This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Check Out Louise Brooks!

*** UPDATE ***

Forget about Louise Brooks for a few minutes. Check out Marlene Dietrich!


When I saw her in this movie called Diary of a Lost Girl, immediately my memory shot back to having seen The Razor's Edge, the version with Bill Murray. Check out the character below on the left. They kinda look similar, dontcha think?

Same haircut. A similar portrayal of an erotic beauty falling from grace into promiscuity.

Louise Brooks had it tough growing up. At age nine, she was molested by a neighbour. Apparently her mom blamed Louise for the event, saying she must have given him the idea.

Widespread child abuse is too real. It takes many forms, from the subtle to the overt. I recommend folks look into the works of Alice Miller, author of such classics as Poisonous Pedagogy and Thou Shalt Not Be Aware.

Louise Brooks was up there with any of them during the silent screen era. When movies had sound added to them, the parts for her dried up. It wasn't that she didn't have acting skills. It was also untrue as some movie moguls claimed that her voice was no good for talkies.

Around 1929 she starred in a movie called The Canary Murder Case. It was originally intended to be a silent movie, but the studio decided to change it into a talkie. Louise was asked to come to California to help bring that about. She didn't like Hollywood and refused. Her part was thus dubbed. It's common thought that this was the movie that tanked her career.

She had it tough for many ensuing years including a declaration of bankruptcy in 1932. One of her ex-lovers, CBS founder William Paley, heard of her plight and helped her out financially. She did have major skills and eventually rebounded by getting into reading and painting. She even became an accomplished writer.

I'm not a big fan of silent movies. The symphony and whatnot background music truly gets on my nerves. A lot of the acting also tends to consist of too much ham. However, I'm starting to see that quite a number of them were beyond decent. I enjoyed Diary of a Lost Girl by turning off the volume and putting rock music on instead to go with it.

I've three youtube videos to share. The first is part one of the movie along with the link to get you to part 2, if you want to continue on. The other two are documentaries. One includes a lot of interviews with a still cutie pie looking Louise as a senior citizen. The other is a nice documentary narrated by Shirley Maclaine.

Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) 1/11

link to part 2

Lulu in Berlin (part 1 of 4)

link to part 2

Louise Brooks "Looking for Lulu" (1/6)

link to part 2


socrates said...

Prince says the internet is dead. He's just bitter about how easy it is for people to put his music online for free. The Grateful Dead didn't mind bootlegs or in this case copies, because they figured it was advertising for their concerts. In the case of freebies at youtube and elsewhere, because the qality is usually nowhere near the dvd's and cd's, you'd think the copyright owners would chill out and see it as advertising also.

One reason I've been able to develop a hobby of watching old movies is because so many great ones are available for free. I'm someone who wouldn't pay for these things anyway. Many of them are uploaded from the Turner Classic Movie Network. These flicks being available on youtube, I think, are getting folks to check them out on tv, which leads to paid royalties and a win-win for poor people like me and those who want to make a profit off these movies.

This is not how it's seen though by those who own the copyrights. Some movies are in the public domain and never get deleted. Others are pulled as soon as they are located. Those who are putting these movies up on the internet are getting clever. They are disguising the titles. That makes it more difficult to find them, but it makes it more likely they stay online.

I found another Garbo picture. It's called Susan Lenox and for now can be found here.

The plot's convoluted, but as someone intrigued with Greta Garbo, I'd enjoy watching her brush her teeth or read out of a phone book.

I believe her co-star Clark Gable was perhaps the most overrated actor of all time. I don't get it. The guy looks and acts creepy. To me he never seems much different in his roles. Bette Davis, on the other hand, was quite proud of her ability to create a new character for every picture she ever made.

This is Garbo in 1931 pre-code. You can see that she wasn't too fluent in English. If you watch her in later movies such as Camille, you can appreciate that she worked at it. What she didn't have to learn over time was how to act. She had natural gifts that 99% of today's actors can only dream about.

On a side note, I noticed it said that Garbo and Gable didn't like each other. Apparently Clark thought she was a stuck up bitch, and Garbo felt Gable was vulgar. Maybe Clark's notorious bad breath didn't help matters.

