Sunday, September 30, 2012

Louise Brooks - Without Bangs

This YouTube video is a little unusual. It is mostly composed of images of Louise Brooks without her trademark bangs and bob. What do you think?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Louise Brooks: The New Woman in Film

Join Vanessa Rocco, former
Associate Curator at ICP, Assistant Professor of Art History at Southern New Hampshire University, and Saul Robbins, Adjunct Professor at ICP and Board Member Emeritus, The Camera Club of New York, as they discuss The New Woman in Film. Rocco and Robbins will present excerpts from such classics as Blue Angel (Marlene Dietrich), Pandora’s’ Box (Louise Brooks), Metropolis (Brigette Helm), and the mythology of Mulan, while also discussing the environment in which Amelia Earhart made best use of newsreel technology to promote herself and her aeronautics adventures.
Images of flappers, garçonnes, Modern Girls, neue Frauen, and trampky—all embodiments of the dashing New Woman—symbolized an expanded public role for women from the suffragist era through the dawn of 1960s feminism. Chronicling nearly a century of global challenges to gender norms, The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film from the 1870s through the 1960s, is the first book to examine modern femininity’s ongoing relationship with the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’ most influential new media: photography and film. This volume of original essays examines the ways in which novel ideas about women’s roles in society and politics were disseminated through new media technologies, probing the significance of radical changes in female fashion, appearance, and sexual identity. Additionally, these essays explore the manner in which New Women artists used photography and film to respond creatively to gendered stereotypes and to re-conceive of ways of being a woman in a rapidly modernizing world.

The event is free and open to the public.
Saturday, September 29, from 4-6 pm at The Camera Club of New York,
336 West 37th Street (between 8 and 9 Avenues).

Seating is limited. Please rsvp to:

Vanessa Rocco is co-editor with Elizabeth Otto of The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film from the 1870’s to the 1960s (University of Michigan Press). Saul Robbins photographs have been widely exhibited and published, including The Bolinas Museum, Blue Sky Gallery, chashama Windows, NYC, Deutsche Haus at NYU, MICA, Museum of Fine Arts – Houston, New Orleans Photo Alliance, Portland Art Museum, Aufbau, Berlin Tagesspiegel, CPW Quarterly, Feature Shoot, FlavorWire,, More, The New York Times, Real Simple, and Wired.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bronze medallion depicting Louise Brooks

These show up on eBay from time to time, a bronze medallion depicting Louise Brooks. I believe they were made in France, where the actress is more popular than she is in the United States. For completeists only...... I would guess.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Amateur Photographer magazine features Louise Brooks

Amateur Photographer, the "world's #1 weekly photo magazine," has a long piece by David Clark in their new issue called "Louise Brooks by Eugene Robert Richee - Iconic Photograph." 

"This striking image of Louise Brooks by Eugene Robert Richee captures the spirit of the 1920s and is one of the great Hollywood portraits," writes the author. Check it out here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame

How—and why—do we obsess over movie stars? How does fame both reflect and mask the person behind it? How have the image of stardom and our stars’ images altered over a century of cultural and technological change? Do we create celebrities, or do they create us?

Ty Burr, film critic for The Boston Globe, answers these questions in a new book, Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame, a lively and fascinating anecdotal history of stardom, with all its blessings and curses for star and stargazer alike. From Florence Lawrence and Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin to Archie Leach (a.k.a. Cary Grant) and Marion Morrison (a.k.a. John Wayne) and Julia Roberts to today's instant celebs famous for being famous, Burr takes us on an insightful and entertaining journey through the modern fame game at its flashiest, most indulgent, occasionally most tragic, and ultimately, its most revealing. And yes, there is mention made of Louise Brooks.

Ty Burr will be discussing his new book on Saturday, September 29 at Book Passage in Corte Madera, California. Burr will be in conversation with Thomas Gladysz.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Did you see Pandora's Box in Denver?

If you happened to attend yesterday's screening of Pandora's Box at the Denver Silent Film Festival, please leave a comment or observation in the comments field below. We would love to know what you thought of the film or of its star, Louise Brooks. [An expressionistic scene from the the film is pictured above.]

