Monday, January 30, 2017

Trump's effect on the Louise Brooks Society and silent film

On January 19th, 2017, the Trump administration said that it would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities. Trump also said he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which oversees both PBS and NPR. All together, such funding represents a minuscule portion - a reported 0.004% - of 2016 federal spending.

The Louise Brooks Society stands against such actions. Each would disastrously impact the arts and American culture, as well as silent film preservation and exhibition -- including the films of Louise Brooks.

Over the years, the Public Broadcasting System has shown silent films on television, as well as documentaries about silent films. I remember seeing Kevin Brownlow's magnificent Hollywood series on PBS in the early 1980's. That was my first sustained exposure to silent film and film history. Looking back, it changed my life. What's more, having examined old television broadcast records, I have also been able to find that PBS screened Pandora's Box on television a handful of times in the 1980's. I wonder how many individuals saw a great actress like Louise Brooks for the first time, and it somehow impacted their life?

National Public Radio has, as well, covered many news stories related to silent film - stories likely not covered in the mainstream media. I myself, as the director of the Louise Brooks Society, have appeared on NPR stations across the country talking about the actress, most recently on WXXI in Rochester, New York. Without such attention to less popular art forms like silent film, American culture would be a much lesser thing.

Similarly, both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities grant funds to various film festivals, including silent film festivals, as well as the specialized musicians who perform at them. And what's more, eliminating such funds would eliminate funds that go towards silent film restoration and silent film preservation, DVD releases, as well as the researching and writing and publishing of articles and books (and the making of documentary films) on silent film.

I don't want to live in a world where the cultural standard is some crappy reality television show. The arts enrich our lives. All of our lives, whether we get a grant or not.


The most important thing individuals can do is to keep informed and to support arts organizations and the media that gives coverage to the arts. This article has a number of great suggestions. 

Another thing we can do is to sign petitions against cutting funding. Here is a link to a petition on the whitehouse.gov website asking that funding not be cut to the NEA and the NEH. I think others are going around as well. As we know, Louise Brooks was a Denishawn dancer, an actress, and a great reader of books. I, for one, feel she would be against eliminating funding of the arts.




Consider this: When the Nazi's came to power in Germany in the early 1930's, they too moved to control society by controlling culture. In fact, Margarete Bohme's sensational 1905 book, The Diary of a Lost Girl, which can be seen as a feminist social critique of German society and had remained in print since it was first published 25 years earlier, was driven out of print by right wing groups in the early1930's. Additionally, some of G.W. Pabst's films - like Diary of a Lost Girl and Pandora's Box - were suppressed. No one wants to see that happen again!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Louise Brooks found in La La Land

Speaking of La La Land, I was there last week researching two of Louise Brooks' films. I scored a lot of great material, nearly 200 pages worth of stuff, including many rare stills and publicity photos and lots of rare Paramount production records. The results of my research shall be revealed in the coming months..... Here is a snapshot of me outside the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's Margaret Herrick Library. Over the years, I have visited the library nearly ten times, and am finally starting to feel I know my way around its way of doing things. While there, I also had the pleasure of running into author and film historian Mary Mallory while doing my research. Hello Mary!


Apparently, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills (where the Academy is located) is riddled with crime. Who da thunk? I spotted this WANTED poster tacked to a bulletin board.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Louise Brooks in La La Land

I have seen an image on social media which people are saying is from the acclaimed new film La La Land. This romantic musical comedy-drama film is regarded as one of the best films of 2016, having been nominated for a record-tying fourteen Oscars!

The image in question is a street scene depicting a mural which depicts Louise Brooks. I haven't yet scene the movie. Can anyone confirm this image is from La La Land? Additionally, I am wondering, is this an actual locale in Los Angeles?




Monday, January 16, 2017

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, part five

A massive project which I have been working on (in between other projects) is Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, a page on the Louise Brooks Society website. It is a work in progress.

Louise Brooks was 78 years old at the time of her death. All together, her life ran over the course of 28,758 days. She accomplished a great deal in her lifetime, appearing in 24 films, writing a book, appearing on radio, and performing hundreds of times on stage as a dancer. She also taught dancing, and worked as a professional ballroom dancer. However, relatively speaking, little is known about what Brooks was doing on any given day.

From the mass of material I have gathered, Brooks' activities can be traced to approximately a thousand days throughout her lifetime. Best documented is the 18 year period – running from 1922 through 1940, a period of 6939 days – when Brooks worked as a dancer and actress and many of her activities were a matter of public record.

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985 attempts a day-by-day account of Brooks' life. It contains entries both significant and mundane, and is based on multiple sources including, first and foremost,  dates and events found in the Barry Paris biography. I also contains entries recorded by Brooks in her notebooks (which she kept from the mid-1950s through her death); other dates were gathered from various magazines and newspapers (especially those published where Brooks was resident), along with other disparate sources, such as census records  and passenger manifests.