Susan Lenox has a bit in common with the Brooks movie embedded above and even the Chinese silent movie I blogged about some weeks ago. It deals with how women have been forced into using their sexuality to make it into the workforce. Baby Face with Stanwyck was also about this theme.

I'm still waiting for when I no longer can find movies worth viewing, so I can move on with my life. I do think mentally this has been a much better trip than all that other stuff I was blogging on, i.e. internet dumbasses. Any movie fans out there, please don't be shy and join in.

Anonymous said...

The internet isn't dead.

It is deadening, though.

The evidence is irrefutable.

Your a good guy Socrates.

There's some good stuff on Hulu. Have seen "Ran" and "High Fidelity" free, plus two very impressive Korean TV series, one a spy thriller thats really excellent, called "IRIS", actually about a worldwide conspiracy of the shadowy rich and powerful to control world events and nations, it out Alex Joneses Alex Jones while out Ludluming Ludlum.

The other, the Great Queen SeonDeok, is ripped from the pages of ancient Korean herstory, when there were three competing kingdoms. The most powerful person in Silla, a chick named Misil, controlled the peasants using superiour secret elitest scientific knowledge under the guise of a fantastical religion based on the stars and moon.

Her nemesis, a young princess who becomes Queen, seeks to bind the peoples of the three kingdoms into one nation and does so in part by rejecting the royalist religion for the grounded religion of the peeps.....Buddhism!

Also an excellent story, like 62 episodes too, very similar to Shakespeare's historical dramas, like the King Henry IV and V. Mixes politics, social commentary, tragedy, dramedy and even has some Falstaffian buffoons. Really good stuff. Plus it allows me to get closer to understanding where Frau tale comes from.

Love you dewd,

from the very happily banned


socrates said...

Hi Donkeytale, thanks for dropping by. No one's banned. I say that all the time. It's the equivalent of giving a goodbye cruel word diary at a forum yet never leaving. I could even reinvite you as a blogger. I think I remember your email address.

If I were you, and thank God I'm not [/lighten up Francis, it's called a joke], I wouldn't blog at any of the soapbloxes. Maybe try again elsewhere, lose the misspelling schtick, and start over. That is if you'd like to interact with more than a few people or with folks at those soapbloxes whose blogs aren't good enough for even you. p:>

There's tons of nice, free things on the internet. I found a place where you can watch every episode of The Office. I hadn't watched that one when it came out. I've never been much of a tv watcher since my early years. It's pretty cool to be able to watch a whole series over the years, instead of waiting it out in real time week to week with half the year full of reruns.

I totally agree with your take on the internet being alive. People will always use it for email, checking out sports and stocks. There's much good about it. For our purposes however, as trying to be bloggers in so-called communities, it's been a pointless endeavour.

I wish I could ban people for good. All I can do is deter them from hanging around. Larry is back. He got his panties all in a bunch because I ripped into his idol Thomas Jefferson. Now he's saying Obama was never eligible to run for President in the first place, because his father wasn't a US citizen. He's making quite a fool of himself.

I'm sure you are more at peace getting at least a hiatus from this blog. I don't even want to discuss the bad vibes we were going through. It might not have meant much to yourself, but I wanted it to stop, and I had no other way of doing so than giving you the pink slip.

It's funny you mention Korea. Right now I have some rice cooking on the stove. I'm in between getting some money for food. I heard in old age Beckett and his wife lived for two years on rice. When asked why they stopped, Beckett said it was getting kind of boring.

One guilt I feel building up with my coverage of cinema is the obvious racist nature of it from way back. It's as if no one but Whitey was living in this country. Well, I guess there were a lot of black dudettes as maids and black dudes collecting train tickets. Maybe I need to find some Paul Robeson movies. There were African-American movies made, but I haven't seen many of them available.

Anonymouse said...

Watched several more episodes of "The Great Queen Seondoek" last night and am impossibly hooked. This is arch melodrama shaded with serious tragedy in a historical context. Its quite moving in many places and very timely to the 21st Century from a political perspective.

First of all, the protagonists are women fighting over the throne, heretofore something that had never happened in Asia, except, as one character points out, once in Egypt a long time ago.

