Colleen's Reviews > Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks by Barry Paris
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Sep 02, 12

bookshelves: old-movies
Read in August, 2012

I reread this book after The Chaperone. I'm a huge Louise Brooks fan, drink my morning coffee out of a mug with her face emblazoned on it, my car bears a Brooksie bumper sticker, and why do I like her so much? Brooks is insanely huge talent that was totally squandered--by her, by the men in the life, by her family, by Hollywood--what happened to her can't be 100% blamed on any one person, but everyone together doomed her to failure and oblivion. Pivotal key decisions like turning down a role to go the country for a weekend had horrible results in her life. But luckily, only after she made some of the most perfect movies ever.

But lots of stories end with promise not reached and ebbing off into squalor and addiction and prostitution, where Brooks is different than most, is gathering herself together in the twilight of her life and reigniting film history. One of my happiest times of my life was having full access of the Eastman library, which is where Brooks spent the remainder of her life, reading books and making notations in the margin. I grew to recognize her fine hand in the marginalia and somewhere in my desk I cataloged her notes in the books we both read.

Much credit goes to Barry Paris--this is a fabulous and very detailed biography.
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