Bettie Page Reveals All (2013)
The world's greatest pinup model and cult icon, Bettie Page, recounts the true story of how her free expression overcame government witch-hunts to help launch America's sexual revolution.
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I don't have all the words right now but this film is a work of art.
Each character in this movie — down to the smallest one — is an individual rather than a type, prone to spontaneous changes of mood and sometimes amusing outbursts of pettiness or ill humor.
Let me tell ya - By the time that this celebrity-documentary called "Bettie Page Reveals All" had come to its closing credits - I found myself seriously wishing that Bettie Page (who provided narration throughout) had refrained from "revealing all" as she did in this decidedly disillusioning story.And, what it was that I wished Bettie hadn't revealed to me had to do with her "born-again" conversion to Christianity.... I mean, here was a very uninhibited woman (in her youth) who gleefully sold herself as a sex-object (for the lusting eyes of men and lesbians) - And, yet, in the same breath, she was claiming how much she loved the bible and all that it represented (in the name of morals and personal ethics).This religious revelation of Bettie's struck me as being so hypocritical that, by the time the whole show was over, I was totally fed-up with this deluded woman and saw her as, pretty much, just a self-deceiving bimbo.Anyway - I don't totally write-off this documentary as being worthless. No. There certainly were some segments in it that were actually quite entertaining, especially when it came to focusing in on Bettie's somewhat brief-but-productive career as a soft-core pin-up girl of the 1950's.
...just as its subject was and always will be, "Bettie Page Reveals All!" presents a lovingly illustrated biography of the quintessential American pin-up, Bettie Mae Page, the Queen of Curves. Its strengths lie in being structured around the last audio interviews with Bettie; its weaknesses lie in the paucity of new information, at least for the hardcore Bettie fan, who will have already devoured the several biographies available. The only thing new I learned was that Bettie didn't much care for Mary Harron's "The Notorious Bettie Page." Still, it's as complete a videography as the general audience might expect, well worth the time spent with it. Long live Bettie Page!
After seeing the trailer a couple months ago, I was excited to see that it had been recently put onto Netflix. It had been on my list for a couple of days and last night I finally got around to watching it. The movie opens and I'm immediately introduced with some of the worst font I've ever seen (comic sans?) then onto some cheesy background music (which I assume had been taken from public domain due to a lack of budget), a montage of Bettie's influence on modern pop culture (some of which were used multiple times and mirrored), some talking heads, and D- List celebrity praise (i.e Perez Hilton). I thought for a minute I was just being too harsh and decided to keep watching but realized that the whole movie was going to be filled with this. What stands out clearly is the odd pacing, very little cinematography (putting a camera on a tripod while someone talks), googled images (some of which had other television company logos on them), and random stock cartoons that serve no purpose other than to fill gaps while Bettie talks. I understand it's probably hard to revolve a whole movie around some audio recordings but why not actually go to the places she's talking about and film the locations? It made me think of another film that only used audio interviewers is the Kurt Cobain documentary About a Son, which is filled with amazing cinematography put to the audio. One part in particular that blew my mind was when Bettie was explaining her abuse as a child as well as her lousy upbringing, which seemed like a sad and compelling story then all of a sudden SMACK here's another loud cheesy song, some cartoons, and then there's Bettie at 29. Wait, where did the other 19 years go? In doing a biography on someone aren't those formative years? I understand if those years were boring and had nothing to do with the actual story of the person but child abuse and a lousy upbringing could have explained A LOT about how a person develops and why they do what they do later in life. To me, this felt very disrespectful to the viewers and to her story.It's clear that the director admired Bettie Page and that she clearly felt the same way. Bettie granted him permission to interview her and the recordings (which is probably the only known recordings of her voice/latter years) were used as the narration for the film. Having learned this after the seeing the trailer, as well as being interested in her, I was pretty excited to see this film. I haven't seen anything that Mark Mori has done. I'm aware that he is a Oscar nominated director but that was also 13 years ago and he hasn't done much since. It looks like a documentary that a person would have made in 2001 on a very basic editing system. I've never reviewed a film or felt inclined to do so on IMDb. I have mixed feelings towards my generation of "YELPers" but I couldn't ignore this due to the high rating on here. I feel like people give slack to documentaries just because the subject matter is interesting. Yes, the story of Bettie Page is phenomenal and I did learn more about her from watching this but the poor film making is hard to ignore. I only hope that this movie doesn't deter more ambitious people from doing something with this story.
It is so amazing to hear Betty's story in a very real sense. this woman lived a very full life that should be respected and celebrated. great job on the filmmaker's part...you have made Betty an identifiable person. I think many of us can relate to the things she had done and been through in life, and honestly admire. Betty lived her life in many arenas and I love that this was represented. I found it especially important that her voice is heard throughout the film. This film is the most thorough representation of the complexity and movement of Betty's life that has been presented to the public so far. It brings the viewer beyond the photos and videos ad gives us insight into the whole person who is certainly an icon. Who would have imagined that Betty was living an entire life outside of the pinups?