Monday, December 11, 2006

Relative notoriety

Recently watched The Notorious Bettie Page. Bettie Page was one of those people in the peripheral of my pop consciousness until I read The Real Bettie Page about 10 years ago. Since then, she's always been of interest to me. When I heard that this movie was coming out, I was very interested in seeing it.

It certainly isn't disappointing, but anyone who's read the Foster biography won't find anything here they didn't already know. Rather, it's the performance by Gretchen Mol that is most worthwhile in this pic. She brings a fresh-faced naivety that is hard to associate with Bettie Page through the pictures that made her famous.

The movie is more than a story about her life though. The director uses Page's history to question our concepts of innocence and morality. Even naivety. Was Page really so naive after so many years in the business, or was actively attempting to justify her actions to herself?

Expertly presented in black and white with color scenes in Miami.

Disturbingly, the extra features include a color video of Page -- in what is obviously not one of her more professional works -- stripping down to stockings only. After watching the movie, this video seems contrary to what the film was all about. It just really seems out of place.

Anyone else seen it?

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