Monday, August 13, 2018

Beggars of Life, starring Louise Brooks, screens August 15 in Boulder, Colorado

Beggars Of Life — “When it comes to cinematography, acting and plot, this is the best film of the season,” said Hart. “The star Louise Brooks had the gift that Marilyn Monroe had — she was just electric on film, she was just beautiful.” Hart added that, in a time when stunt-doubles were rare, the chase scene on top of a train is legendary and “breathtaking.”(1928, 100 minutes. Screens Aug. 15.)

https://brookvilletimes.com/chautauqua-silent-film-series-opens-with-hollywoods-top-dog/

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star - new book now available

I have published a new book, Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star. In my opinion, it makes for good reading, and is a book every Louise Brooks fan will want to own.

It gathers a selection of my best published articles, essays, and blogs about the silent film star. The actress' best known films -- including Beggars of Life, Pandora's Box, and Diary of a Lost Girl -- are discussed, as are many other little known aspects of Brooks' now legendary career. A few are previously unpublished.

These pieces, some of which goes back 15 years, range from the local ("Louise Brooks, at the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and 16th Street") to the worldly ("Making Personas: Transnational Film Stardom in Modern Japan"), from the provocative ("A Girl in Every Port: The Birth of Lulu?") to the poignant ("Homage to George W. Lighton of Kentucky, idealistic silent film buff who perished in the Spanish Civil War"), from the quirky ("Louise Brooks' First Television Broadcast") to the surprising ("A Lost Girl, a Fake Diary, and a Forgotten Author").

Also included are related interviews with other devotees of Louise Brooks including English actor Paul McGann (the eighth Doctor Who), singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and novelist Laura Moriarty (author of The Chaperone, which is soon to be a major motion picture from PBS Masterpiece). Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star is 296 pages, with approximately 115,000 words of text and dozens of illustrations (many little seen).



The book is available on amazon -- order a copy HERE.  This English-language book is also available through amazon Canada, England and Australia, as well as on the amazon sites in Mexico and Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Japan.

It is also available on Barnes & Noble website HERE, as well as on IndieBound.

This book, my fourth, is a publication of the Louise Brooks Society. As of now, it is a print-only book.

I am also continuing work on a few other book and non-book projects, and have begun to gather material and assemble a fifth book, an oversized pictorial, tentatively titled Around the World with Louise Brooks. I hope to have this multinational and multilingual title ready sometime in 2019

Autographed copies of Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star may be purchased directly from the author.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Louise Brooks died on this day in 1985

The American silent film star Louise Brooks died on this day in 1985. Her passing made news not only across the United States, but around the world. The second clipping comes from Australia.



Monday, August 6, 2018

Double trouble with Louise Brooks at South West Silents

There's double trouble coming up in September at South West Silents in the UK !

On September 14th, the sensational Louise Brooks film, Diary of a Lost Girl, will be shown at Cube Microplex in central Bristol, England. More information about this event can be found HERE.

South West Silents presents: Diary of a Lost Girl (1929)
with introduction and live musical accompaniment
Dir: G.W. Pabst, 1929, Germany, 106 mins, Cert: PG
-
Fri 14 September // 20:00
Tickets: £8 (full) / £7 (concession)

A masterpiece of the German silent era, Diary of a Lost Girl was the second and final collaboration of actress Louise Brooks and director G.W. Pabst a mere months after their first collaboration in the now-legendary Pandora’s Box (1929).
Brooks plays Thymian Henning, a beautiful young woman raped by an unscrupulous character employed at her father’s pharmacy (played with gusto by Fritz Rasp, the degenerate villain of such Fritz Lang classics as Metropolis, Spione, and Frau im Mond). After Thymian gives birth to his child and rejects her family’s expectations of marriage, the baby is torn from her care, and Thymian enters a purgatorial reform school that seems less an institute of learning than a conduit for fulfilling the headmistress’s sadistic sexual fantasies.

The screening will have a specially recorded audio intro by author and critic Pamela Hutchinson with live music on piano by Jonny Best (Yorkshire Silent Film Festival).

“Brooks exudes a hypnotic resilience, retaining a transcendent moral decency in a corrupt world.”  Philip French, The Guardian

Learn more about Diary of a Lost Girl on the Louise Brooks Society website. 
  
 


And on September 16th, the equally provocative Louise Brooks film, Pandora's Box, will be shown at Curzon in Clevedon, North Somerset, England. (The Curzon cinema has been at the centre of cultural life in Clevedon since 1912.) More information about this event can be found HERE.

Heritage Weekend: South West Silent's Presents... Pandora's Box

G.W. Pabst's 1929 silent masterpiece Pandora's Box stars Louise Brooks in the role that secured her place as one of the immortal goddesses of the silver screen.