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cool pic of the day: Louise Brooks

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Louise Brooks' film closes Denver Silent Film Festival

On Sunday, September 23, the Denver Silent Film Festival will screen Pandora's Box (1929) at the King Center in Denver, Colorado. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Donald Sosin. Additional details, and ticket availability, can be found here.  The Denver Post ran a piece about the Festival which can be found here.

If you can't make it to the Denver event, please note that Pandora's Box will be shown on Sunday, November 4 on Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beggars of Life with Louise Brooks screens at Andy Warhol Museum

Beggars of Life (1928), the sensational William Wellman directed film starring Louise Brooks, will be shown at the Andy Warhol Museum (117 Sandusky Street) in Pittsburgh, PA on Friday November 2nd. The screening is part of a series of films called "Unseen Treasures from The George Eastman House." The Warhol will screen a newly restored, 35mm archival print of the 81 minute silent film with live musical accompaniment. More information about this special event can be found on the Warhol Museum website

The event description reads "Louise Brooks’ penetrating charisma and transcendent naturalness made her an icon of 1920s silent cinema.  In director William Wellman's early Depression-era portrait of transient life, she gave one of her absolute strongest performances during her brief stint in the Hollywood, playing a girl who must go on the run after killing her abusive stepfather in self-defense. Fleeing, she meets the handsome drifter Richard Arlen and the two hit the road, one step ahead of the law and soon encounter Oklahoma Red (Wallace Beery), a tough, high-spirited hobo. Together they ride the rails, with Brooks dressed as a boy, through a hobo underworld where danger is always close at hand. This empathetic, darkly realistic drama is loaded with stunning visuals and is one of the great late silent-era features.  The Warhol Museum continues its partnership with the world-renowned photograph and motion picture archives, George Eastman House, to bring rarely shown silent and early sound masterpieces from its extensive collection exclusively to Pittsburgh."

Here is another lobby card for the film, which to my eye, contains a few stylistic touches which anticipate Pop art. I think Warhol would have liked them.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Louise Brooks in Movie Collectors World

Louise Brooks appears on the cover of the October 2012 issue of Movie Collector's World. There is also a two page article about the actress by David Hogan. The article, "Discovering Louise Brooks," is on pages 18 and 19. Copies of Movie Collector's World can be found on newsstands; or, print copies can be ordered through the Movie Collector's World website at

If you can't find Movie Collector's World at your local newsstand, you can read and/or download a digital copy of the magazine for free at  I liked David Hogan's piece. It is a nice written appreciation.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pandora's Box screens in UK with new score

Pandora's Box (1929), starring Louise Brooks, will be shown in England with a new score by Hildur Guðnadóttir and Jóhann Jóhannsson. The two Icelandic composers have composed a new score for the G.W. Pabst's silent film, which they will perform live with Philip Jeck and clarinettist Dov Goldberg in four cities across the UK.

The film, which traces the rise and fall of Lulu (played by Brooks), will be screened with the new score at the London Islington Assembly Hall (31 October), Leeds Howard Assembly Room (1 November), Manchester Royal Northern College of Music (2 November), and Coventry Warwick Arts Centre (3 November).

The event description for the Manchester screening reads: "GW Pabst’s 1929 silent film follows the rise and fall of the captivating, amoral young prostitute Lulu. Brought to life by the inimitable and incandescent Louise Brooks, the heroine of GW Pabst’s 1929 silent film is driven by curiosity and expresses herself only through pleasure. This special screening is accompanied by a brand new live score by award-winning Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson and cellist and composer Hildur Gudnadóttir (Múm/Animal Collective), featuring Philip Jeck."

It is amazing to me how often this film is shown, and how often a new score are composed for it.

If you can't make it to the UK to see the film or to hear this new score, please note that Pandora's Box will be shown in the United States on Sunday, September 23 at the Denver Silent Film Festival and on Sunday, November 4 on Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Canary Murder Case released on DVD in Italy

Yesterday, I reported on the forthcoming release of Overland Stage Raiders (1938). Louise Brooks last film will be released on DVD and BluRay in early October. The release of Overland Stage Raiders by Olive Films marks the first time this B-western starring John Wayne will be available on DVD.

Now come word that another hard-to-come-by Brooks' film, The Canary Murder Case (1929), will be or already has been released on DVD in Italy.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Overland Stage Raiders coming on DVD

Good news: the Louise Brooks film, Overland Stage Raiders (1938), will be released on DVD and BluRay on October 2 by Olive Films. This marks the first time Brooks' last film has been released on disc. The film had previously been issued on VHS in 1997.

