So, I finished Barry Paris’ biography of Louise Brooks, my dinner companion for the last three months, on and off.  And it’s difficult to know what to say about Louise Brooks.

In some ways, she reminds me of Al Jolson–not someone with whom she’s regularly compared, I would think–in that it seems that the effect of each in person is irreproducible in any medium.  I mean, yes, we see Pandora’s Box or The Jazz Singer or read Lulu in Hollywood or hear “Toot Toot Tootsie” and understand some, maybe much, of his or her appeal.  But the number of times I read in this book about the spell that Brooksie, as she was sometimes known, could, and regularly did, cast on those around her, either through her beauty, her sexuality, her intelligence, her manner, convince me that watching her in the dumbshow that is silent film only captures the glint and not the essence of this woman.

Otherwise, it’d be extremely hard to understand or explain how this woman, beset from her teen years through middle age by a tremendous thirst for alcohol, unable and unwilling to do anything she didn’t want to do even at ruinous cost to herself, possessed of a violent and mercurial temper, could have been the toast of two continents, not once but twice.

Louise Brooks summed up her rejection by Hollywood with the sentence “I like to fuck and drink too much."  But that can only be part of the story, for, reading this book, one is alternately amazed and horrified at the opportunities she squandered out of whim, ill-temper, apathy or just plain orneriness.  Thanks to her bad attitude, which one might charitably describe as "fierce independence,” she left or was asked to leave plum positions in one of the premier modern dance troupes in the United States, George White’s Scandals revue, Ziegfeld’s Follies and the American film industry.

After years of destitution, charity and occasional prostitution, unable to hold a job thanks to the aforementioned “bad attitude,” she moved to Rochester, N.Y., at the age of 49 and lived there in increasingly eremitical solitude until her death at 78.  During this period, she learned to write and became celebrated as an astute and incisive film historian and essayist.  Further, her film work was rediscovered during this self-imposed exile, and the cult of Louise Brooks grew to its full flower even as its object grew increasingly less able and willing to leave the confines of her apartment.  The girl who had Charlestoned through Manhattan, London and Berlin; who, at 18, had had a summer-long affair with Chaplin; who inspired comic strips’ Dixie Dugan; and who had been a favored guest at Hearst’s San Simeon mansion cloistered herself in a sparsely furnished apartment (save for the hundreds of books she meticulously annotated) and drank herself through middle age into a final enforced abstemiousness and slow deterioration at the hands of emphysema and arthritis.

She was, by all accounts, an extremely difficult person.  Some anecdotes, even those set in her salad days, give the impression of someone who’s just a little deranged.  Yet.  When she was not, she was apparently the most desirable, impressive and charming woman in North America.  She knew everyone, at least before her fall from Hollywood’s graces, and everyone seemed to want to know her.  In fact, I would substitute Six Degrees of Louise Brooks as the gold standard, at least for the entertainment world before 1960.

So, I recommend this book without reservation for anyone interested in the worlds of modern dance, revue, spectacle and silent film in the first third of the 20th century as well as for those interested in the ways that a human life can unwind and develop in adversity, both external and self-imposed.  Louise Brooks was, more often than not inadvertently, at the center of several fascinating periods and scenes in pre-war cultural life, and the author takes frequent breaks in the book’s first two-thirds to describe these, be they whores in Weimar Berlin or the early films of W.C. Fields.  But through it all, it’s Brooksie and her charisma, her bangs, her legs, her brains, her moods and her look–that Look that launched a thousand thousand pale imitations–that piques one’s interest even as one peeks through one’s fingers at the multiple train wrecks and triumphs of her life.

Her personality dazzled or melted everyone. She could just as easily conduct a conversation with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis as with visiting Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. A friend summed it up: ‘It broke my heart. Just the look of that girl. It’s one of those magic things.’
—  Audrey Hepburn’s biography (written by Barry Paris), New York, 1996.

