Appreciation Site


About the Author

My name is David Gasten, and I have been a freelance writer since 1991.  The crown jewel of my work so far is a how-to book I co-wrote called How To Make a Coopered Wooden Bucket (Winepress Publications, 2004), which is now distributed nationwide by Fox Chapel Publishing and sold by Woodcraft and Barnes and Noble.  I worked as staff writer for the online music journal for two years (back when it was Dallas' most popular online music weekly), and have contributed to Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age, the now-defunct Atlanta-based print magazine Visions of Gray, and a number of underground music publications over the course of my career.  But most of my day-to-day work involves writing boring stuff like web content and ad copy.  When I'm not pushing a pen for a living, one of the things I like to do is research and watch silent movies, especially German and other European silents.

David Gasten
Author and Webmaster, The Pola Negri Appreciation Site

This is how my interest in Pola Negri began.  In 1999, when I was still just exploring and learning about silent movies, I thought it might be a good idea to devote some of my researching and writing talents to preserving the memory of a silent film star.  So as I continued my reading, I kept my eyes open for a star that I could specialize in.  It was not very long before I decided to devote a portion of my life to studying and introducing others to Pola Negri.

There are three random incidents that drew me to Pola.  The first was that I was getting into Theda Bara at the time and was depressed that there were so few of her films in existence.  I realized that I would have to divert my growing interest in dark silent ladies elsewhere if I didnt want to hit a brick wall.  The second was that the name Pola Negri kept turning up again and again in my research.  I quickly realized that Pola was an important star in her day and that there was relatively little information available on herand what did exist wasnt always very good.  The third was my discovery that Pola spent the last thirty years of her life in San Antonio, Texas, and had left an archive of memorabilia at a university there.  I was based in Dallas at the time, so beginning intensive research on Pola looked like it would not be as difficult as researching other stars because she was local.  So I took the plunge.  Little did I know that I was destined to become one of the leading authorities on Pola and would contribute heavily to the burgeoning revival of interest in this once-forgotten star. 

I hope that my contributions to reviving the memory of Pola Negri through The Pola Negri Appreciation Site and elsewhere will help to correct the years of scholarly neglect on this important actress and, more importantly, that it will eventually help to make more of Polas films available to the public.  I believe old films were made to be watched and appreciated, not to sit in archives and be pretentiously debated over, psychoanalyzed, and read into by elitist, revisionist scholars.  So while we wait for Pola's films to become more widely available, this website will (God willing) be here, spreading "the gospel according to Pola".  We hope to add more artifacts and information as time and resources permit, so do check back occasionally.

Feel free to contact me with your questions, suggestions and contributions at

dvdgstn ??? yh ??? m.

P.S. The link works, but if you'd rather type it out, just replace the ???'s with the appropriate symbols.  Also eliminate all the funny marks. 
I hate spam!

Pola Negri FAQ


Pola Filmography


Articles and Movie Reviews


Pola Documentary:
Life is a Dream in Cinema
Now on DVD!

Interview with Pola 1978

Old News

Music in Silent Films Section
(non-Pola related)

Harold Lloyd House Commemorative Page
(non-Pola related)

Links Page

About the Author/