I encourage anyone interested to check out what I have so far accomplished at Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985. There is more to come. If you can suggest documented specific dates related to Louise Brooks, please contact the LBS. In the meantime, here are a few highlights from the sixties through to the end of Brooks' life.

Jan. 12, 1960
Lunch with Lillian Gish at Gish's apartment in New York City. Later, Brooks attends a screening of Prix de beaute at the Y.M.H.A, where she gives a well received 10 minute talk. In the audience are John Springer, Jimmy Glennon, Jan Wahl and old friends Peggy Fears and Leonore Scheffer.

March 27, 1960
Listens to radio program from 7:00 to 8:00 pm which features Mitch Miller, Bosley Crowther, Archer Winston.

April 16, 1961
Watches television program on the music of the civil war hosted by noted conductor Frederick Fennell (of the Eastman Wind Ensemble).

Feb. 12, 1962
Brooks escaped injury after a small fire broke out in the living room of her Rochester apartment. Careless smoking was blamed for the incident, in which chair was wrecked and the fire department called.

May 2, 1962
Begins broadcasting "Portraits of the Stars" on "Woman's World" program at 10:05 am on WHAM in Rochester, NY.

Nov. 6, 1962
Discusses Fatty Arbuckle on "Does Scandal Destroy the Stars?" at 1:15 pm on WHAM in Rochester, NY.

Dec. 12, 1962
Meets Buster Keaton and his wife at the Sheraton Hotel in Rochester, New York.

April 15, 1963
Delivers a feminist-themed speech, "The Influence of Movie Stars on the Freedom of Women," before an evening meeting of the Catholic Women’s Club of Rochester, New York.

Nov. 17, 1963
Henri Langois visits Rochester, and is quoted at length about Brooks.

Dec. 12, 1965
Roddy McDowell is quoted in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle regarding his visit with Brooks.

Dec. 27, 1965
Kevin Brownlow visits Brooks in Rochester.

July 12, 1966
Views The Wedding March at Eastman House.


Feb. 15, 1967
Reading Ethel Merman's Who Could Ask for Anything More? (1955).

July 4, 1968
Visits composer David Diamond at his Rochester home.

Jan. 30, 1971
WROC Channel 8 broadcasts Overland Stage Raiders in Rochester.

Feb. 23, 1972
Due to a "lame hip," declines invitation from David Rockefeller to serve on Salute to Chaplin Committee.

July 16, 1972
Watches Camera Three on television. This episode features an Alfred Hitchcock interview.

Feb. 28, 1974
Watches her brother Theo on the NBC news program Behind the Lines; the episode also featured "energy Czar" William Simon.

Oct. 7, 1974
Roddy McDowell telephones asking what Brooks thinks of his role on the Planet of the Apes television series.

April 18, 1979
Writer Jim Watters and photographer Horst P. Horst visit Brooks in her Rochester apartment on assignment for LIFE magazine.

Feb. 1980
Brooks is featured in Life magazine article, "What Became of Mary Astor and other Lost Stars?" by James Watters.

Oct. 30, 1980
Returns to her apartment after a week in the hospital after suffering a fall.

Sept. 19, 1982
The local newspaper reports that Brooks was disturbed by a local jazz musician, practicing their drums outside near Brooks' apartment. The musician was escorted to Brooks apartment, and spoke with the bed-ridden former actress. The musician took her drum kit indoors, and the next day received a phone call from Brooks.

Feb. 15, 1983
Rochester radio personality William Klein brings comedian Joan Rivers to Brooks' apartment, where they talk and enjoy croissants from the Strathallan hotel.

March 21, 1983
Brooks reports having received a phone call from director Robert Towne, and that they talked for more than an hour.

Feb. 15, 1984
Visiting actresses Peggy Cass and Susan Strasberg (on tour with Agnes of God) visit Brooks at her Rochester apartment.

Feb. 25, 1985
Due to ill health, Brooks declines an invitation from the International Women's Film Festival to serve on their awards jury.

Aug. 8, 1985
Dies in Rochester, New York.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Pandora’nın Kutusu starring Louise Brooks screens tomorrow in Istanbul

The classic Louise Brooks film, Pandora's Box (1929), will be shown tomorrow in Istanbul, Turkey. This special presentation will feature live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne. For more information about this special event, please visit THIS PAGE.