He couldn’t get her to the queen’s, but Green succeeded in getting Garbo to make a far more difficult visit–to Cecil Beaton. Their last and most serious falling-out was then several years old, caused by the publication of Beaton’s diaries–with many intimate Garbo passages–in 1972 and 1973. In her view, publishing the diaries (and their sensational serialization in the London newspapers) was an atomic bomb of betrayal. When Sam asked why he did it, Beaton told him that he had written Garbo to ask permission and, after a year with no reply, phoned her in new York but that she hung up on him. At that point, Beaton said he decided it would be dishonest to eliminate a major part of his life “because of this woman’s neurosis.” He felt insulted. Naively or disingenuously, he thought she would listen to his explanation and was crushed when she would not. Cécile was among many who later confronted him, asking how much money he’d made from Garbo over the years, then adding, “Even Stokowski didn’t sell his story to the papers!” Sam Green recalls: “Diana Cooper wouldn’t speak to him again. Diana Vreeland told him he was a horrible person. Truman Capote went on TV and criticized him–the pot calling the kettle black. Everybody attacked. He was humbled and embarrassed and riddled with guilt about it.” Even the sweet-tempered Deborah Kerr says, “I cut Beaton off dead when he published that.”

Green’s loyalty to Beaton–who was partially paralyzed from a 1974 stroke and very depressed–predated his friendship with Garbo by many years, and he was determined to reconcile the irreconcilable. Gently but relentlessly, he worked on her, emphasizing Cecil’s pathetic condition and equally pathetic desire to see her one last time: “In London that trip, I had her on a short leash. She really couldn’t move without me. I said, ‘You have to finish this up with Cecil. He’s very diminished. He’s had a stroke. You have to go and see him.’ She didn’t like the idea at all, but she really didn’t have any choice. It was a kind of blackmail, and when she weakened enough to say, 'Well, maybe I should go,’ I made the arrangements fast.”

Garbo was so nervous that Green thought to the last minute she would back out–and she tried. “What happens if we arrive at the train station in Salisbury and he has photographers hiding in the trees?” she fretted on the train ride. Against all odds, in October 1975, Sam delivered her to Reddish House, Beaton’s home near Salisbury in the village of Broadchalke. They arrived just before dark and were led by Eileen Hose, his secretary, upstairs to Beaton’s drawing room, where he was seated by the fire in a fawn-colored suit, bright pink cravat, and trademark broad-brimmed hat. On seeing Garbo–her longish gray hair tied back with a shoelace–he began to weep. “Beatie,” she said, “I’m back,” leaning over and cupping his face in her hands, then looking straight into his eyes before kissing both checks. “Greta,” he said. “I’m so happy…”

It was the first time Sam had heard him get a name right since the stroke. She sat on his knee and snuggled against him like a child, to his great delight. Sam left them alone but returned just before dinner and helped pull Cecil to his feet. Now for the first time, Garbo saw how incapacitated he truly was. It took twenty minutes to shuffle to the dining room. At dinner, he had to have his food cut and he cried often, pointing to his paralyzed body and apologizing. His dignity was shattered. “Everyone went to bed right after dinner,” says Green, “and I’m positive the sandman didn’t visit her that night." 

The departure next afternoon was no easier. In the middle of his tearful farewell embrace, which seemed to be lasting an eternity, Garbo–over Beaton’s shoulder–spotted a guest book by the front door and used it as a polite way to disengage. She had never been so willing or eager to sign her name, says Sam. 

Hugo Vickers, Beaton’s biographer, called Garbo’s visit of forgiveness the most important moment of Beaton’s life. Green says it was a brilliant, bittersweet performance and the most generous act of her life. 

Garbo by Barry Paris


Mamoulian told Charles Higham how he did it: "They said to me at the studio, ‘She cannot laugh.’ And I said, 'Well, that’s odd, because in life she has a very childlike infectious laugh, the laugh of a little girl.’ She herself told me she couldn’t do it, too. [But] I had to get her laugh at the Spanish ambassador stuck in the snow. So I went to John Gilbert and Akim Tamiroff and two others and I took them aside and said, 'You know the child’s game of making faces? When she comes up, you’re under the carriage trying to free it; you look at her and hold that face.’ I said to Garbo, 'No matter what happens, go through with the scene. Go into the dialogue, and get it done.’ And she asked me, 'What’s going to happen?’ I said, ’[Just] go ahead.’ She rode in and I kept the camera on her; the others were out of the frame, of course. And when she saw the four faces, she threw her head back and laughed like a lark.“ Garbo by Barry Paris. 

