Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Major Louise Brooks Retrospective in Zurich, Switzerland Oct 5 - Nov 18, 2020

FilmPodium has announced the dates for its rescheduled Louise Brooks retrospective. The 15 film series, originally set to take place earlier this year but cancelled due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, is now set to take place October 5 through November 18, 2020. It looks to be a must attend event for any Louise Brooks fan or silent movie buff or film scholar in the region. FilmPodium is located in Zurich, Switzerland. For more information on the series, including informative program notes and the times and dates of each screening, visit HERE.


I have known about this event since it was in the planning stages, and have exchanged emails with Filmpodium offering suggestions. I am especially pleased the series will include the surviving fragment of Now We're in the Air, whose preservation I had a small hand in helping with. (You'll find my name in the credits, as well as in the credits at the end of Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu.) Once considered lost, Now We're in the Air has not been shown in Switzerland since the late 1920s! I don't know how long it is, but as well it must be decades since films like The Show Off, Love Em and Leave Em, or even God's Gift to Women were screened in Switzerland. More bold choices. And too, I don't know of any other series or retrospective which has shown both the silent and sound versions of Prix de Beaute back to back! That is a bold programming; also a fresh choice was showing a film in homage to Brooks, The Chaperone. The films in the series include:

It's the Old Army Game (1926) with Now We're in the Air (1927)

The Show Off (1926)

Love Em and Leave Em (1926)

A Girl in Every Port (1928)

Beggars of Life (1928)

Die Buchse der Pandora (1929)

The Canary Murder Case (1929)

Tagebuch einer Verlonenen (1929)

Prix de Beaute (1930) both the silent and sound versions

God's Gift to Women (1930)

Overland Stage Raiders (1938) with Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu (1998) documentary

The Chaperone (2018)

Most of the films will only be shown once, though a few will be shown on multiple occasions. All of the silent films will feature live musical accompaniment, which will feature acclaimed UK silent film accompaniest Neil Brand, friend to the Louise Brooks Society Stephen Horne, Martin Christ, André Desponds, Ephrem Lüchinger, Samuel Messerli and Neal Sugarman. Notes for the series were penned by Elisabeth Bronfen, who described Brooks as an icon of the Roaring Twenties, noting that "Her natural acting style was decades ahead of her time, her appeal remains immortal."

Last year, the Melbourne Cinémathèque in Melbourne, Australia put on a major film retrospective along similar lines titled "Enduring Modernity: The Transcontinental Career of Louise Brooks". Something must be in the air! 

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