Pandora’nın Kutusu / Die Büchse der Pandora / Pandora’s Box

Kadın-erkek herkesin etrafında pervane olduğu cazibeli  ve güzel Lulu (Louise Brooks), varyete şovlarla birçok kişinin gönlünü çalmaktadır. Aşk yaşadığı varyete sahibi Dr. Schön’ün başka bir kadınla evleneceğini duyunca bu evliliği bozmak için elinden geleni yaparak, onu kendisiyle evlenmesi için ayartır. Fakat bu evlilik Pandora’nın kutusunun açılmasına neden olurken kendisi dahil herkesi trajedinin içine çeker. 1925 yılında ilk defa Amerika’da sinema dünyasına adım atan Louise Brooks’un Avrupa’daki ilk filmi olan Pandora’nın Kutusu, Alman oyun yazarı Frank Wedekind’in iki oyunundan uyarlanmıştır. Bu filmdeki Lulu karakteri, Brooks’un sonraki yaşamında bu isimle anılmasına neden olmuştur. Geçen yıl festivalde “Güzellik Ödülü”ne yer verdiğimiz Brooks’un ilk filmi kaçmaz.

Charming and attractive musical revue actress Lulu (Louise Brooks), who inspires admiration of both men and women and steals everybody’s heart, does everything to break the upcoming marriage of Dr. Schönn, a patron of the show and her former lover.  She succeeds in marrying him, but this opens Pandora’s Box ultimately leading to a tragic end for everybody, including Lulu. Louise Brooks began her career in the US in 1925.  Pandora’s Box, adapted from two plays by German playwright Frank Wedekind, was her first European movie.  After this movie, the name Lulu became Louise Brooks’ nickname. Last year’s “Beauty Prize” is followed by Louise Brooks’ first European movie. Don’t miss it!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Kickstarter campaign for Louise Brooks documentary, Documentary of a Lost Girl

Pictured above: Film critic Jack Garner and documentarian Charlotte Siller.

Charlotte Siller, a dedicated Louise Brooks researcher and devotee, is doing something vital, and something important. She is making a documentary about Louise Brooks. And, she has set out to interview some of the last few surviving people who knew Louise Brooks. 

Documentary of a Lost Girl is an in-the-works documentary about Brooks which launched a Kickstarter campaign to help it reach completion. According to its campaign page, "This film will uncover the life of Louise Brooks through interviews, traveling, archival resources and Brooks-style immersive research." Find out more at http://www.documentaryofalostgirl.com/

I encourage everyone to find out more and to make a donation to this worthwhile cause. I already have . . . . Find out more HERE, and please consider making a donation. There is only about a week left to do so. A new documentary about Louise Brooks is something we all want.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, part four

A massive project which I have been working on (in between other projects) is Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, a page on the Louise Brooks Society website. It is a work in progress.

Louise Brooks was 78 years old at the time of her death. All together, her life ran over the course of 28,758 days. She accomplished a great deal in her lifetime, appearing in 24 films, writing a book, appearing on radio, and performing hundreds of times on stage as a dancer. She also taught dancing, and worked as a professional ballroom dancer. However, relatively speaking, little is known about what Brooks was doing on any given day.

From the mass of material I have gathered, Brooks' activities can be traced to approximately a thousand days throughout her lifetime. Best documented is the 18 year period – running from 1922 through 1940, a period of 6939 days – when Brooks worked as a dancer and actress and many of her activities were a matter of public record.

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985 attempts a day-by-day account of Brooks' life. It contains entries both significant and mundane, and is based on multiple sources including, first and foremost,  dates and events found in the Barry Paris biography. I also contains entries recorded by Brooks in her notebooks (which she kept from the mid-1950s through her death); other dates were gathered from various magazines and newspapers (especially those published where Brooks was resident), along with other disparate sources, such as census records  and passenger manifests.

I encourage anyone interested to check out what I have so far accomplished at Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985. There is more to come. If you can suggest documented specific dates related to Louise Brooks, please contact the LBS. In the meantime, here are a few highlights from the forties and fifties.

Feb. 23, 1940
Brooks-O’Shea Studio of Ballroom Dancing opens in Hollywood.

April 20, 1940
Dances at the Arrowhead Spring Hotel in San Bernadino, California.

June 15, 1940
Los Angeles Times reports Brooks the victim of reputed swindler Benjamin F. Crandall; according to articles from the time, Brooks lost $2,000 in a Hollywood magazine stock promotion scheme.

Jan. 1941
Reads and takes notes on the French philosopher Henri Bergson.

Aug. 3, 1942
Hired as a sales girl at Garfields, a department store in Wichita. Brooks works the accessories counter.

June ?, 1943
Meets with writer Robert Benchley, who gives her a copy of Pascal's Pensees.

June 29, 1943
Attends original Broadway production of Oklahoma! at the St. James Theatre in New York, with William S. Paley, Ben Gimbel and two others.

Dec. 24, 1944
Brooks and Lothar Wolff spend Christmas Eve with Blythe Daly and Jim Backus.

Dec. 15, 1948
Lowell, MA journalist (and future Jack Kerouac in-law) Charles Sampas muses about Brooks in his column, "I can remember Way Back When and actress named Louise Brooks was the Number One favorite of the Square Beaux...."