Here is what the Olive Films website has to say: "The Three Mesquiteers was the umbrella title for a series of fifty-one B-westerns released between 1936 and 1943. The films featured the characters Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin or Rusty Joslin as the threesome; played by many B-western stars of that era. In 1938, John Wayne took over for Robert Livingston as Stony Brooke and starred in eight Mesquiteers films between 1938 and 1939, he was joined by Ray Corrigan as Tucson Smith and Max Terhune as Lullaby Joslin for the first six and Raymond Hatton as Rusty Joslin for the last two… all eight films were directed by George Sherman (Big Jake). John Ford’s Stagecoach was perfectly sandwiched between the eight films and John Wayne portrayal of the outlaw gunfighter made him a superstar and ended Wayne’s Stony Brooke run… Livingston was rehired as Brooke and went on to make fourteen more Mesquiteers films and for an incredible total of twenty-nine. Overland Stage Raiders (the second of eight Wayne Mesquiteers films) co-stars silent film icon, Louise Brooks (in her final performance) and Anthony Marsh as siblings who partner up with the three amigos to save their struggling airline, standing in their way is an evil business man and his band of outlaws."

More on this new release once it is out.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Denver Silent Film Festival shows Pandora's Box with Louise Brooks

Here is a scan of the oversize postcards sent out by the Denver Silent Film Festival. The Festival takes place September 21 through September 23. Louise Brooks is pictured, obliquely, on the postcard because on Sunday, September 23 the Festival will screen Pandora's Box (1929) at the King Center in Denver, Colorado. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by the great Donald Sosin. Additional details, and ticket availability, can be found here.  Today, the Denver Post ran a piece about the Festival which can be found here.

Historical footnote: Louise Brooks herself visited Denver in 1922 as a member of the Denishawn Dance Company. That was some three years before her entry into films and some six years before she left for Germany to star in Pandora's Box. Denishawn, whose company also then included Martha Graham, performed at the Denver Auditorium on the evenings of Tuesday, December 26 and Wednesday, December 27.

Prior to their two performances, the company had spent the Christmas holiday in Denver. Considered important artists, local papers reported on their activities, which included spending their off hours sewing. Ruth St. Denis also gave a special radio talk in Denver, which was quite a novelty as radio was then in its infancy. 

Reviews of the two Denishawn performances were exceptionally positive. Denver critics used words like "enchanting" and "Supreme Art," and noted that the company gave many encores. Leading "Society Folk" were reported to have attended, and one local critic reported she was "Enraptured By Rare Artistry of Denishawn Dancers."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Wyrd Sisters: Peter Carey and I

In situ the Wyrd Sisters: Peter Carey and I -- photo taken at a bookstore in San Francisco, California

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Louise" performed by the Bob Haring Orchestra

"Louise" performed by the Bob Haring Orchestra (April 1929).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tullyfest: A Celebration of author Jim Tully

Tullyfest: A Celebration of hard-boiled Hollywood author Jim Tully (1886-1947) is set to take place October 10 through October 15 in Los Angeles. Here are the details, with more info at

Hollywood's forgotten literary bad boy Jim Tully honored with October "Tullyfest"

WHAT: LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association, UCLA Special Collections and The American Cinematheque celebrate the life, writings and films of Jim Tully (1886-1947) with a week-long "Tullyfest." Events include: 1) October 10 - LAUGHTER IN HELL screening at the American Cinematheque; 2) October 11 - REDISCOVERING JIM TULLY Bonnie Cashin Lecture at UCLA Special Collections and opening of exhibit (open thru December) of selections from the Jim Tully Papers; 3) October 14 - Jim Tully's Hollywood walking tour; and 4) The LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank honors "Jim Tully: A Hobo in Hollywood." (Detailed event info is below.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Biographie de "Louise BROOKS" par Barry PARIS

This is the 500th post on the Louise Brooks Society blog here on Blogger. (There were more than 1000 posts on the old blog on LiveJournal, which started in 2002.)

