Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Year Girl Louise Brooks Says Time Makes a Difference

A leap year is a calendar year containing an additional day added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. It is a rare occurrence. Time makes a difference, so says 1928 leap year girl Louise Brooks. Zowie!




Thursday, February 27, 2020

Louise Brooks Onscreen in Hollywood!

Louise Brooks Onscreen!

Louise Brooks in PANDORA'S BOX

PANDORA'S BOX (35mm print) Starring Louise Brooks
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 8:00 PM
Egyptian Theatre Hollywood
Co-presented by the LA Phil, American Cinematheque and the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles
With live musical accompaniment by composer and jazz pianist Cathlene Pineda along with trumpeter Stephanie Richards and guitarist Jeff Parker. Join us at 7:00 PM in the lobby, where author Thomas Gladysz will sign his book, Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star. Part of the LA Phil's Weimar Variations program focused on Germany's Weimar Republic (1919 - 1933) culture. Additional free programs at the Egyptian Theatre earlier in the day.

35 mm!
PANDORA'S BOX (DIE BÜCHSE DER PANDORA)
1929, Janus Films, 110 min, Germany, Dir: G.W. Pabst
As Henri Langlois once thundered, "There is no Garbo! There is no Dietrich! There is only Louise Brooks!" Here she proves it with one of the wildest performances of the silent era, as the dancer-turned-hooker Lulu who attracts men like moths to a candle. Politicians, titans of industry and the aristocracy are all part of the milieu Lulu inhabits as the story begins; her eventual descent to a criminal underworld underlines the fragility of German society between the wars. The combination of Brooks and director G.W. Pabst ("It was sexual hatred that engrossed his whole being with its flaming reality," she once said) is still astonishing.

Tickets Price: $15 General. No vouchers. | 35mm print courtesy of the George Eastman Museum. Preservation funded by Hugh M. Hefner. | Book sales by Larry Edmunds Bookshop. Visit the ADSLA table in the lobby to find out about upcoming events!

Click above for advance tickets on Fandango or purchase at
the box office.

Parking:
Parking at meters (some are only one hour) and in area lots $15-20. Metro Redline at Hollywood & Highland.
Where:
Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028

Local Historic Dining:
Miceli's Italian Restaurant (1949)
Musso & Frank Grill (1919)
The Roosevelt Hotel (new restaurants inside a vintage hotel)

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Remembering Baby Peggy, the last silent film star

Diana Serra Cary, known as Baby Peggy in the 1920s, has died at the age of 101. Prior to her passing, she was widely regarded as the last living silent film star. Obits for the one time film star appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Hollywood Reporter and other publications. Turner Classic Movies (TCM) released this short video tribute.


In the 1920s, Baby Peggy was a superstar known and loved around the world. What a beautiful child she was, and what a beautiful adult she became - a survivor, and a hero to many.

In researching the life and films of Louise Brooks, I have come across articles about this pint-sized star time and again -- in newspapers and magazines just about everywhere I have looked -- in publications across Europe and Latin America, Australia, Canada, Asia, etc.... And though they crossed paths in print, Baby Peggy and Louise Brooks never met. I know that to be true because I asked Diana. She knew of Brooks, of course, and remembered her reputation for being "smart." (They both loved books, and reading.) The closest they came to crossing paths was through a mutual friend, Clara Bow. In fact, Baby Peggy and Clara Bow starred in film together, a 1924 comedy called Helen's Babies. I treasure the photoplay edition book I have of that film, which Diana signed for me.

Edward Everett Horton, Baby Peggy, and Clara Bow in Helen's Babies
I had the chance to spend time with Diana on a number of occasions. The first time I met her was in Niles, California when a bunch of us went out to lunch with her following an event at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. A few years later, I put on a bookstore event with her when her 2003 book, Jackie Coogan: The World's Boy King: A Biography of Hollywood's Legendary Child Star, was published. The following day, I organized a book signing for her at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, where she was a big hit.

In 2010, I snapped this photo of Diana and some of her admirer's at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. It depicts of Academy Award honoree Kevin Brownlow, Diana, the late preservationist David Shepard, and Leonard Maltin.


Over the years, I also interviewed Diana on a few occasions in connection with pieces I was writing for the Huffington Post, examiner.com, and the San Francisco Chronicle website. Unfortunately, my 2012 Salon piece, "Silent film star recalls 1924 Democratic Convention," is no long available on Salon, despite it getting a bit of buzz at the time and being a Salon editor's pick. In fact, it was one of the most viewed pieces on the Salon website for a couple of days running.The piece, however, can be read HERE.