Nov. 10, 1949
Brooks sees Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn perform "Creative Dances on Ethnic Themes" at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Oct. 18-19, 1952
Eastman House screens Beggars of Life, an "adult silent film not recommended for children."

Nov. 10, 1952
Visits rectory of St. John the Evangelist's Church (55 East 55th Street at First Avenue, New York City) seeking spiritual counsel.

Dec. 13, 1953
Receives confirmation in the Catholic Church at St. Patrick Cathedral in New York City. Bishop Flannelly presides. Before the ritual of being confirmed, those seeking confirmation choose to take a saint's name with whom they identify. After confirmation, the confirmed can pray to the saint for guidance and protection. Brooks chooses St. Thérèse, "the little flower."

April 4, 1954
Attends reception at the guest house of John D. Rockefeller III in honor of Lillian Gish; others in attendance include Gloria Swanson, Josef von Sternberg, Neil Hamilton, Carmel Myers, Anita Loos, Ilka Chase, June Collyer, Aileen Pringle,  and others.




Winter 1956
At the Eastman House, view Pandora's Box for the first time. Brooks arranges a score of works made up of recordings of music by Kurt Weill.

May 5, 1957
Watches Gloria Swanson interview (by Mike Wallace) on television.

May 31, 1957
Diary of a Lost Girl screened at the Eastman House for members of the Cinema 16 film club from New York City. Brooks is likely in attendance, as is the film's assistant director, Paul Falkenberg. Also present is film historian Arthur Knight, cineastes Amos Vogel, animator and film director Gene Deitch, and others.


Oct. 27, 1957
Watches coverage of Queen Elizabeth visit to the United States on television.

Nov. 5 - 7, 1958
"Homage to Louise Brooks" takes place at Cinematheque Francaise; Brooks makes a short speech in French, and meets with Prix de Beaute co-star Georges Charlia. Brooks attends a reception in her honor, and reportedly signs hundreds of autographs.

April 30, 1959
Watches The Milton Berle Show on television. This episode included Tallulah Bankhead.

June 15, 1959
Views Loulou (1918), starring Asta Nielsen, at Eastman House.

Oct. 29, 1959
Views Empty Saddles at Eastman House; records in notebooks that this screening marked the first time she ever heard her voice on the screen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Louise Brooks featured in The Chap magazine

A BIG thank you to The Chap magazine, who sent me a copy of their latest issue. It features an article about Louise Brooks, "Inventing the Girl," which I enjoyed reading.

For those not familiar with the UK magazine, "The Chap takes a wry look at the modern world through the steamed-up monocle of a more refined age, occasionally getting its sock suspenders into a twist at the unspeakable vulgarity of the twenty-first century. Since 1999, the Chap has been championing the rights of that increasingly marginalised and discredited species of Englishman – the gentleman. The Chap believes that a society without courteous behaviour and proper headwear is a society on the brink of moral and sartorial collapse, and it seeks to reinstate such outmoded but indispensable gestures as hat doffing, giving up one’s seat to a lady and regularly using a trouser press."

The new issue is their 90th. "The Chap’s 90th print edition is out now, with Neil Hannon on the cover and a full-length interview inside. We also have a long-overdue profile of Louise Brooks by our resident Doctor of Dandyism; some tips on dress for world leaders, with particular emphasis on how not to dress like Donald Trump; a walk on the wild side of Berlin’s cabaret scene; the life of Eugen Sandow, the Victorian strong man who invented modern bodybuilding.

Sartorial matters covered include bicycle panniers, cardigans and whether slip-on shoes count as proper footwear. We offer a tribute to Albion, loyal Chap adherent who passed away recently; Anthony Newley’s bizarre 1969 film Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness; the launch of new accessories outlet Kit & Kaboodle; the sex scandal that began at a performance of Handel’s Messiah.

Cricket looks at Harold Pinter’s lifelong devotion to cricket, which he thought was better than sex; Laszlo Krass reports from Rome on a plot to steal a valuable Caravaggio; our Parisian correspondent reports from the most elegant stall at the flea market. The Butler advises the gentleman with an embonpoint, Atters rounds up his stable of hirsute beauties and beasts and we crown another King of Chaps."

Order the new issue from www.thechap.co.uk/magazine

My Louise Brooks paperweight holds down the opening pages of "Inventing the Girl."


Monday, January 9, 2017

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, part three

A massive project which I have been working on (in between other projects) is Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, a page on the Louise Brooks Society website. It is a work in progress.

Louise Brooks was 78 years old at the time of her death. All together, her life ran over the course of 28,758 days. She accomplished a great deal in her lifetime, appearing in 24 films, writing a book, appearing on radio, and performing hundreds of times on stage as a dancer. She also taught dancing, and worked as a professional ballroom dancer. However, relatively speaking, little is known about what Brooks was doing on any given day.

