Nico B.
2004, USA, 80 minutes
World Premiere

The impact of Bettie Page on modern culture is undeniable and pervasive. If you’ve never encountered the saucy Ms. Page, this is a perfect introduction. And, if you’ve already joined the Cult of Bettie, you’ll relish this dramatic biography.

In the 1950s, the infamous Irving Klaw was a businessman who sold photos of movie stars. He quickly noticed his best sellers were pictures of tied-up women from Hollywood films. When the demand exceeded supply, Klaw produced bondage photos and films himself: A genre, and a star were born.

Bettie Page was a sweet young Tennessee girl who had graced the pages of a new magazine called Playboy. Her striking features, knot-tying prowess, great hair and charisma-to-burn earned her the nickname “Dark Angel.” Although her films contain almost nothing that modern audiences would consider sex-just “sexy” dancing, spanking and girls pretending they can’t escape-they were absolutely scandalous 50 years ago. To avoid offending his customers, who simply desired Betty Grable, Marlene Dietrich or Johnny Weismuller in a loincloth, Klaw kept them (literally) under the counter, but that wasn’t enough.

The ultra-low budget ($40,000) debut from underground filmmaker Nico B. illustrates Betty’s early career and Klaw’s inevitable encounter with the righteous forces of morality, and recreates some of Bettie’s bondage films. After Wednesday’s premiere join us at Bondage A Go-Go and see Bettie’s influence firsthand at their annual Bettie Page look a like contest.

-Bruce Fletcher

In attendance: Director Nico B.


Rachel Johnson, 2003, Czech/USA, 8 min