splash  Celebrate the life and legacy of Louise Brooks! On the actress’ birthday, November 14th, the Louise Brooks Society celebrates its 20th anniversary and the release of a new DVD / Blu-ray of Brooks’ sensational 1929 film, The Diary of a Lost Girl, from KINO. This special event, to be held at Video Wave in San Francisco, will take place between 2:00 and 3:30 pm. Thomas Gladysz, the founding director of the LBS, will be on hand, signing copies of The Diary of a Lost Girl DVD (for which he provided the audio commentary) and the “Louise Brooks edition” of The Diary of a Lost Girl, the 2010 book which he edited and which served as the basis for the film. There will be birthday treats, special give-aways, and more. Don’t miss it!

thomas gladysz (center)


One night, a little more than 20 years ago, San Francisco resident Thomas Gladysz walked into Video Wave, a movie rental store, looking for a film to rent. Not sure what to watch, he browsed the shelves until he came across Pandora’s Box, a 1929 silent starring Louise Brooks. Gladysz had never heard of the film nor its star, but thought both looked interesting. Gladysz watched the rental (a VHS tape), and the film and its bobbed-hair star “knocked his socks off.”

Gladysz was so wowed that in 1995 he launched the Louise Brooks Society (www.pandorasbox.com) as a way of sharing his enthuisiasm for this singular silent film star. His website was one of the very first devoted to silent film, and today is one of the largest and most visited silent film sites. The LBS, which early on was praised by the likes of Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin and written up in the New York Times, USA Today and elsewhere, was so popular it even inspired a Emmy-nominated documentary about the actress which aired on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The site also has a long-running blog as well as its own online radio station, RadioLulu, which launched in 2002 and streams related music. As the director of the society, Gladysz has curated exhibits on the actress at the San Francisco Public Library, contributed to various publications, and introduced Brooks’ films around the world, including once in Paris. (Learn more about the Louise Brooks Society HERE.)

On Louise Brooks’ birthday, Saturday, November 14th, Video Wave (one of the last remaining video rental stores in San Francisco) will host a party celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Louise Brooks Society. Gladysz will be signing copies of the just released DVD/Blu-ray of The Diary of the Lost Girl, the 1929 film starring Brooks that is considered a follow-up to her legendary role in Pandora’s Box. Gladysz provides the audio commentary on this new KINO release. According to Gladysz, he was asked to do so because in 2010 he edited the “Louise Brooks edition” of The Diary of the Lost Girl, the controversial book that was basis for the censored film. And, as he notes, because he has been banging the drum about Louise Brooks for 20 years.

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