From the mass of material I have gathered, Brooks' activities can be traced to approximately a thousand days throughout her lifetime. Best documented is the 18 year period – running from 1922 through 1940, a period of 6939 days – when Brooks worked as a dancer and actress and many of her activities were a matter of public record.

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985 attempts a day-by-day account of Brooks' life. It contains entries both significant and mundane, and is based on multiple sources including, first and foremost,  dates and events found in the Barry Paris biography. I also contains entries recorded by Brooks in her notebooks (which she kept from the mid-1950s through her death); other dates were gathered from various magazines and newspapers (especially those published where Brooks was resident), along with other disparate sources, such as census records  and passenger manifests.

I encourage anyone interested to check out what I have so far accomplished at Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985. There is more to come. If you can suggest documented specific dates related to Louise Brooks, please contact the LBS. In the meantime, here are a few highlights for the 1930s.

Jan. 9, 1930
New York Daily Mirror reports crooner Harry Richman says that Brooks will reunite with Eddie Sutherland.

Jan. 26, 1930
Attends cocktail party at Clifton Webb's. Also present are Fred Astaire and his sister Adele, authors Edna Ferber and Carl van Vechten, singer Libby Holman, actresses Marilyn Miller and Ruth Donnelly, and others (Edward Wasserman, Blanche Knopf ?).

Feb. 25, 1930
Attends performance of The Last Mile, a play by John Wexley, at the Sam H. Harris Theatre in New York. Among those in the cast is Spencer Tracey.

April 2, 1930
Book columnist William Soskin reports what a few celebrities are said to be reading (Clara Bow, Hulu), and somewhat incredulously notes Brooks is reading Hermann Sudermann's The Mad Professor and Stefan Zweig's The Case of Sergeant Grischa.

Aug. 10, 1930
Syndicated columnist Radie Harris reports Brooks is living at Lois Moran's Malibu home, Halikalani. (Neighbors include John Boles and Ronald Colman.)

Aug. 23, 1930
Syndicated columnist Louella Parsons reports Brooks, "still wearing the distinctive Dutch bob," was seen dining at the Coconut Grove.

May 1, 1933
Brooklyn Daily Eagle columnist Art Arthur reports seeing Brooks at the Ha-Ha Club in New York, where she joined a table with Peggy Fears and Lupe Velez. Other current and former stars were also in attendance, including Mae Murray.

Aug. 17, 1934
Crooner Harry Richman joins Brooks and Dario on the bill at the Blossom Heath Inn near Detroit, Michigan.

Jan. 16-19, 1935
Brooks and Dario dance at the Embassy Club in Palm Beach, Florida. Also on the bill is Enric Madriguera's Orchestra, and French singer Lucienne Boyer.

Jan. 28, 1935
Brooks and Dario begin dance engagement at the Patio in Palm Beach, Florida. Also performing is singer Bruz Fletcher.

Oct. 17, 1935
Brooks meets with G.W. Pabst in New York City to discuss a proposed film of Faust.

Oct. 20, 1935
Arrives in Eureka, Kansas to visit her father, who is in the hospital after having been injured in an automobile accident.

August 4, 1936
Syndicated columnist Sidney Skolsky reports Brooks and Addison Randall "were sitting in the bamboo room at the Brown Derby munching peanuts."

Feb. 27, 1938
Los Angeles Times reports that Brooks and Travis Banton put in an appearance at Bruz Fletcher’s Club Bali, a popular nightclub in Los Angeles.

April 19, 1938
Syndicated columnist Erskine Johnson reports that Brooks and Travis Banton put in an appearance at Bruz Fletcher’s Club Bali.

Aug. 10, 1938
Production of Overland Stage Raiders begins in Southern California, with location shooting done at the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, California.

June 23, 1939
Syndicated columnist Louella Parsons writes that Brooks and Lew Brice dined together (possibly with John McClain and Paulette Goddard).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 Kansas Silent Film Festival includes Louise Brooks Film

The schedule for the 2017 Kansas Silent Film Festival has been announced. Among the special guests are Dr. Harriet Fields, who will be talking about her grandfather W. C. Fields, when the festival shows the 1926 W. C. Fields / Louise Brooks film, It's the Old Army Game. More information about the event can be found HERE.