This controversial, and in its day heavily censored, film is regularly ranked in the Top 100 films of all time (including Cahiers du Cinema and Sight & Sound). Brooks is unforgettable as Lulu (Louise Brooks), a sexy, amoral dancer who creates a trail of devastation as she blazes through Weimar-era Berlin, breaking hearts and destroying lives. From Germany, she flies to France, and finally to London, where tragedy strikes. This stunning photographed film is loosely based on the controversial Lulu plays by Frank Wedekind, and also features one of the cinema’s earliest lesbian characters.

Showing as part of this year's Heritage Open Weekend which celebrates Heritage sites all over the UK.



Learn more about Pandora's Box on the Louise Brooks Society website. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Capitolfest features Ronald Colman, who likes Louise Brooks' eyes

This year's Capitolfest is set to take place August 10, 11, 12 in Rome, New York. This year's tribute star is Ronald Colman, who, if you believe the 1930 issue of Girl's Cinema, had a thing for Louise Brooks, or at least her eyes. In describing his "dream girl," Colman says she must have Louise Brooks' eyes, but not her hair! 
Here is Ronald's 'own description of his ideal mate:
The unbobbed hair of the texture of that which adorns the head of Vilma Banky, but it is dark rather than light. The brown eyes of Louise Brooks.
Vilma's nose.
Mary Pickfor's mouth and Smile.
Gloria Swanson's neck and shoulders.
The diminutive body and figure of Bessie Love. And has -- and this is most important, Mr. Colman says -- Constant Talmadge's sense of humour.
The complexion and colouring of Doris Kenyon.
There you have the future Mrs. Ronald Colman.
The article goes on the quote the famed British actor, "Louise Brooks' eyes are marvellous. They are large and dark brown in colour. They fascinate me."
 




Capitolfest is Central New York's premier summer Cinephile film festival - a place to see rarely-shown and newly-discovered films of the silent and early talkie era in a historic 1,788-seat movie palace. For more information on Capitolfest, go to this link HERE.

Monday, July 30, 2018

NEW book available: Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star

I have published a new book, Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star.

It gathers a selection of my best  published articles, essays, and blogs about the silent film star. The actress' best known films -- Beggars of Life, Pandora's Box, and Diary of a Lost Girl -- are discussed, as are many other little known aspects of Brooks' legendary career. A few pieces are previously unpublished.

These pieces, some of which goes back 15 years, range from the local ("Louise Brooks, at the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and 16th Street") to the worldly ("Making Personas: Transnational Film Stardom in Modern Japan"), from the provocative ("A Girl in Every Port: The Birth of Lulu?") to the poignant ("Homage to George W. Lighton of Kentucky, idealistic silent film buff who perished in the Spanish Civil War"), from the quirky ("Louise Brooks' First Television Broadcast") to the surprising ("A Lost Girl, a Fake Diary, and a Forgotten Author").

Also included are related interviews with actor Paul McGann, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, novelist Laura Moriarty (author of The Chaperone), and others. The book is 296 pages, with approximately 115,000 words and dozens of illustrations (many little seen).

The book is available on amazon -- order a copy HERE. It should be listed on Barnes & Noble and Indiebound sometime soon. This English-language book is also available through amazon Canada and England and Australia, as well as on the amazon sites in Mexico and Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Japan. Get a copy today!

This book, my fourth, is a publication of the Louise Brooks Society. As of now, it is a print-only book, like my earlier books. Do any readers have interest in e-book versions of these titles? I have been thinking about putting them on Kindle.

I am also continuing work on a few other book and non-book projects, and have begun to gather material and assemble a fifth book, a pictorial, tentatively titled Around the World with Louise Brooks: A Multinational and Multilingual Celebration. I hope to have it ready sometime in 2019.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Louise Brooks stars in Beggars of Life this Weekend in Minneapolis

The sensational 1928 Louise Brooks film, Beggars of Life, will be shown FOUR times this weekend at Trylon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. More information about this screening can be found HERE.


(1928, DCP, 100m) dir William A. Wellman w/Louise Brooks, Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen. In a tour-de-force performance, Brooks is a young woman who dresses as a boy and hops freight trains with hobos after murdering her lecherous stepfather. Beautifully restored, this silent film is ripe for rediscovery. With live musical accompaniment by Dreamland Faces. 

FRI/SAT 7:00 SUN 3:00 5:15 $12






Want to learn more about the film? Last Spring saw the release of my well reviewed new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, and last Summer saw the release of a new DVD / Blu-ray of the film from Kino Lorber. (The DVD features a commentary by Thomas Gladysz, as well as an outstanding musical score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.) If you haven't secured your own copy of either the book or the DVD / Blu-ray, why not do so today? Each is an essential addition to your Louise Brooks collection.


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Louise Brooks was married on this day in 1926, and look what happened next

One bit of fallout from Louise Brooks' role in It's the Old Army Game in 1926 was that she married the film's director.

In all likelihood, Brooks first met up-and-coming Paramount director Eddie Sutherland during the making of the movie, in February, 1926. The film, especially its interiors, were shot at Paramount’s Astoria Studios on Long Island, with some additional shots taken in Manhattan. Location shooting, including exteriors, was done in Ocala and Palm Beach, Florida in late February and during the first three weeks of March, 1926.