To mark this small milestone, and since this blog is on a French kick of late, I thought to post a short French video in which Olivier Barrot talks about the Barry Paris biography of Louise Brooks published by les Presses Universitaires de France (P.U.F.). For me, and for my interest / obsession in this singular silent film star, it all began with Barry Paris' brilliant biography. I read it after having seen Pandora's Box, and was hooked.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Louise Brooks ~ The Night Was Made For Love ~ Leo Reisman

Here is a sweet video, richly colorized and a bit dreamy..... images of Louise Brooks set to The Night Was Made For Love by Leo Reisman.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jean-Marc Paumier - Rue meurt d'art : Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks is especially popular, and even beloved, in France..... Take, for example, the noted French artist Jean-Marc Paumier, who has something of a "special affection" for the silent film star.  Paumier is a graffiti artist (akin to Banksy) who has depicted Brooks on more than one occasion on the streets of Paris. Check out this 2009 image from the Square St Laurent in Paris, which is part of a Flickr photostream called "Louise Brooks - Rue Meurt d'Art."

Louise Brooks - Rue Meurt d'Art (064)

A google of the terms "Jean-Marc Paumier" and "Louise Brooks" will turn up more images and webpages. Also, check out this video of another Paumier depiction of Brooks on a building in Paris.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

French documentary: Louise Brooks - Cinq pas vers le mythe

Embedded below is a French documentary in two parts: Louise Brooks - Cinq pas vers le mythe. I just came across it online. This approximately 35 minute film can be found on the three disc box set issued by Coffret in France back in 2004. I have a copy, and it is indispensable! It may also be out of print.

Not only does this set contain this rare short film, but other long and short form documentary material as well - as well as the French versions of Brooks' three European films, Loulou (Pandora's Box), Le journal d'une fille perdue (Diary of a Lost Girl), and Prix de beauté.

Louise Brooks - Cinq pas vers le mythe looks at Brooks her life in the 1920s and reputation as a flapper, the interest the surrealists had in Brooks, her relationship with the French curator Henri Langlois, nouvelle vague, and an interview with the French illustrator Floc'h, who, like Guido Crepax, based a comic book series on the actress.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Man Ray, Lee Miller, William S. Paley and Louise Brooks

File this under "all roads lead to Louise Brooks:" The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are currently hosting the exhibit "Man Ray | Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism" (through October 14) at the Legion of Honor. And forthcoming is "The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism" (September 15 - December 30, 2012) at the M.H. de Young Museum.

Curiously, both of these exhibits bear a relationship with Louise Brooks. Man Ray, for one, long admired Louise Brooks; it was an admiration which likely dated from her brief celebrity in Paris in 1930. Later in life, he sent an admiring letter and small painting to the former actress. His lover, Lee Miller, also had a close encounter with Brooks. As a teenager, Miller saw Brooks dance while Brooks was a member of the Denishawn Dance Company. 

William S. Paley, founder of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), was a leader in communication, entertainment, and broadcast journalism. His innovations in radio programming and advertising, his  commitment to entertainment and news dissemination, and his acute awareness of popular trends revolutionized broadcasting’s business model, and set new standards in broadcast journalism. He also secretly supported Louise Brooks, giving her a monthly stipend, while she was living in her later years in Rochester, New York. He did so because he and Brooks had likely been lovers back in the 1920s.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

This colorized photograph of Louise Brooks

This colorized photograph of Louise Brooks has been making the rounds of social media. And for good reason, it's lovely. It is the same image as the one on the cover of Laura Moriarty's recent novel, The Chaperone. What's unusual about it is that Brooks is not wearing bangs, yet people seem to like it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September Schedule at Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont, California is starting the Fall off right with an eclectic and exciting line-up of films. There is a locally made classic based on a famous story by a one-time San Francisco author, a little seen Jazz Age satire, an early Western, and a non-Western starring an actor best known for his cowboy roles - as well as a selection of early Felix the Cat cartoons. Each features live musical accompaniment.

And that's not all.... There is also the regular Comedy Short Subject Night, a indie film from 2011 described as The Wizard of Oz for dogs, and a Laurel & Hardy Talkie Matinee. All together, it is another exceptional month of early cinema in the East Bay. Here's what's playing.