FREE ADMISSION for all showings
 
Fri. Feb. 24, 2017, 7:30-10:00 p.m.
@ White Concert Hall, Washburn University
Overture and Opening Titles, music by Ben Model, guest performer
Welcome and Intros by Denise Morrison, Film Historian

The Noon Whistle
18 min.
(1923)
with Stan Laurel
Music by Marvin Faulwell, organ, and Bob Keckeisen, percussion
Crazy Like a Fox
25 min.
(1926)
with Charlie Chase, Oliver Hardy
Music by Jeff Rapsis on piano

Feature introduced by Denise Morrison with Dr. Harriet Fields
It's the Old Army Game
77 min.
(1926)
with W.C. Fields / Louise Brooks
Music score by Ben Model, guest performer

Sat. Feb. 25, 2017, 9:00 a.m.-Noon
@ White Concert Hall, Washburn University
Overture & Short Opening Titles by Jeff Rapsis
Welcome
and Intros by Denise Morrison
, Film Historian
Film Documentary
60 min.
A special presentation by KSFF
Koko's Cartoon Factory
8 min.
(1925)
Animation by Max Fleischer
Music by
Marvin Faulwel
Adventures of Helen—
Episode 1: The Wild Engine
20 min.
(1919)
with Helen Holmes
Music by
Marvin Faulwell

The Adventures of Prince Achmed
65 min.
(1926)
Cartoon Feature tinted in Color
Music score by Jeff Rapsis


Lunch Break (on your own), resuming at 1:00 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 25, 2017, 1:30-5:15 p.m.
@ White Concert Hall, Washburn University
Overature & Short Opening Titles by Marvin Faulwell
Welcome and Intros by Denise Morrison, Film Historian

The Boat
21 min.
(1921)
with Buster Keaton
Music by Marvin Faulwell
Barbed Wire
67 min.
(1927)
with Pola NegriMusic by Marvin Faulwell
Intermission


Short Overature by Jeff Rapsis
Intros by Denise Morrison, Film Historian

The Cardinal's Conspiracy
11 min.
(1909)
directed by D.W. Griffith
Music by Jeff Rapsis
When Knighthood Was in Flower
120 min.
(1922)
with Marion Davies*
Music by Ben Model, guest performer
(*not set yet. This will be a newly-available title and Ben Model is spearheading its restoration)

Dinner



Special Dinner Event, Our Ninth Annual
CINEMA-DINNER
,
Seating begins @ 5:15 p.m.
Dinner: 5:15-7:00 p.m.
Music by TBA

Speaker will be Dr. Harriet Fields, granddaughter of W.C. Fields
— This event is by reservation only. Dinner is $35. Contact us to reserve your space


Sat. Feb. 25, 2017, 7:30-10:00 p.m.
@ White Concert Hall, Washburn University

Overture
and Opening Titles by Marvin Faulwell, organ, and Bob Keckeisen, percussion

Welcome and Intros by Denise Morrison, Film Historian
Be Reasonable!
20 min.
(1921)
with Mack Sennett / Billy Bevin
—Music by Jeff Rapsis
Maid in Morocco
20 min.
(1925)
with Lupino Lane
—Music by Ben Model

Feature introduced by Dr. Harriet Fields
So's Your Old Man
67 min.
(1926)
with W.C. Fields
Music by Marvin Faulwell, organ, and Bob Keckeisen, percussion

Friday, January 6, 2017

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, part two

A massive project which I have been working on (in between other projects) is Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, a page on the Louise Brooks Society website. It is a work in progress.

Louise Brooks was 78 years old at the time of her death. All together, her life ran over the course of 28,758 days. She accomplished a great deal in her lifetime, appearing in 24 films, writing a book, appearing on radio, and performing hundreds of times on stage as a dancer. She also taught dancing, and worked as a professional ballroom dancer. However, relatively speaking, little is known about what Brooks was doing on any given day.

From the mass of material I have gathered, Brooks' activities can be traced to approximately a thousand days throughout her lifetime. Best documented is the 18 year period – running from 1922 through 1940, a period of 6939 days – when Brooks worked as a dancer and actress and many of her activities were a matter of public record.

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985 attempts a day-by-day account of Brooks' life. It contains entries both significant and mundane, and is based on multiple sources including, first and foremost,  dates and events found in the Barry Paris biography. I also contains entries recorded by Brooks in her notebooks (which she kept from the mid-1950s through her death); other dates were gathered from various magazines and newspapers (especially those published where Brooks was resident), along with other disparate sources, such as census records  and passenger manifests.

I encourage anyone interested to check out what I have so far accomplished at Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985. There is more to come. If you can suggest documented specific dates related to Louise Brooks, please contact the LBS. In the meantime, here are a few highlights for the last half of the 1920s.

Sept. 16, 1925
Brooks and a tipsy Herman J. Mankiewicz attend No, No, Nanette at the Globe Theater on Broadway.

Sept. 17, 1925
Brooks’ ghost-written review (by-lined by Herman J. Mankiewicz) of the stage play No, No, Nanette appears in the New York Times.

Dec. 1, 1925
Wearing a celebrated "drafty" costume designed by John Harkrider, Brooks attends the Lafayette fête (a society fundraiser) held at the Hotel Astor in New York City. Also there in costume were Gloria Swanson as Marie Antoinette, and Adolphe Menjou as Price Eugene, with Leon Errol acting as master of ceremonies, and Irene Bordoni singing. Also attending were Ethel Barrymore, Noel Coward, Richard Barthelmess, Marilyn Miller, Walter Wanger, Otto Kahn, John Jay Chapman, and others.

