Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lulu in Hollywood by Louise Brooks

When I was in high school I went through an "old Hollywood" phase--not sure where that came from but I watched Mysteries and Scandals on E! all the time and my room was plastered with images of James Dean, Marlon Brando, Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, and so on.

I'd seen and loved some of these actors' films (The Wild One, Rebel without a Cause, All About Eve, etc) but never any of the silents from the 20s--yet I still managed to fall in love with Louise Brooks. Maybe it was her image, her story, her attitude.

Lulu in Hollywood is a collection of essays written by Brooks (she was smart! maybe that's what I liked about her) detailing her early life, experiences in Hollywood, her rejection of Hollywood (a refusal to play by the rules--another great quality that appealed to me), and her life after she stopped acting in films altogether.

I've since seen and loved Diary of a Lost Girl and purchased Pandora's Box (though I haven't watched it yet), and they are both ahead of their time.

Okay, I know I said I hadn't yet seen Pandora's Box but the above still is from one of the first (maybe the first) lesbian scenes on film--so I feel pretty confident in my assertion.

As for the book, Brooks's writing is witty, unsentimental, and fascinating.

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