That's funny-"hardly remembers." 90 to 95% of today's film
audiences have no idea who she is. But, then again, that same
percentage of movie goers have never seen a silent film, let alone
know that that stuff even exists. Boy, is America doomed with
people like that!
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
> That '20s Girl
> Lulupalooza celebrates the work of a screen goddess.
> by Wayne Melton
> July 20, 2005
> She may be the most iconic figure that hardly anyone remembers.
> Brooks' image is still regularly imitated in the movies,
> in the Rain" to "Chicago." You can find Uma Thurman donning her
> bob hairdo in "Pulp Fiction," and even the Camel Girls giving out
> cigarettes at bars a few years ago were (likely unwittingly) aping
> Louise Brooks. People know the image. It's much harder to find
> who knows the name.
> Though her movie career lasted only 13 years, it included 24 films,
> many of which will be shown during Lulupalooza, a weekend-long
> festival of the silent-screen goddess presented by Yellow House
> Productions and the Firehouse Theatre with the assistance of the
> Louise Brooks Society. Lulupalooza is named after Lulu, the
> Brooks plays in her 1929 silent film "Pandora's Box." Directed by
> German filmmaker G.W. Pabst, it is her most famous film (many say
> best) and the only one to be shown in a 35-mm print at the
> The festival centerpiece, it will be presented with live musical
> accompaniment by the Richmond band Los10Space. The rest will be
> projected in DVD format.
> "She's an enduring icon of fashion and style and film," replies
> Firehouse co-founder and board president Harry Kollatz, when asked
> about the reason for a Brooks festival. "Richmond is an odd place
> have it because Louise Brooks never even visited here," Kollatz
> The closest she ever came, as far as he can tell, is Lynchburg,
> the Denishawn Dancers. "More people know her through her style,"
> Kollatz continues, "through her pictures. They are silent films,
> not many people watch them."
> Yellow House president Stephanie Kelley, who will play Brooks in a
> reading during the festival, had a typical reaction when Kollatz
> approached her. "I knew the image of Louise Brooks," she recalls,
> "that vision of a woman. Harry brought the images and information
> I had no idea that was Louise Brooks."
> Brooks is the emblematic '20s flapper girl, who toured with Martha
> Graham in the Denishawn Dancers, ran with Britain's fashionable
> Bright Young Things (wet blankets, she thought), returned to the
> states to make it on Broadway and began her movie career in
> In her heyday she also toured with Will Rogers and W.C. Fields in
> Ziegfeld Follies, ghost-wrote a theater review for the Times critic
> Herman Mankiewicz (himself too drunk) and had affairs with scores
> rich and famous men, including Charlie Chaplin.
> Though her screen career died with the advent of sound, right when
> was reaching the heights of artistic success, Brooks lived on long
> after, doing off-Broadway, working as a salesgirl at Saks in New
> living with rich men and writing articles for obscure film
> until she died in 1985 at age 79. During this period she was
> approached by the theater critic Kenneth Tynan for a legendary
> eventually published in The New Yorker titled "The Girl in the
> Helmet," a reference to her signature bob. This relationship was
> dramatized in the play "Smoking With Lulu," by Janet Munsil, to be
> read during the festival, with Kelley as the young Brooks and
> Elizabeth Cusack as Brooks in her later years. Mark Adams will
> "Smoking With Lulu," is not done very often. It can be an
> play, with smoking on stage. "Consistent smoking," Kollatz notes,
> "which turns people off." The festival, thrown together over two
> in the heat of July, is risky like its subject, Kollatz
> But it befits her character, he says. And as the festival will
> even when the surrounding material is imperfect, Brooks' presence
> alone is worth doing the Charleston over. S
> Lulupalooza takes place Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24. Tickets
> available for the entire weekend ($37.50) and for individual
> "Pandora's Box" will be shown Saturday, 1:30 p.m., at the Byrd
> in Carytown ($12.50). Individual films, at the Firehouse Theatre,
> W. Broad St., are $5. For the full schedule, visit