Louise Brooks on Learning to Write

“For two extraordinary years, I have been working on it–learning to write– but mostly learning how to tell the truth. At first it is quite impossible. You make yourself better than anybody, and when you finally come to see you are “like” everybody– that is the bitterest blow of all to the ego. But in the end it is only the truth, no matter how ugly or shameful, that is right, that fits together, that makes real people, and strangely enough– beauty…”–Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks, circa 1929

The extraordinarily gifted and intelligent Louise Brooks– dancer, actor, and writer–was born on 14 November 1906. May she never be forgotten. 

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Check Out My Contribution to the Classic Movie History Project 2016!

I wrote an article about the wonderful German actress Ossi Oswalda and her Ernst Lubitsch-directed charmer, I Don’t Want to Be a Man (1918), for the Classic Movie History Project 2016.

Classic Movie History Project

Classic Movie History Project

THE EMANCIPATION OF OSSI OSWALDA

Ossi Oswalda by Nicola Perscheid, 1920s

Ossi Oswalda by Nicola Perscheid, 1920s

Portrait of Ossi Oswalda by Nicola Perscheid, 1925

Portrait of Ossi Oswalda by Nicola Perscheid, 1925

[Book Nerd News] Long-Lost Silent Sherlock Holmes Movie is Found

Long-Lost Silent Sherlock Holmes Movie is Found [courtesy The Hollywood Reporter]

This is terribly exciting news for fans of literature, theatre, and silent cinema.

William Gillette in Sherlock Holmes, 1916

An advert for William Gillette in Sherlock Holmes, 1916

Bookish Cinema: Greed (1924)

A beautiful and provocative poster for Erich von Stroheim’s 1924 production of Greed, which was adapted from Frank Norris’ turn-of-the-century novel, McTeague:

Greed

Greed (1924)

The book was previously brought to the screen in 1916, under its original name. That version is lost. Von Stroheim’s famously beleaguered masterwork is the stuff of modern legend. His fight with MGM for control of the final product–particularly the editing–was painfully operatic. Although the film does not fully match the great auteur’s ambitious blue print, what we have been left with is brutally and strikingly epic.

Bookish Cinema: Far from the Madding Crowd (1915)

A 1916 advert for the 1915 adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s first successful novel,  Far from the Madding Crowd:

Far from the Madding Crowd Advert

Far from the Madding Crowd Advert

It featured early film favourite, Florence Turner. She was a wildly popular star who first came to public notice as, simply, The Vitagraph Girl.  By the time she acted in Far from the Madding Crowd (which was made for her own production company), she had well over 100 screen credits to her name. No copy of this film is known to be extant.

“Misfortune is a fine opiate to personal terror.”-Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd