Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1998. Timeline Films. Screenplay by Barry Paris. Cinematography by John Luker. Produced by Hugh Munro Neely. Music by Nigel Holton. Production Design by Vincent Ostertag. Film Editing by Hugh Munro Neely.
More updated version of Richard Leacock’s documentary about silent film star Louise Brooks, this time taking in a much more comprehensive look at her entire life. Shirley MacLaine narrates Brooks’ biography, from her birth in Kansas to her discovery in Hollywood, followed by a tumultuous career that was constantly being thwarted by her own desire to avoid commitment and pursue pleasure. Brooks’ popularity mainly rests on her appearance in Pabst’s Pandora’s Box, a performance that has endeared her to millions and iconographed her in film history for having famously been almost the same person in life as her reckless character was in the film (she herself she always said she was never an actress, she was only ever good at being herself). Director Hugh Munro Neely uses Leacock’s footage from his historic interview with the star, as well as the testimonials of friends and family to construct an engaging and enjoyable trip through the life of one of Tinseltown lore’s most mysterious inhabitants. Why Dana Delany is included is never fully explained.