Documentarian's Research on Silent Film Star Louise Brooks Brings Her to Concordia's Brown Grand Theatre

By Toby Nosker
KNCK News Director

A new documentary on the life of silent film star Louise Brooks brought a New York filmmaker to Concordia last month to visit the historic Brown Grand Theatre and conduct an interview with former Brown Grand Board member Susan Sutton.

Documentarian Charlotte Siller is currently attaining her degree in Cinema Studies at SUNY Purchase in Westchester, New York,. She's been doing an independent study on Louise Brooks since 2012.

On the Friday, March 3rd edition of KNCK's "Community Connections," Siller told us her interest in Brooks, born in Cherryvale, Kansas in 1906, started when she read a collection of her writings released in 1982, titled "Lulu in Hollywood."

Siller has since embarked on the creation of a new movie "Documentary of a Lost Girl," a film that uses archival materials and interviews from various witnesses to uncover the life of Louise Brooks away from the cameras.

Part of her research led to a February visit to Concordia's Brown Grand Theatre and its elegant stage where Brooks had acted and danced early in her career.

Siller's February 16th stop in Concordia also included a conversation with Sutton, a retired Cloud County Community College instructor, who founded the Brown Grand Players Community Theatre in 1967. In the 1970s and 80s, Sutton also worked for the Brown Grand Theatre's restoration and placement on the National Historical Register and was elected to its first board of directors, serving many years as president.

Charlotte told KNCK she was excited to meet Sutton after she read a stage play Susan wrote about the life of Louise Brooks.

Brooks, who died in 1985 at the age of 78, appeared in 25 films between 1925 and 1938.

People interested in staying informed on Siller's film are encouraged to visit http://www.documentaryofalostgirl.com.

You can hear the complete interview with Siller from this week's "Community Connections" below: