor to be working with MASTERPIECE and Julian again on his beautiful adaptation of The Chaperone, and to be in the expert hands of director Michael Engler,” said McGovern.

“We’re honored to be working with the legendary Julian Fellowes, MASTERPIECE, and the entire team behind The Chaperone,” said Gary Hamilton, Managing Director of Arclight Films.

 
The Chaperone is a coproduction of MASTERPIECE and Rose Pictures in association with Anonymous Content. The Executive Producers are Rebecca Eaton, Simon Curtis, Eli Selden and Adam Shulman. The producers are Elizabeth McGovern, Rose Ganguzza, Kelly Carmichael, Victoria Hill and Gary Hamilton. It is adapted by Julian Fellowes from the novel by Laura Moriarty. The director is Michael Engler.

Julian Fellowes and Simon Curtis are represented by UTA. Elizabeth McGovern is represented by UTA and Anonymous Content. Multiple Emmy® and DGA-nominated director Michael Engler is represented by WME, Anonymous Content, and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman LLP.

Arclight Films is presenting the film to distributors in Cannes this month.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Win tickets to world premiere of the restored Now We're in the Air, starring Louise Brooks

How would you like to win a pair of tickets to the world premiere of the recently found & newly restored Louise Brooks' film Now We're in the Air (1927)? The 23-minute fragment will be shown with the recently recovered Clara Bow film, Get Your Man (1927), on Friday June 2nd at the historic Castro Theater in San Francisco. To enter, simply email the Louise Brooks Society (LouiseBrooksSociety AT gmailDOTcom) a sentence or two or three stating as to why you would like to see this very special program. (This contest does not provide transportation to the theater, simply entrance in.) The winner will be picked and announced on Saturday, May 27th.

Imagine being among the first people in the world to see these two films 90 years after they were first released--and what's more, to see them on the big screen in a silent era theater and with live musical accompaniment! It's almost like time travel. Here is a little more about this very special event.

FRIDAY, JUNE 2
1:00 pm  $16 / $14
direct ticket link

GET YOUR MAN with live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne
Directed by Dorothy Arzner | USA, 1927 | 53 m.
With Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Josef Swickard

Silent-era “It” girl Clara Bow falls for French aristocrat (Buddy Rogers!) after they are locked overnight in a Paris wax museum. There’s a sticking point, though—Rogers’s blueblood is betrothed to another! The Library of Congress has reconstructed the film from recovered materials, filling in missing sequences with key photos and intertitles—and in the process rescuing Bow’s incandescent performance for posterity.
Restored by the Library of Congress
Presented in 35mm



NOW WE'RE IN THE AIR with live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne
Directed by Frank Strayer | USA, 1927 | 23 m.
With Wallace Beery, Raymond Hatton, Louise Brooks

Plus: SFSFF’s Rob Byrne made a remarkable discovery in the National Film Archive of the Czech Republic—footage from the lost Wallace Beery/Louise Brooks comedy, Now We’re in the Air! He was able to restore the 23-minute fragment in time for its premiere in this program.
Restored by San Francisco Silent Film Festival
Presented in 35mm



Remember, to enter, simply email the Louise Brooks Society (LouiseBrooksSociety AT gmailDOTcom) a sentence or two or three stating as to why you would like to see this very special program.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Tomorrow: Beggars of Life with Louise Brooks in the UK

The outstanding 1928 Louise Brooks film, Beggars of Life, will be shown at Stoller Hall in Manchester, England on Saturday, May 13th. This screening will feature live music and will be accompanied by The Dodge Brothers and the fabulous Neil Brand. More information about this event can be found HERE.



The Stoller Hall web page reads:

25% discount when you book full price tickets for both Beggars of Life and the Dodge Brothers at 9pm. That means you can see the brilliant Dodge Brothers for just £5.50 each!

The classic silent film with live music from the Dodge Brothers and Neil Brand.

