Friday, September 30, 2016

Louise Brooks and other stars celebrated in Bologna

Louise Brooks is the cover girl for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the IL CINEMA RITROVATO de Bologne. For more information please visit THIS LINK. The celebration runs through October 18, 2016.

According to the  IL CINEMA RITROVATO website: "Il Cinema Ritrovato is turning thirty this year. It’s been thirty long and yet fast years: memories of our first pioneering editions, when brave film archivists would bring their treasures to our historic, single-screen Lumière theater, are still fresh in our mind. Today it takes five screens to show all the films and Piazza Maggiore can hardly contain our increasingly international, enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience. We want to celebrate our festival with all the love and warmth it deserves, and toast with gratitude to all those who contributed to make Il Cinema Ritrovato grow so rapidly and impetuously and to be recognized and cherished around the world. And so we will celebrate, in every theater with all the archivists, critics, historians, artists, film-lovers and friends who will join us to present their work, share experiences and simply watch films. We will celebrate with our time-machine journey, back to 1896 and from there across the entire 20th century; and with a space machine that will take us on a journey across European, Latin-American, US, Asian and African films. This year’s edition will be full of certainties and surprises: eight days of screenings in five theaters, from morning till night; eight nights in the world’s most extraordinary cinema in the world, Piazza Maggiore, and three in the magic intimacy of Piazzetta Pasolini; over four hundred films and twenty programs; over a hundred and fifty silent films with live music accompaniment and talented composers."

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Louise Brooks (and other silent era stars) in Latvia #2

A continuation of yesterday's post... I was recently looking through a Latvian film magazine, and found some Louise Brooks and silent film star related material. All of it dates circa 1927 to 1929. Here are a couple of fantastic magazine covers featuring Fritz Lang and Sally Phipps. I especially like the caricatures.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Louise Brooks (and other silent era stars) in Latvia #1

I was recently looking through a Latvian film magazine, and found some Louise Brooks and silent film star related material. All of it dates circa 1927 to 1929. Here are a couple of images of Brooks, followed by some nifty magazine covers. The first image, with the poem, is a full page in the original. Can anyone translate the poem? The second image is from A Girl in Every Port, followed by covers featuring Clara Bow and Esther Ralston. [I will post some even more spectacular silent film magazine covers tomorrow.]

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pandora's Box screens in Palo Alto September 23

Pandora's Box (1929)

Friday, September 23 at 7:30 pm at the Stanford Theater.
Silent, with Dennis James at the organ.

Taken from plays by Frank Wedekind, here is one of the greatest of silent films, and a seminal step in the history of the femme fatale. The Viennese director, G.W. Pabst, hired Louise Brooks away from Paramount to be Lulu, the fierce life force, dancing her way through a gallery of feeble men on her way to a meeting with Jack the Ripper. The film is loaded with Freudian insight into self-destructive behavior, but Brooks delivers a performance that remains a landmark in terms of emotional and sexual energy. Her acting career was soon over, but Lulu endures, a challenging model of cinematic seduction.—David Thomson

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Buster Keaton Festival in Iola, Kansas on Sept. 23 and 24

Here is some information about the upcoming Buster Keaton Festival in Iola, Kansas. Visit the Buster Keaton Celebration website for further details.

And here is a little something fans of Buster Keaton (the other great silent film star from Kansas) might enjoy, a two page spread from a 1927 Japanese film magazine.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The original Lassie, a clever screen actress

The original Lassie (picture above) was a clever canine screen actress who appeared in The Street of Forgotten Men (1925), directed by Herbert Brenon. In the film, she is killed by Bridegport White-Eye (picture above), the fake blind beggar played by John Harrington, whose moll was played by Louise Brooks. According to the article below, this canine Lassie (a bull terrier-cocker spaniel mix which predated the more famous Collie) was something of a star in her day, earning $15,000 a year.

As noted in the article above, "It is said that the death of Lassie in The Street of Forgotten Men was so impressive that persons were convinced that she must have been cruelly beaten." And that individuals and Societies for the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals wrote protesting against what they supposed to be cruelty to the canine star. How was the animal's death in The Street of Forgotten Men so effectively filmed by Hal Rosson? The answer can be found the the clipping below.

In the still shown below, The Street of Forgotten Men star Percy Marmont holds the dying Lassie in his arms as denizens of the Bowery's look on. Wooden barrels be damned.

