PAGE - DARK ANGEL
2004, USA, 80 minutes
The impact of Bettie Page on modern culture is undeniable and pervasive. If youve never encountered the saucy Ms. Page, this is a perfect introduction. And, if youve already joined the Cult of Bettie, youll 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 cant 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 wasnt enough.
The ultra-low budget ($40,000) debut from underground filmmaker Nico B. illustrates Bettys early career and Klaws inevitable encounter with the righteous forces of morality, and recreates some of Betties bondage films. After Wednesdays premiere join us at Bondage A Go-Go and see Betties influence firsthand at their annual Bettie Page look a like contest.
In attendance: Director Nico B.
THE TOLL COLLECTOR
Rachel Johnson, 2003, Czech/USA, 8 min