Film and cinematic landscapes come together when The Dodge Brothers – Mike Hammond, Mark Kermode, Aly Hirji and Alex Hammond – join forces with premiere Silent Film pianist Neil Brand to accompany rare Silent features. Their accompaniment to the Louise Brooks/Wallace Beery 1928 film Beggars of Life was greeted with great acclaim. Performing this at The British Silent Cinema Festival, The Barbican & The BFI Southbank has prompted glowing reviews and the band became the first ever to accompany a silent film at Glastonbury Festival in 2014.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Louise Brooks Double Feature in Los Angeles on May 20

New 2K restoration of two Louise Brooks films, Beggars of Life (1928) and Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) will be shown at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard) in Hollywood, California on Saturday, May 20th at 7:30 pm. More information may be found HERE.

DIARY OF A LOST GIRL
DAS TAGEBUCH EINER VERLORENEN

1929, Kino Lorber, 112 min, Germany, Dir: G.W. Pabst

Seduced and abandoned by her father’s assistant, Louise Brooks descends into a lurid hell of reformatories and whorehouses. For a debauched party scene, Pabst insisted on realism – so Brooks complied by playing “the whole scene stewed on hot, sweet German champagne.” See the movie, read the book.



BEGGARS OF LIFE

1928, Kino Lorber, 100 min, USA, Dir: William A. Wellman

Rough-and-tumble writer Jim Tully’s autobiography served as the basis for what many consider Louise Brooks’ best American film. She plays a young woman who kills her abusive stepfather and hits the road (in the company of Richard Arlen) hoping to make it to safety in Canada. Wallace Beery delivers a memorable performance as hobo Oklahoma Red in this beautifully shot silent. See the movie, read about the movie.



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Restoring Treasures of the Silent Screen talk May 4

San Francisco Silent Film Festival Board President and noted preservationist Rob Byrne will lead a talk at the gorgeously restored Presidio Officers' Club in San Francisco on Thursday, May 4, at 6:00 pm. In his presentation, "Restoring Treasures of the Silent Screen," Byrne will give a sneak peek into the three SFSFF restoration projects that will have their world premieres at the festival in June. More information about the talk can be found HERE.
"Only ten to fifteen percent of the motion pictures created during the silent film era still survive in complete form today. The other 85-90% of all motion pictures created prior to 1930 are considered “lost” – titles for which not a single surviving print is known to exist in any form. Fortunately, remnants of these long-lost treasures occasionally come to light, providing the opportunity to restore and enjoy films that have not been seen for generations.

Just as diverse as the films themselves are the various techniques employed to recover, reconstruct, and restore them, a process that unites scholarship, technical skill, luck, and fascinating detective work. Join film restorer Robert Byrne as he presents a sneak peek into three recent restoration efforts, all of which will have their world premieres at the 2017 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, June 1 to 4 at the Castro Theatre:

The Three Musketeers (1921): Douglas Fairbanks original swashbuckling saga, restored from a copy of Fairbanks’s own 35mm negative that had been donated to the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Silence (1926): Produced by Cecil B. DeMille, this classic melodrama had been considered lost for generations until a complete tinted nitrate copy of the film surfaced in Paris at the Cinémathèque Française.

Plus a special surprise – fragments of a previously lost feature, Now We're in the Air (1927), provide a tantalizing glimpse of one of the silent screen’s greatest icons (Louise Brooks).

Robert Byrne specializes in the restoration of early and silent era motion pictures, and also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. This special event is presented in association with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival."


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Help support The Commentary Track podcast - a great cause

Please consider supporting The Commentary Track podcast. If you love the movies and movie history, it is a more than worthy cause. I made a small donation, and so should you. Every little bit helps! More information can be found HERE.

Frank Thompson started The Commentary Track podcast five years ago. It was created to feature in-depth conversations with film historians and archivists as well as actors, composers and filmmakers who have a deep knowledge and love for films of the past. Until February, 2016, Thompson did just that.

The Commentary Track’s guests have included many top film historians – Kevin Brownlow, David Shepard, Sam Gill, Bob Birchard, Rudy Behlmer, Leonard Maltin, Richard M. Roberts, Jordan R. Young, Jerry Beck, John Bengtson and many others. Actors such as Jim Beaver, Trace Beaulieu and George Chakiris; filmmakers Joe Dante, Craig Barron and Ben Burtt; authors James Curtis, Steve Bingen, Marilyn Moss, Tracey Goessel and Matthew Kennedy – in fact, too many guests to list them all here.