I researched and found that in ancient Korean society women often held visible positions of power and Korea didn't adopt the stifling patriarchy, which is only now starting to break down as Korea becomes thoroughly post-modernized in the era of the infoboobtubez, of Confucius political science until the 15th century.

The Princess, who is bidding for queenhood herslef mainly because she's the only royal at court with the cajones and the wiliness to fight off the evil noblewoman Misil, who was the real power in the Kingdom for more than 40 years, is a progressive (altho as a 7th century royal you will doubtless consider her scum)in that she seeks to move forward the society by expanding the peasants and lower class nobles'landholdings, giving them better tools (using weapons grade iron) to increase the harvest and lowering tax rates on the poor while increasing them on the rich.

Princess is frustrated by the traditions, for instance the Council of Nobles rejects the tax reform by a 9-1 vote in favour of because, just like with our insane filibuster rules, a motion cannot pass by simple majority. Indeed, it required a unanimous vote.

The battle scenes are gripping, but this isn't realism and the acting relies alot on "telling facial expressions" which rival the pretalkie H-wood schtick, but the storylines are excellent and of course, the women are hotties.

A+. Very recent too, from 2009-2010 Korean TV season.

Compare and contrast the seriousness and meaningfulness with the garden variety televised crapola from the US circa 2009-2010.

Do we even have serious TV drama anymore?

Anonymouse said...

Sorry to hear about your rice diet. I hope at least that you are buying higher quality rice and cooking it in a rice steamer.

The Beckett story was awesome. I love Beckett, one of the alltime greats, maybe the very best 20th century writer of the Anglo-Americano persuasion, although I think he was an Irishman who actually wrote his schtick in French.

Very dense, detailed and powerfully descriptive of helplessly hopeless peeople doing basically nothing.

He woulda been a natural in this era, except he was way to intelligent, polished and skilled.

socrates said...

I'm glad you're enjoying the internet similar to myself checking out freebie entertainment. I think we've been going against the tide battling against folks who favour diarrhea of the mouth exchanges over listening and responding. Seriously check out what Larry is doing on the Jefferson thread. I finally googled his Obama was not a natural born American and thus ineligible conspiracy theory, and found out that was one of those email chain rumours. By the way, I am getting fed up not knowing whether I am American or Irish with whether to chuck in the extra letter U's or exchanging the zed for S's. The internet is truly dumbing us down. I guess your misspellicism schtick is some kind of double post, neo-expressionist attempt, or maybe I too have succumbed to diarrhea of the keyboard.

I know I can be a bit off-putting with my "I went to grad school" schtick. The writing was always there on the wall. I simply denied the possiblity of an epic fail. The good old there are a lot of phd's driving taxis schtickola.

I'm not sure if the Beckett rice story is true. I also heard one like that about Gandhi. Apparently he was wearing leather sandals and some smartie pants called him on it for being a vegetarian hypocrite. His response was that the animal was already dead. I couldn't be bothered to verify either parable or how such things are viewed.

I came into a few bucks in between the cash flowing. I splurged and now have frozen pizza cooking. One thing I learned in Ireland is it doesn't take much to get by. When I was there, Ireland was still considered a "third world" contry- a lot of poverty. I didn't see anyone going hungry though. The government was even giving people rent and clothes allowance. There needs to be a proper mix between a free market and safety nets. There's no excuse for anyone going hungry or homeless.

It's blistering hot again. I don't mind the rice as much as the ants who show up, when it gets this humid. I think they are looking for moisture more than food. Talk about an ugly creature.

But back to your movie. Personally I have trouble watching those historical time pieces. I don't mind let's say a picture made in 1930 about something going on in 1910. That's actually pretty cool. Because 1930 isn't that far away from our time. That Garbo movie was groovy like that. It started with her being born in some old-school cabin or whatever say around 1900. Then it shot right up to the present 1930. You could really feel the way America was transformed in big ways we take for granted. To go from horses to cars for example.

