Monday, October 26, 2020

Louise Brooks - Lulu and Beyond online event with Pamela Hutchinson on October 28

On October 28, film historian Pamela Hutchinson will talk about the life and legacy of 1920s star Louise Brooks during an online event sponsored by the City of Westminster Libraries & Archives in the UK. More information about this free online event can be found HERE.

About Louise Brooks - Lulu and Beyond with Pamela Hutchinson

Louise Brooks was born in Kansas, and made her name as first, one of the most beautiful dancers on Broadway, and then as one of the most rebellious starlets in silent-era Hollywood – known for her insouciant face, hot temper and distinctive flapper haircut. Her lasting fame was secured by a trio of art films she made in Europe after turning her back on Los Angeles, starting with the German silent Pandora's Box, in which she plays Lulu, a dangerous Weimar femme fatale who brings the men and women who love her to their knees. After seeing all there was to see in the movie industry on both sides of the Atlantic, Brooks lived to tell the tale, and to be reclaimed as a true star of the early cinema. In her later life, her uniquely provocative voice shone in a series of articles that told the unpalatable truth about the movie business.

Pamela Hutchinson is a freelance writer, critic and film historian who contributes regularly to Sight & Sound, the Guardian, Criterion, Empire and the BBC, specialising in silent and classic cinema and women in film. She is a guest lecturer at the National Film and Television School, and a member of both Fipresci and the London Film Critics' Circle. She has written essays for several edited collections and is the author of the BFI Film Classic on Pandora's Box and the editor of 30-Second Cinema (Ivy Press). She also writes the silent cinema website Silent London.

The event will be broadcast via MS Teams which can be accessed via a web browser on an app from your appstore. Start time is 11:30 – 12:30 GMT / PDT on Wednesday, October 28. Registration is required


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Once Lost Louise Brooks Film Now Online - Watch it NOW

In what is certainly the biggest news since it was found in 2016 (see Huffington Post article), the 23 minute surviving fragment of a once lost Louise Brooks' film, Now We're in the Air, is now online and available for viewing courtesy of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. 

The film located in Prague by Rob Byrne, president of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. It was restored by the SFSFF and Národní filmový archiv (the Czech National Film Archive). The restored fragment premiered at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in 2017, and has been shown only a few times around the world since then. It's most recent screening takes place TODAY as part of a major Louise Brooks retrospective at FilmPodium in Zurich, Switzerland. Prior to that, it was shown at the Melbourne Cinémathèque in Melbourne, Australia in 2019.

Now We're in the Air can be seen on the San Francisco Silent Film Festival website  (which features additional information and a program essay) or on the SFSFF's Vimeo page. For this online premiere, the fragment features a musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne. The film is also embedded below.

Now We're in the Air from SF Silent Film Festival on Vimeo.

Now We're in the Air is a farce. And though not a masterpiece, it is still as significant film, not only because of Brooks’ widespread popularity, but because it helps fill a gap in the legendary actress’ body of work. Until now, each of the four films Brooks made in 1927—at the peak of her American career—have been considered lost.

Directed by Frank Strayer, Now We’re in the Air is a World War One comedy starring future Oscar winner Wallace Beery and the once popular character actor Raymond Hatton. The film, released by Paramount, also features Brooks in two supporting roles. The actress plays twins, one raised French, one raised German, who are the love interest of two goofy fliers. The surviving footage of Brooks only includes her in the role of the French twin, a carnival worker dressed in a short, dark tutu. 

My wife and I had a small hand in the preservation of the film, having uncovered the film's continuity as well as other related documents which helped piece the surviving fragments back together in the right order with correct tinting and correct English-language subtitles. Our efforts, along with those of Robert Byrne and others are detailed in my 2017 book, Now We're in the Air: A companion to the once "lost" film. This 130 page, illustrated book tells the story of the film’s making, its reception, and its discovery by film preservationist Robert Byrne. Also considered is the surprising impact this otherwise little known film has had on Brooks’ life and career. With two rare fictionalizations of the movie story, more than 75 little seen images, detailed credits, trivia, and a foreword by Byrne. It is, in my opinion, essential reading for any fan of Louise Brooks. And at a mere $15.00, a bargain as well.

