Thursday, February 11, 2016

Music Video Tribute: If U Seek Amy [Louise Brooks]

Welcome to Music Video Tribute Week on the Louise Brooks Society blog. Here is the fourth installment, "A little tribute to the iconic Louise Brooks," titled "If U Seek Amy [Louise Brooks]". Girl power, rock on.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Music Video Tribute: "Louise Brooks" by Paul Hayes

Welcome to Music Video Tribute Week on the Louise Brooks Society blog. Here is the third installment, an old favorite. It is "Louise Brooks" by Paul Hayes from his 2003 album Vol. 1: Love and Pain and The Whole Damn' Thing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Music Video Tribute: "Lulu a Hollywood" by Olivia Louvel

Welcome to Music Video Tribute Week on the Louise Brooks Society blog. Here is the second installment. French artist Olivia Louvel performs "Lulu a Hollywood" from album Lulu In Suspension. This live footage from a concert at Le Cube in 2009 with mastered audio. Deluxe Digipak CD available at Optical Sound

From Wikipedia: Olivia Louvel is a French-born, British composer, producer and performer, crafting electronic songs from laptop and voice. In 2011, she won the Qwartz Album Award at the Qwartz Electronic Music Awards for Doll Divider. She works on the frontier of art and electronic music, often blurring the boundary between the two. Her innovative and quirky songwriting brought her to perform alongside artists such as Planningtorock at the Earsthetic Festival, The Irrepressibles at the Brighton Dome, and Recoil for concerts on the European 'Selected' tour.

Initially trained in classical singing, she began to work as a singer for the renowned flying trapeze circus 'Les Arts Sauts' performing at 12 metres in the air a Meredith Monk composition 'Madwoman’s vision'. She toured with them for 3 years. From 1996 to 1999, she attended the National Superior Conservatory of Dramatic Arts of Paris, and graduated in 1999.

Lulu In Suspension, inspired by silent-movie star Louise Brooks and her book 'Lulu in Hollywood', was released as a digipak CD on Optical Sound Records and Fine Arts run by French artist Pierre BelouÏn. In 2009, she presented an AV performance of 'Lulu In Suspension' at Le Cube, the digital art space in France.

For more, check out her website or Facebook page.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Music Video Tribute: "Louise Brooks Eyes" by Little-X-Little

Welcome to Music Video Tribute Week on the Louise Brooks Society blog. Here is the first installment, a 2009 video I recently came across on YouTube. It's "Louise Brooks Eyes" by Little-X-Little.

Don't know anything about this two person group. They have a YouTube channel with two other videos, including "Jackie's Town live at the Grape Room" which may have an image of Louise Brooks in the background. Hey Little-X-Little, are you fans of the actress?

Musicall, this duo reminds me a little of a solo act, The GrrrL (aka April Louise McLucas), who I wrote about back in 2010.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Some silent films Louise Brooks saw before she left Kansas

My recent research into Louise Brooks' early life has turned up some of the silent films the actress saw before she left Kansas. Here they are, and on the exact dates she saw them. Dates in italics are approximate within a few days.

Nov. 15, 1919
Hosts an outing for friends, who take in the Dorothy Gish comedy I’ll Get Him Yet at the Best Theatre, followed by lunch at the Sunflower Pharmacy (in Independence).

Token from the Sunflower Pharmacy in
Independence, Kansas.
Jan. 5, 1921
Sees Once to Every Woman, starring Dorothy Phillips and Rodolph Valentino, at the Regent theater in Wichita. The film is heavily promoted in the local papers, plays a full week, and reportedly brought tears to the eyes of many patrons. Brooks critiques the film in her diary.

Jan 12, 1921
Sees Passion, starring Pola Negri, at the Regent theater, which Brooks records in her diary as being “wonderful.” Advertisements in the local papers claim this is its first showing outside of New York.

Jan 25, 1921
Sees The Love Light, starring Mark Pickford, at the Wichita theater.

Feb. 21, 1921
Sees While New York Sleeps, starring Marc McDermott, at the Regent theater.

Feb. 24, 1921
See Worlds Apart, starring Eugene O’Brien, during its three day run at the Wichita theater.

The Princess theater in Wichita, Kansas.
March 10, 1921
Attends a line party with friends at the Wichita theater, where the group sees the locally popular film, Lying Lips, starring Florence Vidor and House Peters.

April 19, 1921
Sees Way Down East, starring Lillian Gish, in the company of her mother at the New Crawford Theater.

Sept. 13, 1921
Sees The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, starring Rudolph Valentino, at the Princess theater. The film played a week, and its presentation featured an augmented orchestra.

Nov. 27, 1921
Sees The Sheik, starring Rudolph Valentino, at the Regent theater during its week-long run.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A few more interesting bits about Louise Brooks

My research turned up a couple of rather interesting bits regarding Louise Brooks after she left Wichita, Kansas.

On July 18, 1922 the Wichita Daily Eagle reported that Brooks had been moved to the advanced class in dancing at the Denishawn school. Undoubtedly, she communicated as much in a letter home, which was then transmitted to the local newspaper.

And, on July 24, 1922 the Wichita Daily Eagle reported that Brooks had received an offer from the famous Shubert company, which she turned down; it was reported that Brooks intended to continue her studies with Denishawn before returning home to finish high school. Which she never did.

At the end of the summer, Alice Mills returned to Wichita and opened an authorized (meaning franchised) Denishawn school. This advertisement dates from September, 1922.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Alice Mills, The Chaperone, and Louise Brooks, the 15 year old dancer

Revealed here for the first time, pictures not seen in nearly 100 years, are two remarkable newspaper clippings. The first depicts Alice Mills, the Wichita, Kansas dance instructor who taught Louise Brooks and, as importantly, was the woman who chaperoned the 15 year old Brooks to New York City to study with Denishawn.

According to press reports from the time, Brooks was not the only local set to study with Denishawn; so did Mills. That may explain why Mills chaperoned Brooks, and not her mother, who was originally mentioned as the person who would accompany the aspiring 15 year old dancer. The stunning clipping shown below depicts Brooks shortly before she was to leave for NYC.

Tomorrow's post will contains some additional information on this turning point in Brooks' life, which is beautifully depicted in Laura Moriarty's novel, The Chaperone.