LULU WE LOVE YOU
Brad Baker | Atherton, Ca United States | 10/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Louise Brooks flashed across the magic flickering Silver Screen for oh so brief a moment, only to fall back into almost forgotten lost history. "Louise Brooks: Looking For Lulu" is a earnest documentary hosted by Shirley MacLaine. It features clips from her dazzling early career, her spotty movie roles, and amazingly, an interview with the once notorious super-star herself. The bouncy teen from Kansas landed in Hollywood in the early 1920's ready to change the world. Her defiant, trenchant attitude didn't suit the studio bosses, but Paramount Pictures smelled stardom, and signed her immediately. Several bouncy roles followed, all featuring the black-haired vixen with the special coif. But Louise's temprament soon pushed her away from the meaty film roles she might have attained. She went to Berlin in 1926 to star in a dark tragedy for German director G.W. Pabst. She portrayed a flighty young dancer, romancing lovers, young and old, rich and penniless. She stands trial for an accidental murder, which occurs during one of her trysts. The proceedings go poorly, and she flees to London, with her young companion, played by Francis Lederer. Her life soon descends into poverty and despair, ending with a fateful meeting with none other than Jack the Ripper. The movie is rich in mood and mystery, featuring an ealy lesbian relationship(banned in the United States). The film was called "Pandora's Box". Brooks's last film(in 1937) was as a b-film co-star in a cowboy movie starring a newcomer named John Wayne. Brooks life took a turn for the worse as well. Her final interview, years later in a Manhattan flat, is breathtaking. Re-discovered by cinema historian James Card, Brooks served out her final days with grace and dignity. This marvelous DVD presents an accurate re-telling of the Hollywood career, and it's eventual pitfalls. Louise Brooks is a cinema icon. Would that this halcyon star might shine forever."
If you want to buy this, wait!!!
P. Anderson | Philadelphia | 03/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"four and a half stars, actually.
Don't buy this DVD seperate--this documentary comes as an extra in the recent Criterion issue of "Pandora's Box"--an incredible issue of an incredible film.
I loved this documentary when I first saw it but then I read Barry Paris' biography--who also wrote this documentary. That book is an incredible and deeply moving experience; I don't recall being so moved by a biography before. That book shows how this film is way too brief--and just begins to get to the heart--and mind--of its subject. Still, for what it is--an introduction--its pretty damned good!
Buy "Pandora's Box" which includes this documentary, plus the complete "Lulu in Berlin": Richard Leacock's filmed interview with Louise from the mid-seventies; with Barry Paris's biography, you'll have everything!!"
A small but wonderful documentary.
P. Anderson | 07/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great film on the life and career(s) of Louise Brooks, written by Barry Paris, her biographer, and narrated by Shirley MacLaine. It is loaded with touching and funny insights, great stills and footage from her movies, and commented by a.o. the actors Roddy McDowall, Dana Delany, Francis Lederer, writer/lyricist Adolph Green, and many friends and relatives. Also present as a commentator is miss Brooks herself as the second half of the film is laced with excerpts from, I quote, 'a rare and previously unseen interview, filmed in 1976'. My only regret is that this documentary lasts only 60 minutes, so none of its many topics (childhood, Hollywood, Berlin, etc.) gets an in-depth treatment. Also, perhaps not always to everybody's liking, the added musical soundtrack is very present in the film. The DVD-transfer is excellent."
Masha30@netscape.net | Tampa, FL, USA | 08/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great video for the true "Brooksie" fan or the person just getting interested in her films. It's really informative, entertaining and even has interviews with Louise herself. I would highly recommend it to anyone that is a fan of silent movies or the silent movie era!"