  


 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Louise Brooks on examiner.com by Thomas Gladysz

The Louise Brooks Society went online in the summer of 1995, around the time amazon.com, Netscape and other pioneering websites first launched. As such, it is among the older surviving websites. One of the goals of the LBS is to "get the word out" about the actress via its website, social media, real world advocacy (screenings, exhibits, books, research, etc...), and online journalism. To mark the 25th anniversary of the LBS, I thought to post links to some of my past articles about the actress. 

This post is a continuation of a mini-series highlighting some of my online journalism. Over the past decade or so, I have written dozens of pieces - perhaps a few hundred, about Brooks and various facets of her life and career. These pieces were published on Huffington Post, examiner.com, PopMatters, Film International, Fandor, City Brights (the blog for SFGate - the website of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper), Open Salon (the blog for Salon), and elsewhere. The best of my various pieces were collected in my 2018 book, Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star

This post features a selection of my pieces from the now defunct quasi-news site examiner.com. I wrote for this site for a few years, at first as their San Francisco based Silent Film Examiner (covering the lively San Francisco Bay Area scene), and then in addition as their national Louise Brooks Examiner. The site closed down a few years ago, and all of their content disappeared, including hundreds of my articles on Louise Brooks and early film. I was disappointed that my work had vanished, until I found some (but not all) of my examiner.com work was archived on NewsBank, which archives mainstream newspapers. Unfortunately, I can't link to most of the pieces, as they are behind the NewsBank proxy wall. (Your local library may subscribe and provide access to these pieces.)

Pandora’s Box with Louise Brooks shows in Seattle and Toronto.” examiner.com, January 22, 2014.

“Louise Brooks, a magnet of meaning, more popular than ever.” examiner.com,
November 14, 2013.

Beggars of Life with Louise Brooks in England and Italy.” examiner.com, October 6, 2013.

“Louise Brooks stars in new music videos.” examiner.com, May 19, 2013.

“Dodge Brothers set to accompany Beggars of Life at the Aldeburgh Cinema.” examiner.com, April 21 2013.

“Louise Brooks film screens at Andy Warhol Museum.” examiner.com, October 30, 2012.
— the text of the piece has also been archived here

 “Jim Tully takes Hollywood, again.” examiner.com, October 10, 2012.
— the text of the piece has also been archived here

“Louise Brooks and The New Woman in Film.” examiner.com, September 29, 2012.

Pandora’s Box shows twice on July 14, in Chicago and San Francisco.” examiner.com, July 11 2012.

“The Countess Geschwitz.” examiner.com, June 24, 2012.

“Rare screening of Louise Brooks film, Prix de Beauté.” examiner.com, June 23, 2012.
— the text of the piece has been archived here

 “A Girl in Every Port goes to Stanford.” examiner.com, May 1, 2012.

 “Pandora’s Box with Louise Brooks screens at Getty Museum.” examiner.com, April 26, 2012.

 “Dodge Brothers do Beggars of Life.” examiner.com, April 21, 2012.

 “Pandora’s Box in America – A Brief History.” examiner.com, March 26, 2012.

Pandora’s Box screens twice in Cardiff.” examiner.com, February 19, 2012.

A Girl in Every Port screens in Berkeley.” examiner.com, January 22, 2012.

“Louise Brooks lights up screens in Bay Area and beyond.” examiner.com, January 16, 2012.

“Pandora’s Box to screen in Dubai.” examiner.com, November 20, 2011.

“Polish film history, with a nod to Lulu, surveyed in book.” examiner.com, October 29, 2011.

“New Lou Reed – Metallica album inspired by Lulu plays.” examiner.com,
September 22, 2011.

“Rare Louise Brooks film to screen in Chicago.” examiner.com, June 29, 2011.

 “Talking with The Dodge Brothers.” examiner.com, April 8, 2011.

 “Two Louise Brooks films to be screened with live musical accompaniment.” examiner.com, April 7, 2011.
— about screenings in England and Ireland

“Louise Brooks film featured at Toronto Silent Film Festival.” examiner.com, April 3, 2011.

“Remembering Richard Leacock.” examiner.com, March 29, 2011.

 “Lulu character featured in new play, Mlle. God.” examiner.com, February 6, 2011.

Pandora’s Box, with Louise Brooks, screens on TCM.” examiner.com, January 27, 2011.