Thought not credited in the film, Lassie still managed to find her way into at least a few newspaper advertisements promoting The Street of Forgotten Men. Here is an example from Mexico, where the film was shown under the title La calle del olvido.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Flapper fun: a historical note

Here is some flapper fun from 1925. Though the flapper poet (lower left) certainly looks like Louise Brooks, I would guess its not meant to be her, but perhaps Dorothy Parker.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Twinkle twinkle Baby Stars

From 1927, caricatures by D.G. Shore of up-and-coming stars Louise Brooks, Dolores Costello, Lois Moran, Betty Bronson and Olive Borden. Not surprisingly, Brooks is the sternest looking of the bunch. (This caricature re-appeared in 1957 on the red cloth binding of the French edition of Ado Kyrou's Amour - érotisme et cinéma.)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Louise Brooks "True art instincts lead one up the right alley"

On this day in 1925, Louise Brooks and a few others (including George Arliss) are quoted in Billboard in a piece called "Remarkable Remarks."

 "True art instincts lead one up the right alley."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bebe Daniels: Hollywood's Good Little Bad Girl

One of the people I met at this year's Cinecon in Hollywood was Charles L Epting, the author of the just released Bebe Daniels: Hollywood's Good Little Bad Girl (McFarland). Charles was proudly carrying around the first copies of his new book.

When I returned home, my copy of Charles' book was waiting for me! I was pleased, as it looks promising and I have always wanted to read something substantial on Bebe Daniels. I am currently reading the new Pola Negri book by Sergio Delgado (also from McFarland), so the Bebe Daniels book will have to wait a bit. It's next up.

In the meantime, here is the publisher description for Bebe Daniels: Hollywood's Good Little Bad Girl: "Bebe Daniels had one of the most diverse and lengthy careers in show business. From her beginnings as a child on the vaudeville circuit to her resurgence as a radio and television star in postwar Britain, Daniels' story has not been told."

"Best remembered for her work in silent films, Daniels was a child actress in the earliest days of the West Coast film industry before becoming Harold Lloyd's first leading lady. Later she was one of Cecil B. DeMille's vamps before reaching the pinnacle of success with Paramount in the 1920s.
With the advent of talkies, she was able to reinvent herself, enjoying a resurgence in the 1930s until her eventual retirement to England. Daniels' life was filled with determination and steadfast principles but also high-profile romances and the glitz and glamour of early Hollywood."

About the Author: Charles L. Epting is the editor-in-chief of Silent Film Quarterly magazine. He has also written extensively about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and stamp collecting. He lives in Huntington Beach, California.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Upcoming Booksignings at Cinecon

Here is a reminder that their will be a Louise Brooks-related book signing taking place at this year's Cinecon classic film festival taking place in Hollywood this weekend. Here's what's happening.

THE DIARY OF A LOST GIRL (Louise Brooks edition)
PandorasBox Press
Edited By Thomas Gladysz

The 1929 Louise Brooks film, Diary image of a Lost Girl, is based on a once famous and controversial book by Margarete Bohme which is counted among the bestselling titles of its time. The "Louise Brooks edition" of Bohme's book, edited by Thomas Gladysz (Director of the Louise Brooks Society), includes dozens of illustrations and an introductory essay detailing the book’s remarkable history and relationship to the acclaimed silent film. Gladysz also provided the audio commentary to last year's DVD & Blu-ray release of the film from Kino Lorber.

The book signings are part of the Cinecon Memorabilia Show which is normally located in the third floor meeting area of the Loews Hollywood Hotel but this year will be relocated to the mezzanine level (second floor) of the hotel.

For more information and a complete list of signings, check out THIS PAGE. "Who else will be there," you ask?

SILENT TRACES: Discovering Early Hollywood Through The Films of Charlie Chaplin
SILENT ECHOES: Discovering Early Hollywood Through The Films of Buster Keaton
SILENT VISIONS: Discovering Early Hollywood Through The Films of Harold Lloyd
Santa Monica Press
By John Bengston

The books provide a unique visual history of early Hollywood as depicted in the silent comedians’ classic movies by combining images from various films with archival photographs, historic maps, and scores of dramatic “then” and “now” photos, revealing dozens of movie locations that lay undiscovered in Hollywood for over 80 years.   John has given presentations at past Cinecons based on his research for these books and then conducted walking tours showing the actual movie locations depicted in the books.