"Saturday Night at the Movies" with Judy Rosenberg at the piano
Saturday, September 1 at 7:30 pm

William S. Hart and Anna Q. Nilsson star in The Toll Gate (1920, William S. Hart Corp.), the first film produced by Hart’s own company. Directed by his frequent collaborator Lambert Hillyer, Hart plays an outlaw on the run from both lawman and his scheming partner’s henchmen. It is a story of betrayal, revenge and repentance. The feature will be preceded by two shorts, Futuritzy (1928, Pat Sullivan) featuring Felix the Cat, and Line’s Busy (1924, Cumberland Productions) with Billy West.

"Saturday Night at the Movies" with Frederick Hodges at the piano
Saturday, September 8 at 7:30 pm

The myth of D. W. Griffith’s decline as a director following the loss of his production company is disproven in The Battle of the Sexes (1928, Art Cinema Corp.), a comedy/drama of the jazz age featuring a gum-chewing frizzy-haired golddigger, a jazz hound, and a real estate tycoon. The film stars Jean Hersholt, Phyllis Haver, Belle Bennett, Sally O'Neil, and Don Alvarado. The Battle of the Sexes, a film one could easily picture Louise Brooks in, will be preceded by two shorts, Felix Gets the Can (1924, Sullivan) featuring Felix the Cat, and Vacation Waves (1928, Paramount) with Edward Everett Horton.

The Battle of the Sexes (1928, Art Cinema Corp.)
"Laurel & Hardy Talkie Matinee"
Sunday, September 9 at 4:00 pm

This month's Laurel & Hardy Talkie Matinee includes one of their classic features, A Chump at Oxford (1938), in which a Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy go to college as a reward for capturing a bank robber, and two comedic shorts, Mush and Milk (1933) with Our Gang, and Scram (1932) with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

"Comedy Short Subject Night" with Greg Pane at the piano
Saturday, September 15  at 7:30 pm

Love to laugh? Then don't miss this monthly program featuring some of the most famous comedians of the silent film era. On the bill are The Immigrant (1917, Lone Star) with Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance, I Do (1921, Rolin) with Harold Lloyd, The Scarecrow (1920, Comique) with Buster Keaton, and The Finishing Touch (1928, Hal Roach) with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Love to laugh? Then don't miss this monthly program!

"Saturday Night at the Movies" with Bruce Loeb at the piano
Saturday, September 22 at 7:30 pm

Based on the famous Bret Harte story, Salomy Jane (1914, California Motion Picture Corp.) tells a story of love, murder, and mistaken identity all of which whirls about its female heroine. The title role is played by Beatriz Michelena, a noted San Francisco singer, who began her film career with Salomy Jane and went on to star in eleven features for the San Rafael-based CMPC between 1914 and 1917. House Peters, William Nigh and an uncredited Jack Holt are also in the cast.

Salomy Jane was first shown at the Edison Theater, the current home of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, on August 30, 1915. This special 2012 screening 105 years later, featuring a 35mm print from the Library of Congress, is co-sponsored by the Anne T. Kent California Room, Marin County Free Library, with assistance from the California Film Institute. The feature will be preceded by two shorts, Felix Dopes It Out (1925, Sullivan) featuring Felix the Cat, and Cactus Nell (1917, Keystone) with Polly Moran and future Oscar winner Wallace Beery (Louise Brooks co-star in two films).

"Saturday Night at the Movies" with Jon Mirsalis at the Kurzweil Keyboard
Saturday, September 29 at 7:30 pm

In the little seen Lazybones (1925, Fox Film), Buck Jones departs from his better known cowboy roles in this simple story of a young farmer who raises an abandoned baby. Besides the square jawed Jones (who starred in Empty Saddles, featuring Louise Brooks), the cast also features lovely Madge Bellamy, quirky Zasu Pitts, and Jane Novak - Hart's one time fiancé and the sister of Eva Novak. Credit for a deft handling of material and the film's continuing appeal go to acclaimed director Frank Borzage and renowned writer Frances Marion. Lazybones will be preceded by two shorts, Felix in Love (1922, Sullivan) featuring Felix the Cat, and Gymnasium Jim (1922, Mack Sennett, later reissued as Love’s Intrigue) with Billy Bevan and Mildred June.

Lazybones (1925, Fox Film), Buck Jones
For more info: The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is located at 37417 Niles Blvd. in Fremont, California. For further information, call (510) 494-1411 or visit the Museum's website at
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