Beggars of Life, by Jim Tully, back in print.” examiner.com, December 29, 2010.

 “Louise Brooks films celebrated in Paris.” examiner.com, December 23, 2010.

“Toronto Silent Film Festival to screen It’s the Old Army Game.” examiner.com, December 22, 2010.

 “Louise Brooks & Bruz Fletcher: Camped, Tramped, Riotous Vamps.” examiner.com, December 16, 2010.

Diary of a Lost Girl screens at National Gallery of Art.” examiner.com, December 9, 2010.
— quoted on Alt Film Guide

“Yuna Yang Fashion Designs Louise Brooks.” examiner.com, December 4, 2010.

 “Love Em and Leave Em screens in Rochester, NY.” examiner.com, November 4, 2010.

 “Rare documentary part of Louise Brooks celebration.” examiner.com, October 27, 2010.

Beggars of Life screens again in Los Angeles.” examiner.com, October 21, 2010.

“Louise Brooks’ private journals to be revealed.” examiner.com, October 2, 2010.
— tweeted about by Roger Ebert and Neil Gaiman (see below)

 


“Rare Louise Brooks film to screen in Niles.” examiner.com, September 21, 2010. 

 “A Beggars of Life revival redux.” examiner.com, September 27, 2010.

“New restoration of Pandora’s Box announced.” examiner.com, September 8, 2010.

The Show-Off screens in Los Angeles July 10.” examiner.com, July 8, 2010.

“Canary Murder Case screens in Rochester, NY.” examiner.com, June 9, 2010.

“Six questions with the Dodge Brothers.” examiner.com, May 23, 2010.

“Louise Brooks’ film centerpiece of 2010 Silent Film Festival.” examiner.com, May 21, 2010.

Pandora’s Box, with Louise Brooks, screens in SoCal.” examiner.com, May 17, 2010.

“Diary of a Lost Girl, with Louise Brooks, screens in Brooklyn.” examiner.com, May 11, 2010.
— my first piece under the moniker of the national “Louise Brooks examiner”

“Rufus Wainwright pens tribute to silent film star Louise Brooks.” examiner.com, January 12, 2010.

Louise Brooks and Pandora’s Box still attract.” examiner.com, June 30, 2009.

“Louise Brooks stars in Los Angeles series.” examiner.com, April 30, 2009

 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Louise Brooks articles on various websites by Thomas Gladysz

The Louise Brooks Society went online in the summer of 1995, around the time amazon.com, Netscape and other pioneering websites first launched. As such, it is among the older surviving websites. One of the goals of the LBS is to "get the word out" about the actress via its website, social media, real world advocacy (screenings, exhibits, books, research, etc...) and online journalism. To mark the 25th anniversary of the LBS, I thought to post links to some of my past articles about the actress. 

This post marks the beginning of a mini-series highlighting some of my online journalism. Over the past decade or so, I have written dozens of pieces - perhaps a few hundred, about Brooks and various facets of her life and career. These pieces were published on Huffington Post, examiner.com, PopMatters, Film International, Fandor, City Brights (the blog for SFGate - the website of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper), Open Salon (the blog for Salon), and elsewhere. The best of my various pieces were collected in my 2018 book, Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star

This mini-series continues with scattered pieces on various sites including City Brights, Film International, and Open Salon -- as well as various festival program essays and program notes including the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and University of Wisconsin Cinematheque.

The Chaperone marks a return to Berkeley for Louise Brooks.” Berkeleyside, April 30, 2019.

Louise Brooks Returns to Ann Arbor.” Ann Arbor Observer, April 22, 2019.

Never the Victim: Louise Brooks and The Chaperone.” Film International, .

It’s The Old Army Game – W.C. Fields and Louise Brooks in Ocala Florida.” Silent Locations, July, 2018.
— I contributed to this three part series of posts on John Bengtson’s film blog 

The BFI Re-Opens Silent Film Pandora’s Box.” PopMatters, December 7, 2017.

A World Turned Over: Wellman’s BEGGARS OF LIFE.” University of Wisconsin Cinematheque, November 28, 2017.

Louise Brooks, Lost Girl.” Brattle Theater / Film Notes, August 27, 2017.

