Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Andy Stott - Numb (Video)

This music video includes a bit of Louise Brooks.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Louise Brooks inspired music by Cristiano Arcelli

Italian musician Cristiano Arcelli is hoping to raise funds for his Louise Brooks inspired music. Read more (in Italian) on this webpage.

Sponsorizza il nuovo cd di Cristiano Arcelli, vai su e scegli fra le ricompense in basso a destra.

Il nuovo gruppo di Cristiano Arcelli dedicato a Louise Brook, la diva dark del cinema muto.
Una musica di fusione tra il jazz, l'hardcore e il punk.

Cristiano Arcelli - sax alto, composizioni, arrangiamento
Federico Casagrande - chitarra elettrica
Marcello Giannini - chitarra elettrica
Zeno de Rossi - batteria

Friday, November 23, 2012

Louise Brooks tribute video, with music by Marcella Detroit

Found on YouTube, a Louise Brooks tribute video, with music by Marcella Detroit (formerly of Shakespear's Sister).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pandora's Box - Jóhann Jóhannsson and Hildur Guðnadóttir Live Soundtrack

Follow this link to a review of the Jóhann Jóhannsson and Hildur Guðnadóttir Live Soundtrack of Pandora's Box, as performed in Manchester, England on November 2, 2012 -

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2012 James Card Memorial Lecture

Don't miss the 2012 James Card Memorial Lecture by Denis Doros of Milestone Films, at

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Louise Brooks shout out on SNL

Louise Brooks got a shout out on this past weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live. Former CIA Director David Petraeus' personal life was fodder for the show's opening skit, a send-up of the C-SPAN Book TV series. The sketch featured "Paula Broadwell" reading from her Petraeus biography, All In, at a local bookstore. However, in this satirical version of All In, Broadwell—played by Cecily Strong—gave a more lurid portrayal of Petraeus' time as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan:
The deadbolt slid into place with a loud thunk, and I knew the junior officers outside could easily tell what was going on, but I was beyond caring. The general reached into his desk drawer and pulled something out. ‘Put this on, Paula.’ It was a synthetic wig cut Louise Brooks-style and cotton candy pink. ‘No, David, it makes me feel like a dirty girl,’ I whispered. ‘But you are a dirty girl, Paula,’ he replied. ‘You’re my dirty girl. Now get on that couch.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Diary of a Lost Girl - Croatia 1930

If you are a fan of Louise Brooks, of silent film, or of the movies from any era, the Heritage Auctions website is always well worth checking out. New on the site is this vintage movie poster from Croatia, The auction description is copied below: 

Diary of a Lost Girl (Pabst Film, 1930). Yugoslavian Poster (24.5" X 37.5").

Diary of a Lost Girl is the famous German film directed by G. W. Pabst and starring the inimitable Louise Brooks. Certainly the large 1929 Austrian poster, the only copy known, which is so beautifully featured in the book Starstruck by Ira Resnick, has remained to this day one of the most sought after images on this title. This amazing find is from the first showing in the newly formed Yugoslavia, in 1930. It is a redrawing of the Austrian artwork with even more force and suggestiveness than the source poster. With its image of a partially clad Louise Brooks, the poster is at once, eroticism in its true form, and a timeless theatrical image. This may be the only known copy of this poster. It has had restoration only in the foldlines for some fold separations and minor center-point and left foldline loss of paper. There was some edge wear on the right border. Fine/Very Fine on Linen. Estimate: $1,500 - $3,000.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Louise Brooks & Bruce Conner

Bruce Conner (1933 – 2008) was an American artist renowned for his work in assemblage, film, drawing, sculpture, painting, collage, and photography, among other disciplines. He was also a big fan of Louise Brooks. On more than one occasion, Conner told me of his lifelong interest in the actress. [Read more about Conner on his Wikipedia page.]