May 26, 1926
Brooks appears on the cover of the Danish film magazine Ugebladet — probable 1st appearance on a European magazine cover.

Aug. 6, 1926
Attends opening of first sound film, Don Juan (1926), with Peggy Fears and A.C. Blumenthal at the Warner Theater in New York City.

Aug. 30, 1926
Attends Rudolph Valentino’s funeral in New York City.

Nov. 5, 1926
Makes a personal appearance at a benefit pre-release midnight showing at the Rialto Theater of We're in the Navy Now, directed by Eddie Sutherland, who is also on hand. (As is Betty Bronson, Ricardo Cortez, Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher, William Powell, Evelyn Brent, and Philip Strange. Helen Morgan sings.) The event is a benefit showing in aid of the New York American Christmas and Relief Fund.

July 8, 1927
Attends the West Coast premiere of Way of All Flesh at Criterion Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Aug. 27, 1927
At the Paramount studio shooting scenes (interiors in the aviation headquarters and ante room) for Now We’re in the Air. Later in the day attends a Hollywood party in honor of Lina Basquette.


Oct. 10, 1927
New York Sun columnist Eileen Creelman notes Brooks was among those attending the Oct. 7th opening of Texas Guinan's new nightclub. (As did Peggy Fears, Herbert Brenon, Gladys Glad, Dagmar Godowsky, Lita Grey, Roger Wolfe Kahn, Lew Cody, Carmel Myers, and others.)

Jan. 27, 1928
Attends pajama party with Eddie Sutherland at Esther Ralston’s Hollywood home; also in attendance are Buddy Rogers, George Bancroft, Mary Brian, Richard Arlen, Chester Conklin, Frank Tuttle, Warner Baxter, and others.

Feb. 28, 1928
Departs Miami aboard a cruise ship bound for Havana, Cuba.

May 12, 1928
Brooks and Mary Brian are guests of honor at an afternoon benefit bridge given by the Los Angeles alumni of Pi Kappa Psi, a national education sorority, on the south patio of the Alexandria hotel.

Aug. 28, 1928
In the evening, Brooks, Richard Dix and other 16 others involved in the filming of Redskin arrive in Gallup, New Mexico, where they stay at the El Navajo hotel.

Oct. 11, 1928
The Emporia Weekly Gazette reports that Brooks will pass through Emporia, Kansas on the east bound no. 20.

Dec. 1928
Brooks meets William S. Paley, the new owner of CBS. They keep company for the next two months.

Jan. 23, 1929
Variety writes, "Louise Brooks of the 'movies' thinks Jimmy Durante should have that schnozzola patented. Louise is quite the talk of the ringside these nights."

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pandora's Box with Louise Brooks screens in London this month

The British Film Institue (BFI) is screening the 1929 Louise Brooks' film, Pandora's Box, not once, but four times in January! The first screening took place yesterday, with the others following on January 6, 8, and 2 at the National Film Theater 2 in London. Tickets are on sale. For more information about this historic presentation, please visit THIS PAGE.


From the BFI website: "Pabst’s landmark adaptation of two plays by Frank Wedekind boasts an iconic performance by Louise Brooks as Lulu, the guiltless, guileless beauty who wreaks havoc among all those seduced by her raw sexuality, only to fall prey to an even darker force. A precise and subtle expressionism inflects the sets, costumes and make-up, highlighting the ruinous appeal of unbridled eroticism."

These screenings will feature live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney (6 Jan), Wendy Hiscocks (8 Jan), and Costas Fotopoulos (21 Jan).


Pandora's Box is now considered a classic, but when it was first shown in the UK in 1930, the press had reservations, as can be seen in this vintage clipping from the Louise Brooks Society archive.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, part one

A massive project which I have been working on (in between other projects) is Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, a page on the Louise Brooks Society website. It is a work in progress.

Louise Brooks was 78 years old at the time of her death. All together, her life ran over the course of 28,758 days. She accomplished a great deal in her lifetime, appearing in 24 films, writing a book, appearing on radio, and performing hundreds of times on stage as a dancer. She also taught dancing, and worked as a professional ballroom dancer. However, relatively speaking, little is known about what Brooks was doing on any given day.

From the mass of material I have gathered, Brooks' activities can be traced to approximately a thousand days throughout her lifetime. Best documented is the 18 year period – running from 1922 through 1940, a period of 6939 days – when Brooks worked as a dancer and actress and many of her activities were a matter of public record.

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985 attempts a day-by-day account of Brooks' life. It contains entries both significant and mundane, and is based on multiple sources including, first and foremost,  dates and events found in the Barry Paris biography. I also contains entries recorded by Brooks in her notebooks (which she kept from the mid-1950s through her death); other dates were gathered from various magazines and newspapers (especially those published where Brooks was resident), along with other disparate sources, such as census records  and passenger manifests.