Now We’re in the Air Travels the World.” San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Summer, 2017.
— program notes, published in the Festival program

Windy Riley Goes Hollywood.” Fandor, January, 2016.
— seemingly no longer online

“A dense atmosphere of intense emotions: Diary of a Lost Girl (1929).” Fandor, November, 2015.
— seemingly no longer online

A Girl in Every Port: The Birth of Lulu?” University of Wisconsin Cinematheque, December 2, 2013. 

Downton Abbey – the Louise Brooks connection.” San Francisco Silent Film Festival blog, January 27, 2013.

Pandora’s Box.” San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Summer 2012.
— program essay in festival booklet

Lulu by the Bay: Louise Brooks is legend in Pandora’s Box.” SFGate, July 12, 2012.
— this piece later ran in SF Sentinel

Sid Kay’s Fellows – Music in Pandora’s Box.” San Francisco Silent Film Festival blog, June 26, 2012.

Pandora’s Box and the Celluloid Closet.” SFGate, June 23, 2012.

Author of Louise Brooks novel, The Chaperone, comes to Bay Area.” SFGate, June 22, 2012.

Thomas Gladysz’s most treasured book.” San Francisco Chronicle, July 10, 2011.
— this piece also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper (see below)


“Before Greg Mortenson and Three Cups of Tea.” Open Salon, April 21, 2011.
— a Salon editor’s pick, sadly no longer online

A Girl in Every Port.” Starts Thursday!, January 1, 2011.
— guest blog

The Diary of a Lost Girl: Brief history of a banned book.” Open Salon, September 24, 2010.
— sadly no longer online

American Venus.” Starts Thursday!, August 3, 2010.
— guest blog

The American Venus.” San Francisco Silent Film Festival blog, November 23, 2009.
— I launched the SFSFF blog, and was their regular blogger for a few years

Galley Talk.” Publisher’s Weekly, July 28, 2006.
— a write-up of Peter Cowie's Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever

 Louise Brooks.” In Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, edited by David J. Wishart, University of Nebraska Press, 2004.
— I wrote an entry for this regional reference work


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Louise Brooks on Huffington Post by Thomas Gladysz

The Louise Brooks Society went online in the summer of 1995, around the time amazon.com, Netscape and other pioneering websites first launched. As such, it is among the older surviving websites. One of the goals of the LBS is to "get the word out" about the actress via its website, social media, real world advocacy (screenings, exhibits, books, research, etc...) and online journalism. To mark the 25th anniversary of the LBS, I thought to post links to some of my past articles about the actress.

This post marks the beginning of a mini-series highlighting some of my online journalism. Over the past decade or so, I have written dozens of pieces - perhaps a few hundred, about Brooks and various facets of her life and career. These pieces were published on Huffington Post, examiner.com, PopMatters, Film International, Fandor, City Brights (the blog for SFGate / San Francisco Chronicle), Open Salon (the blog for Salon), and elsewhere. The best of my various pieces were collected in my 2018 book, Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star.

This mini-series begins with my pieces on Huffington Post. Back in the day, I contributed numerous pieces not only to the national Huffington Post website but also to their once regional news sites (San Francisco, Detroit, New York, Denver, Los Angeles). I even had three pieces on Huffington Post UK.

Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star.” Huffington Post, August 22, 2017.

Long Missing Louise Brooks Film Found.” Huffington Post, March 30, 2017.

Opera with Louise Brooks inspired character debuts in Chicago, and it’s not Lulu.” Huffington Post, February 20, 2017.

getTV Premieres Rare Cary Grant film.” Huffington Post, May 4, 2016.

Lulu in New York: Pandora’s Box at Film Forum.” Huffington Post, March 16, 2016.

Live365 is Dead, Long Live RadioLulu.” Huffington Post, January 27, 2016.

Louise Brooks Celebration in San Francisco.” Huffington Post, November 13, 2015. 

Lulu-mania Sweeps New York City.” Huffington Post, November 9, 2015.

Danger and Desire: 6 Great Lulus.” Huffington Post, November 9, 2015.

Rick Geary’s New Comic, Louise Brooks: Detective.” Huffington Post, July 7, 2015.

Louise Brooks Returns to Detroit in Pandora’s Box.” Huffington Post, March 26, 2015.

Hobo Author Jim Tully Celebrated in New Documentary on PBS.” Huffington Post, February 11, 2015.

A Glastonbury First.” Huffington Post, June 24, 2014.
— published on Huffington Post UK

Natalie Merchant’s ‘Lulu’ Latest Pop Tribute to Silent Film Icon Louise Brooks.” Huffington Post, May 19, 2014.

Louise Brooks’ Star Shines Brighter Than Ever.” Huffington Post, November 4, 2013.

Pandora’s Box Plays Out Doors in Newcastle.” Huffington Post, August 28, 2012.
— published on Huffington Post UK

Louise Brooks Stars in Beggars of Life.” Huffington Post, July 30, 2012.

Louise Brooks Cover Girl and Secret Muse of the 20th Century.” Huffington Post, June 6, 2012.

Louise Brooks and Silent Film Star in Montreal.” Huffington Post, May 21, 2012.

Louise Brooks Celebrated in London.” Huffington Post, April 11, 2012.
— published on Huffington Post UK

Louise Brooks Is Lulu in Pandora’s Box.” Huffington Post, March 22, 2012.

Strange Silent Film Screens in Syracuse.” Huffington Post, March 15, 2012.

Beggars of Life with Louise Brooks Screens in New York.” Huffington Post, February 17, 2012.
— published in New York City section; tweeted about by Roger Ebert (see below)

Howard Hawks Retrospective in Berkeley.” Huffington Post, January 11, 2012.   

Jim Tully Revival: Hobo Author Back in Print.”Huffington Post, December 8, 2010.

Dear Stinkpot: Letters from Louise Brooks by Jan Wahl.” Huffington Post, October 13, 2010.

Louise Brooks Journals to be Revealed, and Perhaps Published.” Huffington Post, October 11, 2010.

A Lost Girl, a Fake Diary, and a Forgotten Author.” Huffington Post, August 26, 2010.

Rufus Talks Lulu Plays Denver.”Huffington Post, August 12, 2010.

Beggars of Life Screens Under the Stars.”Huffington Post, August 10, 2010.

‘I Am the Victim of Such a Lascivious Beauty’ Rufus Wainwright on Louise Brooks.”Huffington Post, August 5, 2010.

Loving Louise Brooks : A Student Film You Simply Must Watch.”Huffington Post, July 23, 2010.



Thursday, October 1, 2020

Another newly found poem which references Louise Brooks


Last week, I came across yet another published poem which references Louise Brooks. The poem, titled "The Time Machine," is by Jon Anderson (1940–2007), a contemporary American poet and educator. Anderson's first book, Looking for Jonathan, was an inaugural selection of the Pitt Poetry Series of the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1967. His second, Death & Friends, was nominated for the National Book Award. Anderson won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1976; the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America in 1983 for career achievement; and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry in 1986.

"The Time Machine" was included in the author's 1982 book, The Milky Way: Poems 1967-1982, published by Ecco Press. The poem appears in the section of new work, suggesting it was one of the poet's more recent efforts. I am not sure when exactly the poem dates from, but I did find it appeared in the 1981 winter / spring issue of the literary journal Antaeus.

 

In David Wojahn's review of The Milky Way in Prairie Schooner, a literary journal, Wojahn describes Anderson as a tonal poet, and his selected poems a "satisfactory achievement." Wojahn writes that most poets under 45 years old don't have cause for such a book -- as they have not yet truely found their voice. Wojahn writes, "Most poets find their subjects early in their careers, but arrive at at their voices much later, and this is not surprising; we all know what we would like to write about, but few of us can easily delineate our attitude toward the subjects that obsess us." Anderson, Wojahn writes, is an exception.

Some of the poems in The Milky Way concern other writers, artists and composers. Wojahn writes, "Another new poems, 'The Time Machine,' is an homage to the silent-movie actress Louise Brooks, who becomes another member of the Anderson pantheon. . . . Again and again in Anderson's work we see situations in which the speaker attempts to release himself from solipsism through his homages to his saints...."

To me, Anderson's poem is somewhat oblique, though its indirectness is not so much we don't know which scene in Pandora's Box the poet is meditating on. I wish Anderson were still alive, as I would like to write to him and ask him about his work. And why, and what was he referring to, when he titled this poem  "The Time Machine."


SEARCH this Blog