Conner was born on this day in 1933 in McPherson, Kansas, and was raised in Wichita, Kansas. Back in 1997, I mounted a small exhibit about Louise Brooks at a neighborhood cafe. Conner visited the exhibit, and wrote a note in guestbook.

Somewhere, there is a video of me introducing Bruce Conner at the Castro Theater in San Francisco before an audience of more than 1400 people. [The occasion was a screening of Pandora's Box at the 2006 San Francisco Silent Film Festival.] After my introduction, Conner talked of his interested in Brooks and related how he used to watch her come and go from her Wichita dance studio.

From Wikipedia: "Conner began making short movies in the late 1950s. Conner’s first and possibly most famous film was entitled A MOVIE (1958). A MOVIE (Conner explicitly titles his movies in all capital letters) was a poverty film in that instead of shooting his own footage Conner used compilations of old newsreels and other old films. He skillfully re-edited that footage, set the visuals to a recording of Ottorino Respighi's Pines of Rome, and created an entertaining and thought-provoking 12 minute film, that while non-narrative has things to say about the experience of watching a movie and the human condition. A MOVIE (in 1994) was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry at the Library of Congress. Conner subsequently made nearly two dozen mostly non-narrative experimental films."

Non of those films seem to be available on YouTube. So, instead, we offer these with best wishes to Bruce Conner on his birthday. (To watch the NSFW Bruce Conner film, Breakaway (1966), visit this page on vimeo. And yes, that is Toni Basil of Mickey fame as the dancer.)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Louise Brooks: As seen on Amazon

Seen on Amazon, two Louise Brooks related titles at ridiculous prices! Needless-to-say, each can be had for a lot less.

The first is a softcover copy of Louise Brooks, by Barry Paris. This 1990 edition is out-of-print, and second-hand copies can be found for only a few dollars. Nevertheless, this seller is asking $4,999.00 for a mint copy. Go figure. 

The second is a copy of the Louise Brooks edition of The Diary of a Lost Girl, which retails for $24.95. Here, this seller is asking $224.55. Wow!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Early 1930s Louise Brooks portrait

An early 1930's portrait of Louise Brooks, by Irving Lippman (of Columbia Studios).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Happy birthday Louise Brooks

Dancer, writer, and silent film star Louise Brooks was born on this day in 1906 in Cherryvale, Kansas. And, on that very day, the Cherryvale Daily News ran a small item on the front page of the newspaper. Happy Birthday, Louise !

To celebrate, why not watch a movie like Pandora's Box, or read a book, like the Louise Brooks edition of The Diary of a Lost Girl.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Compare and contrast: two pictures of Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks, circa 1925

Louise Brooks, circa 1927

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Louise Brooks Society visits the William S. Paley Collection

The Louise Brooks Society visits the William S. Paley Collection at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. (Brooks and Paley had an affair in the 1920s, and later in life, Paley - the founder of CBS - secretly supported the destitute Brooks as she wrote "Lulu in Hollywood.")

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Movies return to the Potrero Theater

According to its Cinema Treasures page, "The New Potrero opened as the Alta Theatre in 1913. The installation of sound equipment in 1930 also brought a new name: the New Potrero Theatre.... They ran no ad in the daily newspaper; a monthly calendar kept neighborhood patrons abreast of what was playing." Because they did not advertise, nor seemingly did they get their showings listed in the local San Francisco newspapers, I doubt that any Louise Brooks film ever screened there.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Louise Brooks on the cover of Doom Patrol

From Show Girl in the 1920s to Valentina in more recent decades, Louise Brooks likeness has long served as an inspiration to cartoonists and comic book artists. This tradition of inspiration continues. A couple of images of Louise Brooks appear on the cover of an issue (number 13) of Doom Patrol (Vertigo), from October, 2010. The story is by Keith Giffen, and the art is by Matthew Clark, Ron Randall, and John Livesay. More information about this particular issue of Doom Patrol can be found at

Monday, November 5, 2012

Video: The Raconteurs, Steady As She Goes - Louise Brooks

A Louise Brooks tribute video, featuring "Steady As She Goes" by The Raconteurs (Jack White's group).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Louise Brooks and Pandora's Box on TCM tonight!