I encourage anyone interested to check out what I have so far accomplished at Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985. There is more to come. If you can suggest documented specific dates  related to Louise Brooks, please contact the LBS. In the meantime, here are a few highlights for the years prior to Brooks becoming a film star.

Nov. 14, 1906
Born Mary Louise Brooks in the town of Cherryvale, Kansas to Leonard and Myra Brooks. A small article announcing the birth appears on the front page of the local newspapers, the Cherryvale Republican and Cherryvale Daily News.

Sept. 2, 1910
Performs in "Tom Thumb Wedding" at the Cherryvale Christian church. Admission is 15 and 25 cents. The following day, a newspaper article states there was "good attendance," and that the "program pleased the audience, and netted the sum of $300 for the church."

Aug. 6, 1915
As one of Bertha Nusbaum's piano students, performs "Little Fairy Waltz Op. 105, No. 1" by Ludovic Streabbog at the home of a neighbor.

Jan. 18, 1918
Brooks, who is called "Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary" in the local newspaper, leads a "Dance of the Flowers" with 12 other Flower Maidens in the Mother Goose Pageant at the local High School, a benefit for the Red Cross fund.

Feb. 12, 1918
Joins the newly formed G. K. Club (Girls Knitting Club), composed of other local youngsters, who enjoy games, music, treats, and other other activities and meet at the home of a neighbor.

May 2, 1919
Dances "The Gloating Dance of Destruction" (as arranged by Mrs. Milburn Hobson) at "The Progress of Peace" pageant at the Beldorf theater in Independence. The event is advertised, and mention is made in the ad of Brooks performance. A "large audience" turns out. The event, under the auspices of the local Y.M.C.A., is a benefit to further the sale of Liberty bonds. (Vivian Jones, the future Vivian Vance, also takes part.)

Nov. 15, 1919
Hosts an outing for friends, who take in the Dorothy Gish comedy I'll Get Him Yet at the Best Theatre, followed by lunch at the Sunflower Pharmacy.

May 20, 1921
Brooks plays Catherine Rogers in a two-act play, Mr. Bob, staged in the auditorium of the Horace Mann intermediate school in Wichita. Some 600 students attend the event.

Oct. 5, 1921
Elected to the sophomore class student council.

May 18, 1922
Performs an "Egyptian Dance" at the Arcadia Theater at a convention event sponsored by the Kansas Bankers Association.



Oct. 3, 1922
Referenced in a front page review in the Lewistown Sentinel. Later in the day, appears with Denishawn at the Strand Theatre in Shamokin, Pennsylvania.

Oct. 11, 1922
Receives her first mention in the New York Times in a review of the Denishawn engagement at Selwyn Theatre. Later in the day, appears with Denishawn at the Opera House in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

Nov. 7, 1922
First mention in a Canadian publication: Brooks is referenced in a review in the London Free Press.

Nov. 18, 1922
Appears with Denishawn at the Crawford Theatre in Wichita, Kansas. Brooks is presented with "many flower tributes." Following the performance, Brooks' parents host a dinner party at their home, with Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Martha Graham, Charles Wiedeman, Pear Wheeler and other members of the Denishawn Company.

Jan. 15, 1923
Appears with Denishawn at Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, New York. (Unknown to Brooks, future surrealist photographer Lee Miller is in the audience.)

December 29, 1923
Appears with Denishawn in matinee and evening performances at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

March 3, 1924
Appears with Denishawn at the High School Auditorium in Hibbing, Minnesota. (Is that Bob Dylan's High School?)

April 18, 1924
Denishawn Dance Company starts a two day run of matinee and evening performances at the Grand Opera House in London, Ontario, Canada.

July 8, 1924
New York Telegram and Evening Mail raves about Brooks, which states she is the "fairest youngster that has dawned on Broadway in a long time. This is her first show, and word came from Atlantic City that she was a revelation of superlatively lovely girlhood...."

Oct. 20, 1924
Begins dance engagement at the Cafe de Paris in London. She is "cordially received" on her first night. The popular act, Layton & Johnstone, are also on the bill.

April 21, 1925
Brooks meets African-American actor Paul Robeson at a party at the apartment of writer / photographer Carl Van Vechten. Robeson thought her "very conceited and impossible."

May 16, 1925
Attends the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky with director Herbert Brenon.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year from the Louise Brooks Society and Buster Keaton, Japan, 1926

Happy New Year from the Louise Brooks Society. This year, 2017, promises to be a great year for fans of the actress--with the expected release of a new book, at least one new DVD, amultiple screenings around the world, and an unprecedented announcement that will rock LB fans everywhere! (Regarding the latter, I know what it is, but can't say. Sorry.) And Happy New Year from Buster Keaton from 1926. This image is taken from a 1926 Japanese film magazine.

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