Tuesday, March 29, 2011


You'd be hard pressed to see the Kansas in Kansas-born Louise Brooks when she made two films for G.W. Pabst in the same year (1929), both genius classics — Pandora's Box and Diary of A Lost Girl — if anything she was all Berlin. In her short film career she made about twenty-five films, seventeen of those silent, and many of those now lost or damaged. Her first film was shot in 1925, a year after Kafka's death, and her last in 1938, pretty much a throw away western with John Wayne, whom she liked. The bulk of her starlight ranged over a handful of years, still unsurpassed. Elizabeth Taylor and later Hollywood would be like comparing a Robert Parker detective yarn with a deep Pacific deadly by Raymond Chandler, it just can't be done. With a hairstyle forever known as one of the ten most influential, and lovers ranging from Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo (I can probably stop there) to CBS founder William Paley, who had the benevolence to send her a stipend for life, which may have kept her alive for almost another half-century...when she grew out the famous bob hairstyle and looked very much the lean and tough rail Kansan.

It's an honor to show a clip from Lulu in Berlin (1984) with Louise Brooks chatting it up later in life. A film by the late Richard Leacock, another courageous sailor in the storyteller's art of celluloid. To imagine these two together is enough to ignite a romance of cinema. The love of pinpointing that ideal portrait and light.

photo LB : verdoux.wordpress.com