Shock of the Lou
Has anyone, before or since, played a character with such an air of insouciant eroticism as Louise Brooks in ‘Pandora’s Box’? As the great American film critic Roger Ebert put it: “[She] regards us from the screen as if the screen were not there; she casts away the artifice of film and invites us to play with her. When you meet someone like this in life, you’re attracted, but you know in your gut she’ll be nothing but trouble.” The 1929 film was ground-breaking in many ways (it’s said to feature cinema’s first lesbian character) with Brooks playing Lulu, a free-spirited and sexually adventurous flapper (although it wasn’t ground-breaking enough to give her a happy ending. Any woman depicted as promiscuous in the 1920s still had to get her comeuppance during the final reel). It’s having a special screening in December at The Waiting Room, the wonderful vegetarian restaurant, with cine-composer Jane Gardener on piano duties. I’ll be the one down the front with the dodgiest of bobs.
Pandora’s Box, Sunday 9 December, The Waiting Room, Eaglescliff, Stockton, 7pm, £12.50. thewaitingroom.uk