My Salon article was occasioned by the release of an excellent documentary about Diana called, Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room. I recommend it. Here is its trailer.


In 2011, I organized “An afternoon with silent film star Baby Peggy,” and interviewed Diana on stage at the San Francisco Public Library. We showed one of Diana's short films, and then conversed for more than a half an hour. A large crowd turned out, perhaps 150 people, and afterwords, Diana signed lots of books and autographs - including one, I remember, for the late poet Kevin Killian, a long-time acquaintance of mine.

If you are ever looking to read an inspiring book about the silent film era, I would wholeheartedly recommend Diana's Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy: The Autobiography of Hollywood's Pioneer Child Star. It tells her story in her own words. It is a great read. As I write this blog post, I notice that it is amazon's #1 kindle bestseller in the Theater Acting & Auditioning category! I would also recommend tracking down her of her surviving feature films. Watch them and like me you may well fall a little bit in love with this special little actress. Be sure and check out Captain January, or The Family Secret on DVD



I treasure my copies of each of Diana's books. Here is how she autographed the dedication page of my copy of Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Pandora's Box starring Louise Brooks at Cinema City in Norwich, England

Pandora's Box (1929), starring Louise Brooks, will be shown at the Cinema City in Norwich, England on February 24, 2020. More information and tickets made be found HERE.



According to the Cinema City website: "One of the great silent films, G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box is renowned for its sensational storyline, sparkling Weimar-period setting and the legendary, lead performance from its iconic star Louise Brooks. Following the rise and fall of Lulu (Brooks), a spirited but innocent showgirl whose sheer sexual magnetism wreaks havoc on the lives of men and women alike, the film was controversial in its day, then underappreciated for decades. Pandora’s Box now stands as an incredibly modern movie, and few stars of any era dazzle as bright as Louise Brooks."


Speaking of Louise Brooks, Pandora's Box and England, UK author, film critic and Louise Brooks Society friend Pamela Hutchinson has announced that a second edition of her BFI (British Film Institute) Film Classics title, Pandora's Box, will be released this year. Though the book itself is the same, Hutchinson recommended read will feature a new cover! More information about the book can be found HERE.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

More unusual early film material found while researching Louise Brooks

In researching Louise Brooks, I have come across all kinds of interesting, unusual, and even surprising material.... At the end of the previous blogpost,"Louise Brooks and Brazil - beginning with Pandora's Box featured in a 1930 Chaplin Club newsletter," I mentioned that this post would feature material of interest to those looking into early film and it manifestation around the globe. Here it is.

I recently came across archives from two new (to me) newspapers, and explored them for material related to Louise Brooks. Unfortunately, I came up empty handed. Nevertheless, the material was unusual enough that I wanted to share it. First up are a couple of clippings from Managua, Nicaragua. I am confident that Brooks' American silent films were shown there, but the sole database I accessed was fragmentary, and thus the record was incomplete. I figure if Buster Keaton was known and shown in this Central American nation, chances are so was Brooks

A 1929 clipping
A January 1937 Max Factor ad featuring Jean Harlow
By comparison, I have found a good number of listings for Brooks' American silents in Panama -- specifically in the Panama canal zone. I also have found many clippings from Mexico, from various Caribbean island nations (Cuba, Haiti, etc...), and South America. Unfortunately, I have found little from Central America - specifically  Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Certainly, Brooks' films made their way into these the nations.

The other clippings I came across originated in India. They were published in a now defunct newspaper called Amrita Bazar Patrika. Originally published in Bengali script, the paper evolved into an English format publication which was published from the city of Kolkata and other locations such as Cuttack, Ranchi and Allahabad. Unfortunately, as this database was also fragmentary, I failed to find any material related to Brooks. (Again, by comparison, I have come across a good number of articles and advertisements related to Brooks' films in the Times of India.) Here is what I found in Amrita Bazar Patrika.

Here is an advertisement for a Harold Lloyd film from August, 1930. Notice that "Dances and Songs" were featured every day at the Crown Cinema, another theatre in Shambazar. (Shyambazar is a neighbourhood of North Kolkata, in the Kolkata district in the Indian state of West Bengal.)


And here is one for a Marion Davies film showing at the Purna Theatre, dating from July 1930. It was accompanied by a "grand revival" of Madhur Milan. I am not sure what Madhur Milan was, exactly, though there were later Bengali films by that name. Also, notice in the next ad over that the Pearl theatre is promoting "Wonderful singing and dancing" by Shibo Rani, as well as the "comedy king of India" in the person of Prof. T.N. Bagchi.


And here is one for a John Gilbert film, also dating from July 1930. It is described as a "H[a]unting Memory of Beauty and Delight."


The pre-film entertainment which accompanied these three American films seems to be local, which made for a lively mix of American and Indian entertainment.

Finally, here is a full page of mostly film advertisements dating from April 1939, five months before the beginning of WWII and eight years before India would gain its independence. Again, the page presents not only a Boris Karloff thriller, a Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire film, and a Charlie Chan film, but overall a lively mix of American and Indian entertainment.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Louise Brooks and Brazil - beginning with Pandora's Box featured in a 1930 Chaplin Club newsletter

I have been researching Louise Brooks for a long time, ever since I began the Louise Brooks Society and launched its website back in 1995. Over those 25 years, I have come across all kinds of interesting, unusual, and even surprising material. However, what I came across a few days ago left me a bit gobsmacked.

I found two articles focusing on Pandora's Box, the 1929 German-made, G.W. Pabst directed film starring Louise Brooks. It wasn't so much that I found two articles that were unknown to me - but where I found them. They appeared in the June 1930 issue of O Fan - the official newsletter of the Chaplin-Club. (More on this remarkable group below.) What astonished me was that something like a local film club printed a newsletter back then, and that ephemeral copies survived to this day. And what's more, this group was based not in the United States or Europe, but in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Here is the table of contents for the June 1930 issue, with Pandora's Box referred to under its Portuguese title, A Caixa de Pandora.


As can be seen above, one article on the film is by Octávio de Faria, and the other is by Annibal Nogueira Jr. Each were noted Brazilian writers. (Additionally, Octavio de Faria was the editor of O Fan.) The first article runs seven and a half-pages. It is subtitled -- "ensaaio para um estudo sobre G. W. Pabst" -- or "essay for a study on G. W. Pabst." Instead of posting images of each page of this first piece, I will instead LINK TO THE ARTICLE so that those who wish to read it may do so.


The second article runs seven pages. Instead of posting images of each page of this second article, I will instead LINK TO THE ARTICLE so those who wish to read it may do so.


The last entry on the table of contents pictured above is "Sessões do Chaplin-Club," a record of the group's sessions or meetings at which they viewed and/or discussed films. Did the Chaplin-Club have their own access to prints of the films they wrote about, or did they rely on theatrical screenings? It is hard to say. But, in announcing the publication of the two articles shown above, the prior issue of O Fan referred to a "special presentation" they had of A Caixa de Pandora.



If that is the case, WOW. If not, then the only public showing of A Caixa de Pandora in Rio de Janeiro prior to June 1930 that I have come across took place in December, 1929 at Rio's Primor theatre, pictured below in an image dating from the 1920s.


This old theater may still stand. James N. Green's a 2001 book, Beyond Carnival: Male Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century Brazil (University of Chicago Press), refers to the Primor as "a large old movie theatre in downtown Rio... [and] a popular place for anonymous sexual liaisons."


 

But ... I digress. As well as the two articles, the sessões record in the June 1930 issue of O Fan contains a brief evaluation of A Caixa de Pandora by an author credited only as "A.C." (That author may be Almir Castro.)


My rough, computer assisted translation from the Portuguese reads:

"A major film by Pabst. It is a drama begun in dark tones, charged, morbid. Typically Pabst, it's deeply imbued with his directorial temperament. They are five or six different and equally tragic scenes, which evolve around a young woman, leading to a progressive and almost unconscious fall.

Scenario is well built, few inter-titles, drawing from the artist everything he can give. Symbolism. Great staging, great ambience, great characters, great detail, great sensuality - obsessive sensuality. All of it is compressed, dense, compact ...

Pandora's Box
... and Louise Brooks."

Notably, this issue also contained a still from the film, which I have improved via Photoshop because the original scan was poor.


What was Chaplin-Club? Founded in 1928 by Octavio de Faria and three others, the Chaplin-Club was the first cine-club in Brazil; it's main objective was to study cinema as art rather than as a popular form of entertainment. It should be noted that though they revered Charlie Chaplin and took their name from the actor, the club's interests went beyond the comedian and his films. And, it should also be noted, the club's perspective looked beyond Hollywood and instead looked to ideas about film then percolating in Europe, especially in France and to a lesser degree the Soviet Union.