In late 2015, a perfect storm of technical issues combined with a series of financial reversals made it impossible to continue. Now, Thompson wants to get the podcast up and running again. He already have five episodes ready to post and many more interviews lined up.

Thompson need funds to rebuild his website, thecommentarytrack.com. He also need to invest in new equipment so that I can begin doing phone interviews at an acceptable sound quality. And if there’s any money left over, he wants to explore ways to more aggressively advertise the podcast. So far it has been a labor of love. He can’t afford labors of love anymore, so he wants to find a way to make the podcast sustainable.

Any contribution is welcome. If you can’t toss any money his way – please spread the word to your friends who might want to be a part of this podcasts’ resurgence.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sneak peak at the forthcoming Louise Brooks / Beggars of Life book

Here is a sneak peak at my new book, which is inching toward publication. Since first announced, this project has "suffered" a bit of project creep. I've added about 30 more pages, including a bit more text and a half-dozen especially rare and newly acquired images, as well as a foreword by actor and writer William Wellman, Jr.

Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film (100 pages, 15,000 words, & 50+ illustrations)
by Thomas Gladysz, with a foreword by William Wellman, Jr.

This first ever study of Beggars of Life looks at the film Oscar-winning director William Wellman thought his finest silent movie. Based on Jim Tully’s bestselling book of hobo life—and filmed by Wellman the year after he made Wings (the first film to win the Best Picture Oscar), Beggars of Life is a riveting drama about an orphan girl (screen legend Louise Brooks) who kills her abusive stepfather and flees the law. She meets a boy tramp (leading man Richard Arlen), and together they ride the rails through a dangerous hobo underground ruled over by Oklahoma Red (future Oscar winner Wallace Beery). Beggars of Life showcases Brooks in her best American silent—a film the Cleveland Plain Dealer described as “a raw, sometimes bleeding slice of life.”

FRONT COVER

BACK COVER


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Louise Brooks inspired Lulu Soda Pop

Ray Ryan tweeted this snapshot of Lulu soda pop. It sure seems Louise Brooks inspired to me, though the image seems a little Betty Boop!


That pic led me to do a google image search on Lulu soda pop, and here's what I found. Seemingly, Lulu soda comes from Mexico or Latin America. And it may be vintage. Anyone know more about it?





Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New book: Lulu in New York and Other Tales

A forthcoming book, Lulu in New York and Other Tales, has more than a little connection to Louise Brooks. The book, by Robert Power and featuring paintings by Max Ferguson, features an image of the actress on the cover.

From the publisher: "American Artist Max Ferguson’s paintings often feature solitary figures, brooding atmospheres, and urban landscapes whose narrative and cinematic qualities hint at hidden stories, secrets, and conversations waiting to happen. Writer Robert Power’s fiction of longing and resolution, alienation and loving, provide the perfect voice to give life to Ferguson’s mysterious paintings. Lulu in New York and Other Tales brings their work together in a unique collaboration.

Lulu in New York and Other Tales presents an exquisite and beautifully crafted volume of sixty stories from Power, inspired by paintings from throughout Ferguson’s career. Some of the pictures, like Chess Players and Interiors lend themselves to whimsical or heart-rending conversations. Others, such as Woman in Bath, Subway, and Billy’s Topless have violence and menace simmering at their core. Other paintings that inspire tales of reflection, reminiscing on love both lost and found.

Binding Ferguson’s paintings and Power’s storytelling together is a shared appreciation of the nuances, agonies and ecstasies, complexities and delicacies, of the human condition. The result is a lushly produced book that is at once powerful and beautiful, and will appeal to both art and short story lovers."

Max Ferguson is an American artist best known for his realistic paintings of vanishing urban scenes in and around New York City.  His work has been widely exhibited in such venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum. Robert Power lives in Melbourne. His other books include Meatloaf in Manhattan and Tidetown.

Lulu in New York and Other Tales is due out in July, though there will be an earlier release party in New York City in May at the famous Strand bookstore.

LULU IN NEW YORK AND OTHER TALES
Wednesday, May 24th  
6:30 - 9:30 pm

828 Broadway
New York
                                 

In conjunction with the book launch, 
there will be an exhibition of  Max Ferguson paintings.

SOLO EXHIBTION

May 4 - May 27

37 West 57th Street
New York

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Trivia about Now We're in the Air, with Louise Brooks

As you should know by now, a chunk of the 1927 Louise Brooks film Now We're in the Air has been found in Prague at the Czech Republic’s Národní filmový archive (National Film Archive). The restored, 23 minute fragment will be shown June 2 at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Read more about it HERE on the Huffington Post.

In the meantime, here is some trivia related to the film....

The film was shot between August 1 and September 8, 1927 at Paramount’s studio in Hollywood, as well as at a local ranch, a local aviation field, and at an amusement pier in Venice, California.

Now We’re in the Air was one in a series of service comedies teaming Raymond Hatton with Wallace Beery, a future Academy Award winner.  The film follows Behind the Front (1926) and We’re in the Navy Now (1926).

— Early on, William Wellman, James Cruze and even Mauritz Stiller were announced as the director for Now We’re in the Air. Among cast members who were announced but did not appear in the film were Ford Sterling and Zasu Pitts. An outline (by Tom J. Geraghty) and a treatment (by John F. Goodrich) for the film were completed as early as February 2, 1927.



— Frank R. Strayer (1891 – 1964) who was assigned as director, was an actor, film writer, and producer. He was active from the mid-1920s until the early 1950s. Strayer is credited with having directed 86 films, including 13 movies in the series based on the Blondie and Dagwood comic strip.

Now We’re in the Air cinematographer Harry Perry also worked on two other notable aviation pictures, Wings (1927) and Hell’s Angels (1930). He was nominated for an Academy Award at the 3rd Academy Awards for his work on the latter.

— Fifteen airplanes were hired for the making of the film, including a 76-foot Martin Bomber which was deliberately wrecked for one of the film’s “big thrill scenes.”

— In late August, 1927 the New York Times reported that the combined blast of six wind machines and a dozen airplanes lifted both Raymond Hatton and Wallace Berry into the air and on to an off-screen net set to catch them.


Now We’re in the Air was released as sound was coming in. According to the Barry Paris biography, Brooks once suggested there was some thought given to adding dialogue to the film.

— Though a silent, Now We’re in the Air continued to be shown into the early sound era. In January, 1930 it was screened in Fairbanks, Alaska and in December, 1931 it was screened in the Darwin in Northern Territory, Australia.


Under its American title, Now We’re in the Air, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia, British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada, China, India, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, and the British Isles (England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, and Scotland). Elsewhere, this motion picture was known to have been shown under other-language titles including Dos tiburones en el aire (Argentina); Riff und Raff als Luftschiffer (Austria); Nous sommes dans les air (Belgium); Dois aguias no ar (Brazil); Ted my jsme ve vzduchu (Czechoslovakia); Katu Njosnararnir (Iceland); Aviatori per forza (Italy); Aviatori … per forza (Italy); Ed eccoci aviatori (Italy); Yagi and Kita in the Air (Japan); 弥次喜多空中の巻 (Japan); Reclutas por los aires (Mexico); Hoerawe vliegen (The Netherlands); Luftens Spioner (Norway); Recrutas Aviadores (Portugal); Agora Estamos no Ar (in Portuguese-American newspapers); and Hjältar i luften (Sweden).

Friday, April 7, 2017

A little something about Now We're in the Air, with Louise Brooks

As you should know by now, a chunk (a technical terms meaning partial) of the 1927 Louise Brooks film Now We're in the Air has been found in Prague at the Czech Republic’s Národní filmový archive (National Film Archive). The restored, 23 minute fragment will be shown June 2 at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Read more about it HERE on the Huffington Post.

In the meantime, here is a little background on the film....

