Monday, March 9, 2009

Looking Back at The Notorious Bettie Page

On the surface it would seem that cerebral Mary Harron would be the perfect director to craft a biopic from the many dueling facets of the mother-of-all-fetish-models’ life. Unfortunately, as I’ve written before, brainy Harron also has a terrific knack for choosing the most interesting, sexy subjects and just draining the life out of them. Watching both “I Shot Andy Warhol” and “The Notorious Bettie Page,” I found myself thinking, "the book would have been better" – if only there were a book. It’s the same feeling I get sitting through French "provocateur" Catherine Breillat’s films. Having intellectually astute women at a flick’s helm is a grand idea in theory, but often all this thinking just gets in the way of an entertaining story.

To read the rest visit my Sex Beat column at Carnal Nation.

1 comment:

Don Arrup said...

The most fascinating thing about Bettie Page may well be what she did in front of a camera. i thought the film would be about the times and the world she moved in. They just couldn't sell tickets to a film called The Klaws. I too was disappointed and thank you for reminding me of what made it worth watching. I like everything I've seen Lily Taylor do in film and on stage. It was especially interesting to see my former acting teacher, Austin Pendelton, portraying his former acting teacher, Herbert Bergrof.

I think you are right on about Moll working hard with little to work with. i think she was totally miscast. Bettie had a beehind.