Since the group's founding, it issued O Fan as a means to spread its ideas. The group's newsletter, which ran between 1928 and 1930, marked the beginning of "serious" Brazilian film criticism. All together, I believe, there were nine issues. The first seven issues, which resemble a professional newsletter of today, ran between four and eight pages, while the last two, which looked like a less professional 'zine, ran approximately 100 pages. Check out the first issue (pictured below) as well as later issues of the publication starting HERE.


Unlike Cinearte, Brazil's leading film-fan magazine, O Fan had no advertisements, printed few photographs, and seemingly had little interest in Hollywood and its stars. It newsletter was instead filled with serious, sometimes technical analyses of European and American silent films. It printed articles on directors such as Abel Gance, Erich von Stroheim, King Vidor, Buster Keaton, E. A. Dupont, D. W. Griffith, F. W. Murnau and G. W. Pabst. Below is a typical first page, featuring articles on Charlie Chaplin and Ernst Lubitsch. Other earlier issues critiqued films like City Lights, Fazil, Sunrise, The Patriot, Moulin Rouge, and Broadway Melody. There were also short write-ups of Erotikon, Variety, Piccadilly and other films.


Even with the emergence of sound films, the Chaplin-Club considered silent film the pinnacle of cinematic achievement. According to Maite Conde's 2018 book Foundational Films: Early Cinema and Modernity in Brazil (University of California Press), the Brazilian group, "decried the talkies as attacking the purity of film's visual discourse, and, worse still, as taking the medium back to its popular origins in the theater.... O Fan knew that it was read by almost no one and that it had no influence in the future of film, but it was not troubled by this."

What film could achieve was an idea whose time had come. Just a couple of months after the two articles about Pandora's Box appeared in O Fan, another of Brooks' European films, the French made Prix de beaute (aka Miss Europa) opened in Rio at the Alhambra, where it proved to be a big hit. That film was Brooks' first sound film, but more than that, it is a film very much concerned with the visual depiction of sound.


Despite their belief that their group had little influence, the ideas put forth by the Chaplin-Club seeped into Brazil's film culture. The Chaplin-Club dissolved in 1930, and its members went on to be film critics, writers, and teachers whose followers and students would in turn go on to form their own film clubs, societies, and groups. In the 1940s, when Orson Welles visited Brazil, he met with members of the disbanded Chaplin-Club and even debated the use of sound and image in film. In the mid-1950s, important national institutions like the Brazilian Cinemateca, and later the Cinemateca of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, were founded. Both, in part, can trace their origins to the intellectual cinephilia seeded by the Chaplin-Club.

Interestingly, as well, in 1959, Enrique Scheiby, assistant curator of the Brazilian Cinemateca, visited the United States under the State Department's international educational exchange service. He visited for five months, to "study the American film industry." According to an August, 1959 article in a Brazilian newspaper, Correio do Parana, among the various places he visited was the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York -- and among the prominent stars he came into contact with were George Cukor, Otto Preminger, Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Swanson and .... Louise Brooks. (My research confirms that Scheiby dined with Brooks and James Card on May 14, 1959.) According to Carlos Roberto de Souza's A Cinemateca Brasileira e a preservação de filmes no Brasil, Scheiby was intent on meeting Brooks, "muse of silent cinema, who signed photographs for the select members of an informal club of Louise Brooks admirers, whose headquarters was the Cinematheque." For a time, one of those autographed photographs would hang in the meeting room of the Cinematheque.

Three years later, French film archivist Henri Langlois also visited Rochester, and was interviewed by Henry Clune of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. He confirmed Brazil's continuing affection for Brooks.


Some of the above material will be included in my forthcoming two volume work, Around the World with Louise Brooks, a transnational look at the career and films of the actress. It is due out later this year. For more interesting, unusual, and even surprising material, stay tuned to this blog. And consider subscribing. The next post will feature material of interest to those interested in early film and it manifestation around the globe.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Louise Brooks double reminder Louise Brooks

A couple of reminders regarding Louise Brooks and books....


FIRST UP: Two weeks from today, on Saturday February 29th between 7:00 and 8:00 pm I will be signing books at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood before the American Cinematheque's screening of the 1929 classic, Pandora's Box, starring the one and only Louise Brooks. This special leap day event is co-presented by the LA Philharmonic and the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. More information HERE.