Now We’re in the Air is a comedy about two fliers (a pair of “aero-nuts” also called “looney Lindberghs”) who wander on to a World War I battle field near the front lines. The film was one of a number of aviation-themed stories shot in 1927 (following Lindbergh’s historic solo flight across the Atlantic), as well as one in a popular series of “service comedies” pairing Wallace Beery and Raymond Hatton. Louise Brooks plays the unusual role of twin sisters, one raised French and one raised German, named Griselle & Grisette, who are the love interest of the two fliers.


Arguably, Now We’re in the Air was the most popular American silent in which Brooks appeared. Generally liked by the critics, the film did big box office where ever it showed. In New York City, it enjoyed an extended run, as it did in San Francisco, where it  proved to be one of the biggest hits of the year. At a time when most new releases played only one week, Now We’re in the Air ran for more than a month in San Francisco, where it was extended due to robust ticket sales. In Boston, it also did well, opening simultaneously in five theaters in the area. The Boston Evening Transcript noted, “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.” Newspapers in other large cities like Atlanta, Georgia and St. Louis, Missouri reported a similar reception.

The New Orleans Item noted, “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.” Radie Harris of the New York Morning Telegraph wrote, “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.” The Boston Post added, “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.”


The dual role played by Brooks made the film for many critics. Curran D. Swint of the San Francisco News stated, “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.” Across town, A. F. Gillaspey of the San Francisco Bulletin added, “Louise Brooks is the leading woman of this picture. She appears as the twin sisters. This results in some remarkable and very interesting double exposures.”

Mae Tinee, the Chicago Tribune critic who seemed to always champion Brooks, put it this way, “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.”

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Special Ciné-Concert screening of William Wellman's epic masterpiece "Wings" at FIAF


Speaking of WWI films.... To commemorate the centennial of the United States’ April 6, 1917 entry into World War I, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center, is thrilled to present a special ciné-concert screening of the American silent film classic Wings on Thursday, April 6 in FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall. For more info visit www.fiaf.org


The evening is co-presented with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, with support from the French Mission du Centenaire de la Première Guerre Mondiale and the US WWI Centennial Commission.

One of the last great films of the silent era, William Wellman’s epic masterpiece won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the first-ever Oscar Ceremony in 1929. The beautifully restored film will be paired with a live US premiere performance of the musical score by Baudime Jam featuring France's Prima Vista Quartet.

Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in the Meuse, Wings is the captivating story of two men who enlist to join allied troops in France, and the girl they’ve left behind. Featuring thrilling aerial battle scenes and breathtaking camera work, this tale of friendship and love, rivalry and heroism stars screen siren Clara Bow alongside Richard Arlen, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, and the legendary Gary Cooper in a cameo appearance.


About the Prima Vista Quartet
The Prima Vista Quartet has been recognized worldwide for their breathtaking musical accompaniment of masterpieces of silent cinema. Led by acclaimed composer Baudime Jam with violinists Elzbieta Gladys and Amélie Paradis, and cellist Frédéric Deville, the quartet magnifies the beauty of silent movies, emphasizing emotions while staying faithful to the singularity of the film.
The quartet has been featured in numerous prestigious film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. All scores are written and composed by Baudime Jam, conferring a personal and emotional touch to the music.

For this unique performance, the quartet will be accompanied by Matthias Champon (trumpet) and Cédric Barbier (percussions), celebrated artists who have worked both in classical and contemporary orchestras.
About Baudime Jam
Baudime Jam, born in Clermont-Ferrand in 1972, is an artist, musicographer, and composer. Jam has written extensively about music, including a biography of the composer George Onslow, and has lectured in France and abroad. In 1998 he became producer of the musical magazine Melodia on Clermont-Ferrand’s RCF 63 radio, and in 1993 he was appointed head of classical musical programming at Radio France. Jam founded the Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra in 1994, and directed it until 1997. In 1988, he founded the Prima Vista Quartet with whom he has presented nearly 700 performances.

Jam is interested in a variety of repertories: baroque, classical, romantic, modern, and contemporary, while exploring other horizons including jazz, klezmer, tango, and silent film scores. He is a composer and member of the SACEM and of UCMF associations, who has created original works for concerts, scores for silent films, and fairy tales set to music, as well as numerous transcriptions and orchestrations.


LinkWithin