Meet The Boyfriends

Barry and Hal go to Y/N family reunion with her

Relationship: Lovers

Fandom: DC Comics

Character: Barry and Hal

For most of the week, you had tried to come up with any and every excuse you had up your sleeve to get out of the semi-annual L/N family reunion. Your father and dad wouldn’t let out weasel your way out of it and had told you to bring your boyfriends. Yes, your fathers knew you were in a poly relationship, they had met both Barry and Hal on Christmas and fallen in love with Barry, Hal worked on their nerves a bit but still the two men you loved with all your heart was accepted by your parents. Your extended family was something that you didn’t trust, you remember your cousin Darla bring her significant other Paris the last reunion and your Aunt Alexa and Uncle Bret wouldn’t stop harassing them because Paris wanted to be called them and not her. Hell, Alexa and Bret still talked about you fathers behind their backs. You groaning falling on the couch where Hal was. Barry had gone to pick up the take out you order.

“What’s wrong gorgeous?” Hal asked leaning over to you, your hands running down your face.

“My family reunion is coming up.”

“Ah.” You had a comment about it a few months again but it wasn’t a big deal then.

“I can’t get out of it. Both Father and Dad called my bullshit.” Hal chuckled brushing a piece of hair behind your ears.

“They did raise you plus you are not the best liar babe.” You huffed at Hal as the door opened to the apartment to show Barry holding the take out.

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theviperoom  asked:

Can you please give a list of Phoebe's clothing and jewelry spends? I know she shops from Rouje religiously, and also buys from Réalisation Par and Reformation, but do you have anymore in mind? And as for her jewelry, I'm completely clueless on that one! Thank you! xx 💞

besides the ones you mentioned above, clothing wise, here are the brands i know she buys from/brands that sends her clothing: swildens, kitx, christopher esber, barrie, paris georgia basics, bassike, ellery, dion lee, chanel, frame, bonds, isabel marant, zara, josh goot, topshop, alexander wang, h&m, yeojin bae, the row, phillip lim, masini & chern and of course matteau swim

jewellery that i know of are: chanel, by charlotte, sarah & sebastian, jennifer fisher jewelry, jacquie aiche, erth jewelry, lokai, tiffany & co, amber sceats, ryan storer, mpnt


52. Iris West x Fem!Reader

(gif source: iriswestallen)

Prologue: You and Barry Allen have many things in common. For one, you both were affected by the particle accelerator blast. He got speed and you got the ability to control the elements. Secondly, and most importantly, you’ve both been pining for Iris West since you were kids. Now that everything is out in the open it’s a battle for Iris’ heart. Who will she choose?

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Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday test took place at Pinewood Studios in London, September 18, 1951, under Thorold Dickinson’s direction. “We did some scenes out of the script,” he said, but “Paramount also wanted to see what Audrey was actually like —not acting a part, so I did an interview with her. We loaded a thousand feet of film into a camera and every foot of it went on this conversation. She talked about her experiences in the war, the Allied raid on Arnhem, and hiding out in a cellar. A deeply moving thing.”  — From Audrey Hepburn by Barry Paris

Garbo was a completely masculine dyke, which makes her films even more wonderful. She did the chasing, except for Mercedes de Acosta, whom she took on for snob reasons and gave a hell of a beatin — the daughter of a butcher abusing a descendant of the Duke of Alba! When somebody like Dietrich or Bankhead went after her, Garbo took it on the lam.
—  Louise Brooks about Greta Garbo in Garbo by Barry Paris

One of the first portraits of Audrey Hepburn taken after the liberation of Holland, 1946.

“We were in our cellar, where we’d been for weeks.  Our area was being liberated practically house to house, and there was lots of shooting and shelling from over the river and constant bombing: explosions going on all night….Once in a while you’d go up and see how much of your house was left, and then you’d go back under again.  Then early in the morning all of the sudden there was total silence.  Everybody said, my God, now what’s happening?  We listened for a while, and strangely enough, I thought I could hear voices and some singing–and I smelt English cigarettes.

We crept upstairs to the front door, opened it very carefully and to our amazement, our house was completely surrounded by English soldiers, all aiming their guns at us.  I screamed with happiness, seeing all these cocky figures with dirty bright faces and shouted something in English.  The corporal or sergeant walked up to me, and in a very gentle English voice–so different from all the German shouting we’d been used to–said, "We hear you have a German radio station in your house and we’ve come to take it away.  We’re sorry to disturb you.” I laughed and said, “Go right on disturbing us.”  Then a cheer went up that they’d liberated an English girl.  I was the only one for miles.“ - Audrey Hepburn