I will be signing books in the lobby of the historic Egyptian Theater (6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles), with book sales handled by Larry Edmunds Bookshop. I will have a limited number of FREE mini Lulu pin-back buttons to give away to those who purchase two or more books and ask for an autograph. Please join us! Not only will I be there, but so will musicians from the LA Philharmonic -- composer and jazz pianist Cathlene Pineda, trumpeter Stephanie Richards, and guitarist Jeff Parker -- who will be providing live musical accompaniment to Pandora's Box.

SECONDLY: Author Tom Graves has asked me to let everyone know that only ten copies are left of his limited edition book, My Afternoon with Louise Brooks, the telling of the time he spent with Louise Brooks in 1982. Only 100 copies were printed and each one is signed and numbered. I have a copy, and you should too! To place an order via email send a message to pullers2004@yahoo.com, or contact the Facebook page "Fans of Author Tom Graves".


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Upcoming Kansas Silent Film Festival

As readers of this blog know, Louise Brooks was born in Cherryvale, Kansas and grew up in Wichita, Kansas. That state hosts a notable, and long running silent film festival which this year takes place February 28 and February 29. Admission is FREE to the event, which is held on the campus of Washburn University in Topeka. More information HERE.


Underworld (1927), a film akin to Brooks' lost The City Gone Wild (1927) which features Love Em and Leave Em co-star Evelyn Brent, is among the festival highlights. Tracey Goessel, author of The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks, is the banquet dinner speaker. And the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, who have recorded their score for the Kino Lorber DVD release of Beggars of Life (1928), will be providing live musical accompaniment.





Sunday, February 9, 2020

Louise Brooks inspired film The Chaperone shows in Australia

The Louise Brooks inspired film The Chaperone will be shown on Tuesday, February 25 at the Stanton Library in North Sydney, New South Wales. More information about this event can be found HERE.

The library announcement reads, "Join us @Stanton_Library for our Books to Movies screening of 'The Chaperone' based on the 2012 novel by Laura Moriarty about teenage Louise Brooks, who dreams of fame and fortune in New York City in the company of a watchful chaperone. All welcome!" Additionally, the library notes, "This friendly group meets to screen films based on both classic and popular books. And it is not necessary to have read the book! Filmic appreciation mixed with lively debate makes this event all the more interesting."

The Chaperone, produced as a film by PBS in the United States, is based on the bestselling 2012 book of the same name by Laura Moriarty, a Kansas novelist. Curiously, The Chaperone has received a lot of "love" in Australia, perhaps as much as the film received in the United States. The titular star of the film, Elizabeth McGovern, flew to Sydney were she introduced it at the Australian premiere. An earlier LBS blog on the Australian opening can be found HERE.

 via Facebook
Though Academy Award nominee Elizabeth McGovern, famous for her role in Downton Abbey, was the star of The Chaperone, many including myself felt actress Haley Lu Richardson stole the show. Richardson plays Louise Brooks in what I would describe as a bravura performance, one worthy of at least an Oscar nomination as best supporting actress. Regrettably, she did not receive a nomination. Here is a slightly different, more briskly edited Australian trailer for the film.


I think it is wonderful that Australia has embraced The Chaperone and Louise Brooks' story. (A major retrospective of the actress' film was held late last year at the Melbourne Cinémathèque. Read more about it HERE. ) I hope a bunch of people turn out for the Stanton screening, and a bunch of people check out a copy of Laura Moriarty's fine novel. The Louise Brooks Society recommends both!


Friday, February 7, 2020

Diary of a Lost Girl, starring Louise Brooks, screens in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The once controversial 1929 Louise Brooks film, Diary of a Lost Girl, will be shown in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, February 8th. My apologizes for the last minute notice, but I was just made aware of this screening. More information about the event can be found HERE.


The Kansas-born Louise Brooks plays the title role — the “lost girl” — in Das Tagebuch einer Verlorenen, or Diary of a Lost Girl. The film is a sensational story of a young woman who is seduced and conceives a child, only to be sent to a home for wayward women before escaping to a brothel. Beneath its melodramatic surface, the film is a pointed social critique aimed at society at large. It is notable that this film screening is co-sponsored by Tulsa Kids.

Diary of a Lost Girl is the second film Brooks made under the direction of G.W. Pabst. The first, Pandora’s Box, was also released in 1929. Like Pandora’s Box, this second collaboration was also based on a famous work of literature. Diary of a Lost Girl was based on the bestselling book of the same name by Margarete Böhme. At the time of its publication, one critic called the book “the poignant story of a great-hearted girl who kept her soul alive amidst all the mire that surrounded her poor body.” That summation applies to the film as well. And like the book, the film was the subject of attack - criticized by various groups and ultimately censored.


