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."