A THOUSAND CUTS: the Bizarre Underground World of Collectors and Dealers Who Saved the Movies
University Press of Mississippi
By Dennis Bartok and Jeff Joseph

This book is a candid exploration of one of America’s strangest and most quickly vanishing subcultures. It is about the death of physical film in the digital era and about a paranoid, secretive, eccentric, and sometimes obsessive group of film-mad collectors who made movies and their projection a private religion in the time before DVDs and Blu-rays. It also examines one of the least-known episodes in modern legal history: the FBI’s and Justice Department’s campaign to harass, intimidate, and arrest film dealers and collectors in the early 1970s. Victims included Roddy McDowall, who was arrested in 1974 for film collecting and forced to name names of fellow collectors, including Rock Hudson and Mel Tormé. A Thousand Cuts explores the obsessions of the colorful individuals who created their own screening rooms, spent vast sums, negotiated underground networks, and even risked legal jeopardy to pursue their passion for real, physical film.

By Karie Bible & Mary Mallory

Marvelously illustrated with more than 200 rare images from the silent era through the 1970s, this joyous treasure trove features film and television's most famous actors and actresses celebrating the holidays in lavishly produced photographs. Legends such as Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford, and Audrey Hepburn spread holiday cheer throughout the calendar year in iconic, ironic, and illustrious style. These images, taken by legendary still photographers, hearken back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, when motion picture studios devised elaborate publicity campaigns to promote their stars and to keep their names and faces in front of the movie-going public all year round.

THEDA BARA MY MENTOR: Under the Wings of Hollywood's First Femme Fatale
By Joan Craig with Beverly F. Stout

As movie patrons sat in darkened theaters in January 1914, they were mesmerized by an alluring temptress with long sable hair and kohl-rimmed eyes. Theda Bara—“the vamp,” as she would come to be known—would soon be one of the highest paid film stars of the 1910s, earning an unheard of $4,000 per week, before retiring from the screen in 1926. Although Theda was retired she was very much a part of Hollywood. Hollywood celebrities flowed through her front door!

In 1946, at age five, the author met Bara—then 61—at her Beverly Hills home and the actress became her mentor. This memoir is the story of their friendship.  

Book Publishers Network
By Manny Pacheco

Nothing grabs the mind like a finely crafted image film. Memorable lines strike an instant impression, and imagery provides celluloid art to enjoy time and again. Bypassing the legendary stars from the studio era's golden age, Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History focuses on the character actors and actresses that consistently delivered stellar performances, and it offers a bold fresh new take of our human journey.

And Manny will also be bringing his follow-up book - Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History  

HARLOW IN HOLLYOOD: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital, 1928-1937
Angel City Press
By Darrell Rooney and Mark Vieira

In her short decade in Hollywood, Harlow created a new genre of movie star--her fans idolized her for her peerless image, her beautiful body, and her gorgeous facade. "Harlow in Hollywood" is the story of how a town and an industry created her, a story that's never been told before. In these pages, renowned Harlow expert Darrell Rooney and Hollywood historian Mark Vieira team to present the most beautiful--and accurate--book on Harlow ever produced. With more than 280 rare images, the authors not only make a case for Harlow as an Art Deco artifact, they showcase the fabulous places where she lived, worked and played from her white-on-white Beverly Glen mansion to the Art Deco sets of "Dinner at Eight" to the foyer of the Cafe Trocadero. "Harlow in Hollywood" is a must for every film buff, Harlow collector, and book lover.

LAUREL & HARDY: The Magic Behind the Movies
Bonaventure Press
By Randy Skretvedt

This is a massively expanded and updated edition of the book, which was originally published in 1987. The new hard cover edition with 632 pages has twice as much text as the original and four times as many photographs (now 1,000 of them). Most of the photos are previously unpublished and many of them are one-of-a-kind items from Oliver Hardy's personal collection. The text is based on interviews done in the 1970s and early '80s with 65 of Laurel and Hardy's working associates, along with original scripts and studio files.

WILD BILL WELLMAN: Hollywood Rebel
By William Wellman, Jr.

William Wellman, Jr. has written this great new biography about his legendary father, famed director William "Wild Bill" Wellman. Here is a revealing, boisterous portrait of the handsome, tough-talking, hard-drinking, uncompromising maverick juvenile delinquent whose own life story was more adventurous and more unpredictable than anything in the movies. William Wellman is famous for directing such iconic pictures as: the pioneering World War I epic Wings (winner of the first Academy Award for best picture), Public Enemy, Nothing Sacred, the original A Star Is Born, Beggars of Life, The Call of the Wild, The Ox-Bow Incident, Battleground, The High and the Mighty.

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