Lillian Gish is our patron saint and silent film star inspiration
for this month’s Vintage Vivant,
as no other starlet could look quite so beautiful when smudged and dust-blown as she was
in the 1928 classic directed by Victor Sjöström. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend that you do!
I think that we should look to dear Lillian as our guide this month, and aim to retain our daintiness of face, despite the
hardships we must endure! Keep those cheeks rosy, and those cupid’s bows neatly penciled, even though you may be
fainting from hunger, or your corset stays straining with the effort of the back-breaking work that you do!
The film tells the story of a sheltered woman named Letty, who lives in Virginia and moves to West Texas to live
at her cousin’s ranch in Sweet Water. On her way, she is constantly bothered by the never stopping blowing wind.
Wirt Roddy (played by Montagu Love – what a name!) notices and seduces her in the train. He scares her by saying the
wind usually drives women crazy…. We won’t give away the plot of this fantastic film for you, in hopes that you will see it!
In hunting for images for this month’s Vintage Vivant poster, I came across the work of a talented photographer
named Chadwick Tyler. He’s fond of shooting smudge-faced nymphs, dandelion-headed starving street-urchins,
feral gamines and broken blossoms. I love his stuff. Here’s some pieces that I think were definitely inspired
by Miss Gish and the Great Depression Era. Lost waifs and Dust Bowl dollies! Inspiration for us, anyways! And how!