I think you should rent out Sunset Boulevard. You won't be disappointed. I think I'm now going to watch Tonight or Never with Gloria Swanson. I like the year 1931 for movies. has it at 7.9 out of ten stars. That's huge. It's only 80 minutes. Got to love that. It looks like it gets into universal ideas about the human condition. It's also got Melvyn Douglas, not a shabby actor. He did a few pics with Greta von Garbo. And to think this new fad of mine started by some off-chance of seeing a remake done of Love Affair on PBS. That somehow led me into watching as many Montgomery Clift movies as I could. It's been a good run. This was exactly what I needed to change the direction I was going in terms of time spent on the internet.

socrates said...

I made it about halfway through that movie before giving up. It was very boring, imho.

socrates said...

I found a good one for you and Frau Tale to watch. It's called The Gay Deception, a comedy romance from 1935.

It's the kind of chick flick guys can like too. The basic premise is Frances Dee (eye candy) wins a sweepstakes. She takes her cash in one lump sum and plans to blow it all living up the high life for once in her life. She gets herself a fancy hotel suite in NYC. One of the employees is a prince who is trying to live as a regular guy.

It's kind of the same plot of that Eddie Murphy movie about the African prince getting a gig in a burger shop, trying to find a broad who'll love him for himself and not his royal hignness-ness.

Now check this out. The prince who falls for Frances Dee was played by some dude named Francis Lederer. He's the Jim Kaat of cinema. Kaat played in over five decades of baseball, if I'm not mistaken. Or maybe there was that pinch hitter dude, I forget the name, who played in seven or whatever different decades for that record. Lederer lived in three centuries! He was born in 1899 and died in 2000. One word- wow.

socrates said...

Now I'm getting into Marlene Dietrich. This is the movie to watch, before the copyright scrooges delete it.

I think Dietrich was a better actress than Garbo. I love her voice and face, as an actress and singer. I also think she defied all the odds by being a beautiful German woman. In stereotypical debate, I'd say the two worst looking people in the world are British and German.

Here are a few more Dietrich movies to check out, before they are probably gone.

Desire also starring Gary Cooper

Touch of Evil- Marlene has a bit part. Also starring Orson Wells, Charlton Heston, and Janet Leigh

I've also come across the great Charles Laughton, who I think was a better actor than Olivier.

One actor I wouldn't mind blogging on is Paul Robeson. He wasn't in many movies, and the point of such an endeavour would be to look at his real life, as in his socialist leanings and devotion to promoting social justice.

There's also the new schtick coming out of The Washington Post concerning the US going nuts with spying and psychological operations. I'm not sure if I'll get to either that or Robeson. My blogging burnout level is now at an all-time high. What I will say in regards to the military-industrial complex and its spy factories, I told you so! I've been right the whole fricken sassa frassa time. My schtick has hit the main stream.

Anonymouse said...

I touted "Touch of Evil" to you awhile back. A great movie, Welles directed and co-starred. Another excellent Welles flick, and his personal favourite, is "Chimes of Midnight", which mashes the Falstaff saga from the King Henry plays plus the Merry Wives of Windsor into one tale, starring Welles as Sir Fat Jack himself, who was the original buffoonish antihero.

Falstaff also a damned good cheep beer, altho I dont recall if its still made or not...

All in all, my least favourite Welles flick is Citizen Kane. Easily. Film students go on and on about its technical excellence, but as a movie its pretty flat and unmoving to me. Too much razz and not enough matazz. Ersatz emotions from a boy wonder rick rolling the audience.

Respectfully, I disagree with your stance on the historical stories from olden times.

I used to agree with you when I was a kid but then i grew up and ever since reading the King Henrys for an English lit class my eyes were opened, even if it was just that third rate hack Shakespeare.


What you glean from these types of schtick is that people at base havent changed a bit since our ancient selves, ie there is nothing new under the sun, and once you strip away all of the extraordinary amount of useless nonsense we have invented simply in order to distance ourselves from the true meaning of life, to convolute ourselves and forget about the misery and tragedy at the root of our existence, you are left with the application of the fundamental things, the fight for love and glory, the case of do or die, an often exquisite allegory which depicts the timeless yet contemporary human dilemma, drama in a way that we cannot easily absorb from our own distracted wasted time.

(pretentious fake drama critic alert)

Anonymouse said...