Brooks and Sutherland were married just a few months later, on July 21, 1926 in New York City. It was a civil ceremony, with just a few in attendance.

This "celebrity" marriage made the news, with small articles appearing in newspapers across the the United States on July 22. A few of these articles even made the front page of the newspapers in which they appeared. None, however, were as prominent as the coverage given by the New York Daily News. The paper ran a captioned photograph of Brooks on the front page of each of its four editions. Pictured below are two examples. (The paper also ran a short interior article about the two "reel" newlyweds.)


The edition picture above is termed the "pink edition," with the current heatwave hitting the city felling 9 and killing 3. The edition pictured below is termed the "final edition," with the heatwave felling 12 and killing 5. The photograph of Brooks used above was the same on three of the four editions. The caption also changed, though only slightly.


According to the interior article, "they came together, took out a marriage license and were wed--all within an hour."

The caption beneath the front page photos reads "Quite informally, Louise Brooks (above) and Eddie Sutherland, movie director, yesterday went to the municipal building and got married. Sutherland was divorced from Marjorie Daw a year ago. Louise and he met when he gave her a part in his picture , It's the Old Army Game. She rose to her present lofty position in the film firmament from the chorus a year and a half ago."

Brooks was both a budding film star and a local celebrity. In celebration of her marriage, on July 23, the new bride was a guest of honor at the Ziegfeld Follies.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

A Little French Poem for Louise Brooks

Here is another newly found French clipping, a short poem about Louise Brooks which appeared in a Parisian newspaper in 1930.


The poem was part of a short-lived series, "Rondels des vedettes de l'ecran," all of which were written by Alexandre Dreville (18xx - 1942). I couldn't find much about the author, except that he was a mining engineer and poet who penned a handful of newspaper poems as well as the lyrics to a number of published songs.

I believe Alexandre Dreville was also the father of Jean Dreville (1906–1997), a French filmmaker who directed 45 films between 1928 and 1969. IMdB calls him the "great neglected independent film-maker." Among his earlier efforts are Autour de L'Argent (1928) and The Chess Player (1938). As an actor, he had a bit role in Napoleon (1927), and can be seen in two episodes of the Kevin Brownlow documentary Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (1995).

Here is the Louise Brooks poem in its original French, and in English translation. If there are any French speakers with a literary bent who could offer a better translation, please send an email.

LOUISE BROOKS

Votre main blanche au grand vent seme
Le bie d'amour, le beau ble d'Aout :
Pour moi, vous etes un poeme
Comme on n'en ecrit pas beaucoup !

Vous paraissez, et l'on vous aime
Et l'on se jette a votre cou !
Votre main blanche au grand vent seme
Le bie d'amour, le beau ble d'Aout...

Vos yeux sont un creul probleme,
Vos levres nous crient: casso cou !
Votre coeur va je ne sais ou,
Mais pas vers moi qui tant vous aime
Et que vous n'aimez pas du tout !


LOUISE BROOKS

Your white hand in the bitter wind
The love of love, the beautiful wheat of August:
For me, you are a poem
As we do not write much!

You seem, and we love you
And we throw ourselves on your neck!
Your white hand in the bitter wind
The love of love, the beautiful wheat of August ...

Your eyes are a cruel problem,
Your lips cry: casso neck!
Your heart goes I do not know where,
But not to me who loves you so much
And that you do not like at all!



As mentioned earlier, Alexandre Dreville penned a handful of newspaper poems, each of which celebrated a star of the screen. Some were French actors or stars, while some were American. In addition to Louise Brooks, I also came upon poems dedicated to Gloria Swanson, Anna May Wong, Maurice Chevalier, Anny Ondra, Anita Page, Kathryn Carver (Mrs. Adolphe Menjou) and others.












Monday, July 16, 2018

Celebrating France and Louise Brooks

In celebration of France's victory in the World Cup, here are some recently uncovered French clippings regarding Louise Brooks.

First up is what may be the first mention of Louise Brooks in a French newspaper, who is described as a "deliecieuse danseuse des Follies qui a signe une long contrat avec Paramount." This clipping comes from Paris-Soir, and is dated December 23, 1925.


And here is an advertisement for The American Venus (as La Venus Moderne) from a year later from a regional newspaper, Gazette de Bayonne, de Biarritz et du Pays basque, dated December 21, 1926.


And lastly, here is an usual image of Brooks, from a clipping from 1928.



Vive la France. Long live Loulou.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Guest Post: "Louise Brooks Makes The Grade" part 2

Philip Vorwald has come up with another fascinating guest post here on the Louise Brooks Society blog: it's about Louise Brooks' childhood and where she went to grade school. This post is in two parts -- the first part ran yesterday.








Friday, July 13, 2018

Guest Post: "Louise Brooks Makes The Grade" part 1

Philip Vorwald has come up with another fascinating guest post here on the Louise Brooks Society blog: it's about Louise Brooks' childhood and where she went to grade school. This post is in two parts, so be sure and check back tomorrow.















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