Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Louise Brooks Stars This Weekend in the UK

Three of Louise Brooks' best films will be shown in England in mid-September. The sensational 1929 Louise Brooks films, Diary of a Lost Girl and Pandora's Box, will be shown in England on September 14 and 16. (More information about this special double bill may be found HERE.)  Also showing on September 16th is Beggars of Life, with live musical accompaniment by The Dodge Brothers. (More information about this latter event may be found HERE.)

Friday 14th September 2018: Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) + Live Music by Jonny Best 
Cube Cinema, Dove Street South , Kingsdown, Bristol, BS2 8JD
Tickets: £8 (full) / £7 (concession) / 8:00pm 

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).

Sunday 16th September 2018: Pandora’s Box (1929)
Curzon Cinema & Arts, Boathouse 6, Portsmouth PO1 3LJ, UK
Various Ticket Prices / 4:30pm

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. New 2K DCP of the 2009 restoration of Munich Film Museum’s definitive cut, with score by Peer Raben. Showing as part of this year’s Heritage Open Weekend which celebrates Heritage sites all over the UK.

But wait, there's more....

The Louise Brooks film Beggars Of Life (1928) will be shown on September 16 at the Bridport Electric Palace in Bridport with live musical accompaniment by The Dodge Brothers. Following the film, there will be a Q&A with Mark Kermode (The Observer chief Film Critic, BBC TV Presenter), Neil Brand (writer & presenter BBC 4 series ‘Sounds of Cinema : The Music That Made The Movies’) and Dr Mike Hammond (Associate Professor, Film Department, University of Southampton). More information about this event can be found HERE.

Following his Best Picture win at the inaugural Academy Awards, William A. Wellman made Beggars of Life, an adaptation of Jim Tully’s best-selling hobo memoir. This gripping drama casts Brooks as a girl on the lam after killing her lecherous step-father. Dressed in boy’s clothes, she navigates through a dangerous tramp underworld with the help of a handsome and devoted drifter (Richard Arlen) and encounters the dangerous, but warm-hearted hobo Oklahoma Red (Wallace Beery). Loaded with stunning visuals and empathetic performances, this dark, realistic drama is Brooks’ best American film and a masterpiece of late-silent era feature films.

The Dodge Brothers have played to silent films at the finest venues in the land, The Barbican, The National Film Theatre, BFI, The National Media Museum and anywhere that the high art of playing live to silent film is appreciated. In 2014 The Dodge Brothers were the first band to accompany a silent film (Beggars of Life) at Glastonbury Festival.

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 your's truly, Thomas Gladysz. 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, and both are available on amazon.UK

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