Louise Brooks Society: Pioneering Website Celebrates 20 Years of Silent Film Advocacy
San Francisco, CA, November 04, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- The year 1995 saw the beginnings of the world wide web and the launch of sites like eBay and Amazon. Another smaller concern also started 20 years ago -- the Louise Brooks Society (www.pandorasbox.com). Launched in the summer/fall of 1995, this pioneering fan site devoted to the bobbed-hair silent film star was the first devoted to the actress, and one of the first devoted to film history. Today, it is one of the largest, most popular, and longest lasting websites devoted to any silent film star.
Established as a gathering place for like-minded individuals, the LBS boasts 1500+ members from 50 countries on six continents. They include film buffs, film scholars, and movie industry professionals (some famous), as well as other interested individuals from all walks of life. In its 20 year history, millions of individuals have visited its many pages.
The goal of the LBS is to promote a greater awareness of the life and films of Louise Brooks. As such, the LBS is an advocacy group which can count a number of notable achievements.
-- In 1998, inspired by the popularity of the LBS, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) commissioned the Emmy nominated documentary "Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu." The part played by the LBS in bringing the documentary to television was acknowledged by TCM and the film's director. (See the 1998 article "Fansite Sparks Film Biopic" in Wired magazine.)
-- In 2000, following a grass-roots campaign, the LBS helped bring both the acclaimed Barry Paris biography of the actress as well as Brooks' own "Lulu in Hollywood" back into print through the University of Minnesota Press. The LBS is prominently acknowledged in each edition.
-- In 2002, the LBS launched its blog, which today has 2500 informative posts. In 2002, the LBS also launched its own online radio station, RadioLulu, which streams Louise Brooks and silent film related music. Each have a large devoted following.
-- In 2005, 2010, and 2011 the LBS mounted significant Louise Brooks and silent film-related exhibits at the San Francisco Public Library. Each was accompanied by a well attended public program which featured a talk & presentation. The LBS has also sponsored smaller events (including lectures and screenings) with other noted individuals including biographer Barry Paris, film historian Peter Cowie, and then 99 year old screenwriter Frederica Sagor Maas (who penned the story for the 1927 Louise Brooks' film "Rolled Stockings").
-- In 2010, the LBS published the Louise Brooks edition of Margarete Bohme’s bestselling book, "The Diary of a Lost Girl," which served as the basis for the 1929 Brooks' film. Notably, it was the book’s first English-language publication in more than 100 years. (Recently, LBS Director Thomas Gladysz provided the audio commentary for the new Kino Lorber DVD & Blu-ray of "Diary of a Lost Girl").
-- Over the years, the LBS has been praised by the likes of Leonard Maltin and Roger Ebert, and written up in the New York Times ("an excellent homage"), San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Film International, Melbourne Age, Stuttgarter Zeitung, RTV Slovenia, Deutsche Welle, and elsewhere.
-- The wealth of information collected on the LBS website, including its extensive filmography and annotated bibliographies, are the result of thousands of hours of research as well as the contributions of fans from around the world. Consequently, the LBS has uncovered new information about the actress and her career and has been cited in a number of books including most recently "Wild Bill Wellman: Hollywood Rebel" (Pantheon, 2015).
-- An educational resource, the website has drawn not only fans but teachers, students and researchers from across the globe. Additionally, classes at the junior high, high school, and college level have made pages on the site suggested reading.
LBS founding director Thomas Gladysz is available for interviews. Images are also available. Please contact LouiseBrooksSociety@gmail.com
Related Event: On Saturday, November 14th at 2 pm, the Louise Brooks Society celebrates its 20th anniversary with a special event at Video Wave (4027 24th St) in San Francisco. This video store, one of the last in the Bay Area, was the store were LBS director Thomas Gladysz first rented a Louise Brooks film more than 20 years ago. The experience led him to found the LBS. Gladysz will be present, signing copies of the Louise Brooks edition of "The Diary of a Lost Girl" (which he edited) and the just released Kino Lorber DVD & Blu-ray of "Diary of a Lost Girl" (to which he contributed the audio commentary).