Tonight, the cable station Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is scheduled to air the 1929 Louise Brooks' film, Pandora's Box, in the United States. Directed by G.W. Pabst, it's considered one of the great films of the silent era. Check your local listings to find when this airs in your area. For more information, check this TCM webpage devoted to the film.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Great Nickelodeon Show

Louise Brooks fan Russell Merritt, who has introduced her films here in San Francisco,
 is behind this cinematic extravaganza

Friday, November 2, 2012

Louise Brooks film screens at Andy Warhol Museum

There are few pop culture icons like Louise Brooks . . . and Andy Warhol. Each is legendary. Each, in ways, symbolize their time.

The silent film star and the pop artist come together on November 2 when the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania screens the gender-bending 1928 Louise Brooks' film, Beggars of Life. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Pittsburgh's Daryl Fleming and friends.

Pop art colors define this vintage lobby card
Brooks’ singular beauty, charisma and naturalness helped make her a popular star in the 1920s. The bobbed hair actress was best known for her roles in light romantic comedies like Love Em and Leave Em (1926) and A Girl in Every Port (1928). Her dramatic role in Beggars of Life proved to be something different.

Directed by William Wellman the year after he made Wings (the first film to win an Academy Award), Beggars of Life is a gripping drama about a girl (played by Brooks) dressed as a boy who flees the law after killing her abusive stepfather. On the run, she rides the rails through a male dominated hobo underworld in which danger is always close at hand. Wallace Berry and Richard Arlen also star.

In its review, the New York Morning Telegraph wrote, "Louise Brooks, in a complete departure from the pert flapper that it has been her wont to portray, here definitely places herself on the map as a fine actress. Her characterizations, drawn with the utmost simplicity, is genuinely affecting."

Quinn Martin of the New York World added, "Here we have Louise Brooks, that handsome brunette, playing the part of a fugitive from justice, and playing as if she meant it, and with a certain impressive authority and manner. This is the best acting this remarkable young woman has done."

Beggars of Life features Brooks' best acting and proved to be her best film prior to heading off to Germany to star in Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl (both 1929). It is on those two films, each directed by G.W. Pabst, that Brooks' iconic reputation rests.

For this special screening, the Warhol Museum continues its partnership with the George Eastman House, the world-renowned photograph and motion picture archive in Rochester, New York. The screening is part of a series of seldom shown classic films, "Unseen Treasures from The George Eastman House."

The Beggars of Life screening marks the second time the Warhol Museum has partnered with the Eastman House to show a Brooks' film in Pittsburgh. Back in December of 2008, the Warhol Museum screened the 1930 Brooks' film, Prix de Beauté.

Pop art colors define this vintage lobby card
 For more info: Beggars of Life (b/w, 81 minutes) will be shown on Friday, November 2 at 8:00 p.m at The Warhol Theater in The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Museum will screen a recently restored, 35mm archival print, with live musical accompaniment. Additional details and ticket availability can be found at

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New score for Pandora's Box playing in the UK

A new score for Pandora's Box (1929), starring Louise Brooks, has been written by composer Jóhann Jóhannsson and cellist and composer Hildur Gudnadóttir (from the Icelandic band Múm). They will stage their score live during screenings in the UK, together with clarinettist and graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music Dov Goldberg, and experimental turntable artist Philip Jeck, whose distinctive sound is created by mixing, looping and layering extracts from old vinyl records.

Pandora's Box will be performed in Manchester, Leeds, Coventry and London through November 3. The screenings and newly commissioned score is part of an Opera North Projects, an element of Opera North which brings classical and contemporary arts together in a year-round program of performance.

More on the new score and screenings can be found at
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