Looking for something good to read? Here are some suggestions for fans of Louise Brooks and early film – be it the silent era, pre-code, or golden age of Hollywood. Fans of Louise Brooks will also want to check out the “Best 2012 releases for the Louise Brooks Fan” which appeared earlier on examiner.com. It includes newly released books, e-books and DVDs. Also, a “Best Film Books of 2012” appeared on the Huffington Post. It includes books on Mae Murray, Thelma Todd, Mary Pickford, Lupe Velez and other noted individuals from the silent era.

As just about every Louise Brooks fan knows, the actress made two films in Germany, Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl (both 1929). Each were made against the backdrop of considerable artistic ferment and social change. All, it seemed then, was in flux.

This year and last, a handful of academic and specialty presses released books which look at various aspects of the Weimar era in Germany. Here are a few of most interesting titles which sketch that time and place. Each book is followed by the publisher supplied description.

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There may be no more bizarre and creepy horror film than The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). It is a masterpiece of German Expressionism.

To celebrate Halloween, the San Francisco Symphony will screen the classic silent film with live improvised organ accompaniment by Cameron Carpenter.

This special concert screening will include the equally strange short, The Cameraman’s Revenge (1912), an early stop-motion film by Wladyslaw Starewicz about life and love among a group of beetles.

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Things heats up in August at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont. Known among early film devotees around the world, the venerable museum and theater is set to once again screen rarely shown early feature films (some not available on DVD), along with animated shorts, their regular “Comedy Short Subject Night” and Laurel & Hardy Talkie Matinee. What’s causing the heat? How about sexy “It girl” Clara Bow and sultry Evelyn Brent. Here is the line-up for the month.

“Saturday Night at the Movies” with Judy Rosenberg at the piano
Saturday August 4 at 7:30 pm

View slideshow: Hot August Nights at Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

In Dancing Mothers (1926, Paramount), energetic “It girl” Clara Bow steals the show in this jazz age melodrama about societal expectations with a surprise ending. Penned by Edmund Goulding, and directed by Herbert Brenon, Dancing Mothers also features Alice Joyce, Conway Tearle, Donald Keith and Leila Hyams. A tinted version will be shown. The feature will be preceded by two shorts films, the animated Automobile Ride (1921, Bray) with Koko the Clown, and Dad’s Choice (1928, Paramount) with Edward Everett Horton.

Clara Bow
Clara Bow stars at Niles
Photo credit: Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

May is set to be an eclectic and even electric month at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont. In addition to three more installments of the famous serial, The Perils of Pauline, the venerable East Bay silent film museum is set to screen one of the big hits of the era, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, starring legendary Rudolph Valentino, as well as Laughing at Danger, an early thriller with plenty of pulp fiction trappings. And that’s not all.

alice terry

Alice Terry will be starring in
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with Rudolph Valentino

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