Friday, January 23, 2009

The lonely valentine ...

This is for you, Charles Henry :)

And to anyone else who sees it:

Clara represents a sizable chunk of history you might be interested in.

Look into it.


Charles Henry said...

Thanks Eowyn! I'm smiling ear to ear... sigh. She's wonderful.

There was a very important book that came out in the 60s, on silent movies, called "The Parade's Gone By". The author, Kevin Brownlow, is a veritable apostle of silent cinema, probably more responsible for its preservation in our cultural memory than any other single individual I can think of. If it wasn't for him taking the time and trouble to interview the surviving giants of the silent era, recording them and filming them recollecting the beginnings of it all, we would know precious little about what that whole story was all about. Thirty years of memories would have simply... faded to black.

Yet he completely sidestepped Clara Bow in his "definitive" history.

This really ticked off Louise Brooks, the silent screen's female icon. She roasted him over the coals for his editorial decision to skip over the figure Brooks considered the true female icon of the 20s. Later, when Brownlow made the "Hollywood" series of documentaries on silent cinema, he made amends by paying special attention to Clara Bow's career.

That's maybe a good place to recommend people begin, if they are curious to learn more about her:

Eowyn said...

I took a look at that video series -- excellent. I do hope others take the time to watch it as well.