Wikipedia history of the Falstaff brew, from the Falstaff brewing Co., St. Louis Missouri.

Originally, the company was called the Griesedieck Brewing Company.


As a marketing expert, I say that a Greasy Dick Beer would still be around today.

Alas, Falstaff Beer expired in 2005.

Excellent tasting brew, however. And it was cheeep

socrates said...

I could see the case made that Citizen Kane is overrated. It's definitely a fantasy piece.

I think a lot of this movie talk, as with art, food, etc. is subjective. Though, I think the fallback line would be that one might not personally lean towards something, but they acknowledge it is still art. Like Shakespeare. I never liked that. But I won't call it crap. Same with brussel sprouts or olives. I don't like them, but I could see how others could.

When I was watching Touch of Evil, I had the funny feeling I knew the main character played by Heston, but it was only later on I found out and went wow. I've always known him as Moses or the Planet of the Apes dude. Touch of Evil had to be one of his best movies. I never pictured him being a regular guy, but he pulled it off in that one.

I just flipped out on Larry in the Jefferson thread. You should go in there and give him the donkeytale treatment. He's even more illogical that Fairleft or other pffugeeists on their worst days. It's like he was dropped as a baby. He's very annoying.

He's saying Obama wasn't a natural born American because his father was Kenyan. When myself and TLNL ask him for a link, he keeps repeating that the Constitution says this. It doesn't. He is stuck on saying one must be a natural born American to run for President. No one's denying that.

My cap locks got jammed. Yeah, I was screaming at him. I don't like him, and just because the internet is so-called open space, there is a part of it that is like a home, where one shouldn't have to put up with assholes who won't leave. I know you disagree, but you could check into his schtick and see how he is a supporter of Holocaust denial and a lot of other craziness. I'm so tired of his trolling.

Anonymouse said...

The whiteysphere is a place where we come to dump our bile and vile in a harmless way.

Your reaction to the bile and vile is in fact just an addition of more bile and vile.....self-justified in your mind because it is in reaction to the bile and vile proffered by the "Larrys" and the "donkeytales" and all the other bile and vile purveyors.

Perhaps your self-justification is accurate. It undoubtedly is.

Still, that doesn't mitigate against the fact that "Socrates" is another human dumping his bile and vile harmlessly online.

The whiteysphere is an open space, its the open space of an illusion.

It contains no substance. I struggle against the waste of time, which waits for no one. I struggle against the expenditure on an illusion.

The expenditure of bile and vile only begets more bile and vile. When the illusion crosses over into real life, the most extreme examples being people offing theyselves over online bullying, but the more common form being the expenditure of so much life energy on a meaningless pursuit of an illusion, then we run into problems entirely of our own making.

The whiteysphere is a disease.

Prince is right. So was Dante.

The Internet is Hell. Bet on it.

Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

Anonymouse said...

Chimes at Midnight reviewed by Roger Ebert here

socrates said...

I think that one can be seen at youtube. Thanks for the review.

As for my moments of censorship, it's like this. This is a small blog. It was never big except according to Alexa. Some believe everything should be allowed. For the last few days some numbnut named Larry has been going on about how Obama isn't a natural born citizen. We asked for proof. None was provided.

I looked into it, and apparently that idea originated from a chain email hoax.

If Larry was nice but stupid, I'd have no problem with him. But he has ties to neonazis. He is also very nasty most of the time. I don't think I am.

I can get frustrated at times. I admit that. Say with supersoling. But he started that one. Same with Laura. I'm actually one of the nicest people on the internet.

socrates said...

The cyberstalking laws are in place mostly for bullied teenagers, but there are some cases of adults being victimised too. The problem is cops stink for the most part. If they suck in real life, who's to think they'd actually do much about anything going on with the internet? The cop I spoke with said I had a case. He said the problem was jurisdiction. Unless the cyberstalkers are in the same state, there's not much that can be done. At least that's what the one stinking pig said. Basically it comes down to who has the money and power to fight back against cyberstalking. Unless it's one of those cyberbully cases you read about from time to time. One of those happened here recently. A young girl dead. Not cool. And the bullies have to live with the fact for the rest of their lives that they are scumbags like Thomas Jefferson. Repent!