Thursday, March 30, 2017

Now We're in the Air - Lost Louise Brooks Film Resurfaces!

A Louise Brooks film previously considered "lost" has just been found!
Now We're in the Air (1927) will be shown June 2 in San Francisco
at the annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival. This is what
Louise Brooks fans have been waiting for for a long time.
The film was a smash hit in San Francisco back in 1927,
and a large turn-out is expected for this
historic screening 90 years later.

Read all about it HERE on the Huffington Post.

Thomas Gladysz and Christy Pascoe of the Louise Brooks Society had a hand
in the restoration of this new discovery. To mark the occasion, a related 100
page book by Thomas Gladysz is in the works, and should be available at
the San Francisco Silent Film Festival June event.

Read all about this BIG news on the Huffington Post.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Louise Brooks -- photo of the week

Here is a publicity portrait of Louise Brooks taken for Now We're in the Air (1927). It is the Louise Brooks Society blog photo of the week!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Forthcoming Louise Brooks projects

I have been busy lately.... within the next four months, four Louise Brooks-related projects with which I have been involved will come to fruition. Three have been completed, and one is nearing completion. I can only speak of a couple of them in any detail right now.

One of these projects, in which I had a hand, will be announced within a few days. It has been in the works for a number of months. I made my small contribution earlier this year. I cannot say more about it at this time, but be assured, it is BIG news. Louise Brooks fans everywhere will be thrilled.

After it is announced, I will announce my related project, a 100+ page book which I am currently editing / compiling.

But for now, I can announce the forthcoming publication of a small book which I have recently completed, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film. The publication of this work, within the next two months, will more-or-less coincide with the release of the DVD / Blu-ray of Beggars of Life from KINO Lorber, which is due out this summer. [Another project I have just recently completed is a 9,000 word audio commentary which will accompany the DVD / Blu-ray as bonus material.]

Here is a mock-up of the cover for my forthcoming book, which was superbly designed by my wife, and which will feature more than 13,000 words of text and 35 images, many of theme rare. I am proud of this little book, as I think it breaks new ground and reveals a good deal of information and analysis on what I feel is a significant silent film. The book will be approximately 72 pages long.

Copies will be available through, as well as other online sources. And for those who might want an autographed copy, those will be available directly from yours truly, the author. Details to come. I also hope to sign books at a few events in California sometime this year, should things work out.

Friday, March 24, 2017

New Book: The W.C. Fields Films by James Neibaur

Coming soon from film historian James Neibaur, The W.C. Fields Films (Mcfarland & Co).

I, for one, am looking forward to this new book, which I expect will include information on the 1926 film, It's the Old Army Game, which starred W.C. Fields and Louise Brooks.

From the publisher: "W.C. Fields was one of the top comedians during Hollywood's Golden Era of the 1930s and 1940s and has since remained a comic icon. Despite his character's misanthropic, child-hating, alcoholic tendencies, his performances were enduringly popular and Fields became personally defined by them. This critical study of his work provides commentary and background on each of his films, from the early silents through the cameos near the end of his life, with fresh appraisals of his well known classics. Pictures once believed to be lost that have been discovered and restored are discussed, and new information is given on some that remain lost."

James L. Neibaur is a film historian and educator with more than a dozen books and articles in Cineaste, Classic Images, Film Quarterly, Films in Review, Filmfax, and Encyclopaedia Britannica. Among his books are James Cagney Films of the 1930s (2014), Buster Keaton's Silent Shorts: 1920-1923 (2013), The Charley Chase Talkies: 1929-1940 (2013), The Silent Films of Harry Langdon (1923-1928) (2012), Stan Without Ollie: The Stan Laurel Solo Films, 1917-1927 (2012), Early Charlie Chaplin: The Artist as Apprentice at Keystone Studios (2011), The Fall of Buster Keaton: His Films for MGM, Educational Pictures, and Columbia (2010), Chaplin at Essanay: A Film Artist in Transition, 1915-1916 (2008), and Arbuckle And Keaton: Their 14 Film Collaborations (2006).

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

If you could find one of Louise Brooks' lost films, which would it be?

It is a well known and regrettable fact that the majority of films made during the silent era are lost. The percentage of lost films has been estimated to be as high as 75% or 80%.

That percentage, which is shockingly high, does not apply to the films of Louise Brooks -- at least not by much.

The actress appeared in only 14 silent films during her brief career, and only 7 of these productions are considered lost. (One of them, Just Another Blonde, is partially extant. I have seen what remains, and it looks rather fun. Another, The Street of Forgotten Men, is largely extant, but is rarely shown.) Please note, I am counting both Beggars of Life and The Canary Murder Case among Brooks' silent films, as each was released in both silent and sound versions.

All this leads me to wonder which lost Louise Brooks film YOU would most like to see. It is something to think about or even fantasize about.

If I had to pick one, I might picked Rolled Stockings, simply because Brooks likely had the most screen time in it among the lost films. Or, I might pick The City Gone Wild, because it is a gangster picture and it would be kinda cool to see Brooks as a moll. Of course, I would be thrilled to see any lost Brooks' film. Wouldn't you?

Here is a list of films featuring Louise Brooks which are considered lost. If you wish, post your pick in the comments section below.

The American Venus (1926)
A Social Celebrity (1926)
Just Another Blonde (1926) *

Evening Clothes (1927)
Rolled Stockings (1927)
Now We're in the Air (1927)
The City Gone Wild (1927)

Monday, March 20, 2017

W.C. Fields brief appearance in Love Em and Leave Em

I came across this still from the 1926 Louise Brooks film Love Em and Leave Em for sale on eBay. And in doing so, I spotted something I have never noticed before, the portrait of comedian W.C. Fields pinned to the wall of the bedroom belonging to the two sisters, played by Louise Brooks and Evelyn Brent. Of the three images on the wall above a sleeping Louise Brooks, the Fields portrait is to the right. I can't make out the other portraits seen in this scene still.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

New book includes chapter on a Louise Brooks film

A recently released and rather expensive new book, Camera-Eye Metaphor in Cinema, by Austrian scholar Christian Quendler, contains a chapter on the 1929 Louise Brooks film, The Diary of a Lost Girl, and its literary source material, Margarete Bohme's book of the same name. The book was published by Routledge Advances in Film Studies in November, 2016.

I haven't yet seen the book, nor have I come across any reviews, so I can't say much about it except what I read online. According to the publisher's description, "This book explores the cultural, intellectual, and artistic fascination with camera-eye metaphors in film culture of the twentieth century. By studying the very metaphor that cinema lives by, it provides a rich and insightful map of our understanding of cinema and film styles and shows how cinema shapes our understanding of the arts and media. As current new media technologies are attempting to shift the identity of cinema and moving imagery, it is hard to overstate the importance of this metaphor for our understanding of the modalities of vision. In what guises does the 'camera eye' continue to survive in media that is called new?"

Warren Buckland, of Oxford Brookes University in the UK, said this, "The metaphor of camera as eye is fundamental to both everyday discussion as well as more academic theories of cinema: it is a pervasive metaphor through which we understand cinema on several levels. Christian Quendler’s detailed study of the camera-eye metaphor is therefore a significant and erudite contribution to scholarship. But, more than this, Quendler’s study takes a truly interdisciplinary approach to this metaphor. The Camera-Eye Metaphor in Cinema is not dogmatic in limiting itself to one or two theoretical positions; far from it. This book encompasses a broad array of theoretical approaches – from the philosophy of mind to art theory, narratology, and gender studies. It therefore has a potentially wide appeal, not only in film studies, but also cultural and media studies more generally."

Thought you might want to know . . . .