Though Brooks' American films were shown in Tulsa in the 1920s and 1930s, I wonder if the German-made Diary of a Lost Girl was shown there earlier  - sometime during the last few decades? (Diary was not shown anywhere in the United States until the late 1950s, and not in 1930 as the Circle Cinema website suggests. In fact, the film was first shown in New York state, and didn't debut elsewhere until the 1970s and 1980s.)

According to a notice in the Tulsa World, “The Circle’s 'Second Saturday Silents' series of monthly silent films continues with an 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, screening of this 1929 drama starring Louise Brooks. Live theater pipe organ accompaniment will be provided by the Sooner State Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society."



The Circle theater (located at 10 S Lewis Ave) bills itself as Tulsa’s Connection to Film History Experience. The Circle Cinema is Tulsa’s oldest-standing movie theatre. It originally opened in 1928 and now operates as the only nonprofit cinema in the area. As such, it celebrates creativity, the arts and filmmakers from around the corner and the world. Their regular series of silent films are shown with musical accompaniment played on a restored 1928 Robert Morton theatre pipe organ.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

New G.W. Pabst DVD Blu-ray set features Louise Brooks

A new 16 disc set featuring the films of the Austrian-born German director G.W. Pabst has been released in France. And what's more, this gorgeous looking box set features Louise Brooks on the cover.
The set, released by Tamasa Diffusion and titled G.W. Pabst-Le Mystère d'une Âme, features 12 of the acclaimed director's best films, including Joyless Street (1925) and The Loves of Jeanne Ney (1927) as well as The White Hell of Pitz Palu (1929), The Three Penny Opera (1931), and Kameradschaft (1931). And of course, there is also Pandora's Box (1929) and The Diary of a Lost Girl (1929). The set, which runs 1289 minutes, focuses on Pabst's early efforts, but regrettably omits Secrets of a Soul (1926). Likewise, it includes Don Quixote (1933), but omits L'Atlantide (1932).

The set proclaims: "witnesses of his mastery of staging and his permanent inventiveness." The more than three and one-half hours of bonus material scattered over the various discs includes short documentary presentations, alternative versions, archival material and more. A bonus disc includes the 60 minute documentary Looking for Lulu. Also included is a 132 page book, Imaginary correspondence with Georg Wilhelm Pabst, written by Pierre Eisenreich.

I haven't yet seen this recently released set, but hope to acquire a copy soon. I need to save up my Euros! As of now, G.W. Pabst-Le Mystère d'une Âme seems only to be available via amazon France or directly (and at a better price) from its distributor, Tamasa.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Louise Brooks Frank Martin signed etching for sale

Besides Herbert Bayer's photomontage "Profil en Face" (1929), one of the most significant works of fine art to depict Louise Brooks is Frank Martin's 1974 etching of the actress. A copy has just come up for sale HERE.


Frank Martin (1921-2005) created this limited edition signed etching on copper in the early 1970s (which is somewhat early in the timeline of Brooks' post WWII rediscovery). It was published by Christie's Contemporary Art in 1974. 

According to the sellers' website, "Frank Martin was a printmaker, illustrator and teacher, born in Dulwich, southeast London. He read history at Oxford University and then studied at St Martin’s School of Art. After army service in World War 2 he gradually established himself as a freelance artist, although he taught at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts from 1953-1980. He illustrated many books, including Charles Lamb’s Essays, 1963 and William Hazlitt’s Essays, 1964. From 1966 he turned his attention to a long series of prints of Hollywood actresses of the silent film era.

Originally a Ziegfeld Follies Girl, Louise Brooks made films in Hollywood in the late 1920s. Her high reputation as an actress rests on her performance as Lulu in Pandora's Box, made in Germany in 1928.
"


This print, which originates from an antique dealer in Yorkshire, is number 26 of 110. Antique's Atlas is asking $2161.50 or £1650.00, or €1958.55. I am not sure if the latter price is still current as the UK has left the European Union. (The Louise Brooks Society does not own a copy of this work of art: if anyone wanted to purchase it and donate it to the author of this blog, that would be splendid.) 

Personally, I very much like the artist's rendering of Brooks almost somber face, as well as the Cubist-like background, the latter of which suggests Brooks' modernity. My only criticism is the artist's handling of Brooks' breasts, which I think are too full, somewhat evoking the curved lines of the background.

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