“I was never one who was squeamish about nudity. I don't believe in being promiscuous about it, but several times I thought of going to a nudist colony.”
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The Notorious Bettie Page
The cult pin-up idol Bettie Page gets the full-fledged biopic treatment in The Notorious Bettie Page, a movie that somehow seems as tame and innocent as the naughty photographs Bettie made in the 1950s. After a few scenes of Bettie growing up, the film quickly leads us to her more-or-less glory years, when she posed for countless peekaboo photos and some nudie films. These would make her an underground star for decades--long after she gave up modeling for religion, in fact. Gretchen Mol, a premature starlet in a redemptive role, does nicely at suggesting Bettie's too-trusting nature, maintaining her equipoise in a sleazy world. Her nude scenes are as liberated and no-sweat as those old nudist films always wanted people to believe. Director Mary Harron plays most of the film in the black-and-white that Bettie thrived in, which seems fitting enough (although the Kodachrome-bright color interludes are welcome). There's an air of "Ed Wood" about the project, and Harron maintains a similarly jovial tone, but the film does have a tendency to fall into the and-then-this-happened metronome rhythm of film biography. Even a promising venture into the Senate hearings on pornography is a minor joke. Jared Harris and Lili Taylor, veterans of Harron's "I Shot Andy Warhol," play colorful characters out of the grindhouse world, but few supporting players get a chance to make an impression. The main draw is Mol's commitment to the role and the film's goofy re-creation of a most peculiar subculture at an unlikely time. --Robert Horton Product DescriptionIn an incandescent performance, Gretchen Mol (The Shape of Things) stars as Bettie Page, who grew up in a conservative religious family in Tennessee and became a photo model sensation in 1950s New York. Bettie?s legendary pin-up photos made her the target of a Senate investigation into pornography, and transformed her into an erotic icon who continues to enthrall fans to this day. Complemented by an ensemble cast of acclaimed actors, such as David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck) and Lili Taylor (High Fidelity), the film brings to vivid life Bettie?s fascinating world.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I'm still baffled by it all, to say the least. I have never heard of any pin-up model, fashion model, actress or what have you who, after forty years or so, has gotten more popular, more publicity and more money than when they were doing the modeling. I really can't explain it at all. I have many fans -- even among teenagers, even among young girls -- who claim I'm their inspiration and I've changed their lives and everything. It's very flattering and uplifting and I enjoy it.
Are you flattered by any and all of the work that's been done or recreated in your honor, or do you find any of it odd or misplaced?
So bondage and fetishism was never your shtick, so to speak?
Monday, November 27, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
In the early Eighties, Comic Book talent Dave Stevens based the love life of his hero Cliff Secord alias “The Rocketeer” on Bettie. A fanzine was started called The Betty Pages and recounted tales of the camera club days. When Bettie asked the fan club to stop — it did.
This question was inevitably answered with the publication of an official biography in 1996, Bettie Page: the Life of a Pin-up Legend. Her biography described a woman who dealt head-on with adversity, always looking forward, never looking back. It told how she had remarried her first husband briefly, in order to satisfy requirements so she could become a missionary; neither the remarriage nor her missionary work was a success. She married a third time in 1967 to one Harry Lear in Florida, divorcing him in 1972. At the time of the rebirth of her celebrity, Page was living penniless in California, unaware of her renewed celebrity. She hoped that with the efforts of her co-author and agent, James Swanson, she would be seeing some financial reward for this renewed attention.
Dark Horse Comics published a comic based on her fictional adventures in the 1990s after Jim Silke did a large format comic featuring her likeness.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
In a recent interview, Page has stated she will not allow any current pictures of her to be shown, because she is 25 to 30 pounds overweight. A friend believes the reason for her reluctance is more likely insecurity. "If your grandmother looked like Bettie does today, you'd be thrilled. Her eyes still sparkle. She really looks like her old self.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Karen Essex (Moderator): Martha asks: Do you see people on the streets copying your style or wearing your shirts?
Bettie Page: I know that models have on the runways. They claim that I'm an instigator of a lot of the styles. I never kept up with the fashions. I believed in wearing what I thought looked good on me. Do you know that I have a good friend, I've never met her -- April Stevens -- she won a Bettie Page look-a-like contest. She always sends me pictures and videos, but she doesn't look a bit like me. the black hair and bangs is the only thing. If she reads this, she'll feel bad. I just though of that. oops.
Karen Essex: stacy asks: What do you think of Madonna? Why do you think sex sells?
Bettie Page: I think Madonna is highly overrated if you want my opinion. She has a very nice figure and is a good singer but has something to be desired with her looks in the face. Sex sells...it's been selling for years and years, again, it's highly overrated. There are other things in life besides sex. You lose your desire for it once you reach a certain age. though I still love to look at pictures of beautiful bodies -men and women.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thus, I wanted to lay out what my goal for this Blog is. It is geared towards the positive aspects of Bettie Page's "commercial" life. Her days of modeling and film prior to "leaving it all behind." I don't want to focus on any of the negatives or the full nudity. I was actually thinking about this over the past few days. In viewing so many Blogs, articles and web pages about the famous Ms. Page, everyone gets into the nitty gritty of everything about her. If you look around the 'net, you will easily find the nude photos, photos of her at age 80+, and alleged indications of martial strife, mental illness (schizophrenia), battery, mug shots and jail time. While freedom of the press is what the US is all about, I am wondering where the public should draw the line. Afterall, what the public is really interested in is the retro Betty of the 50's, yet there is a morbid interest in the afterwards, the downslides, etc. While that may be fine and good, for some; I think it may be more appropriate to recognize that Ms. Page has repeatedly stated that she doesn't want to be photographed in the present, and she wants people to remember her as she was. And, I have decided that I am going to try to respect her wishes, and I hope I can do it correctly. Ms. Page is a born again Christian who lives in seclusion and prefers to live her life this way. I don't want to in anyway invade her life in a disrespectful way. I am thinking that there comes a time where a person's life is theirs and it's none of my business what transpired after her career. It's Ms. Page's life not mine and I don't know what she is feeling inward. Sometimes you do want to put the past behind you and it is hard to do so if you have been in the public eye. I would like to instead focus on the positive, the joy and the beauty of Ms. Page during her photo/film career.
And, while I am ranting I want to take this opportunity to focus on Schizophrenia. As I stated above, in other web sites there has been mention that Ms. Page may have been afflicted with the disease. I have no idea if she had schizophrenia or not, but the insinuation has been "put out there." And since I personally know 2 people who have different variations of this disease, I would like to offer some information I came across to anyone who wants to know more. First, it's not what everyone thinks. There are many versions of Schizophrenia. Not everyone is homeless and not everyone hears voices. Some do. Some don't. And, the disease is better treated today than it was even 10 years ago. I know that when the people I know were diagnosed, my first thought was that it was akin to a "death" sentence. However, I am finding out that it's not. Both of these people are holding jobs and although they have to take medication, and both have different problems with the disease, it is not like what you see on T.V.
Again, I came across this fabulous website with the below information, and it helped me to understand a little better what it is and is not, so I offer it up to you. And, like my rant about my blog in the first paragraph, since I don't have the disease I am speaking from what I have read or seen, not from what I have lived, and I think therein is the difference. I hope this will
add a little insight as to what it can be like .... I don't know, I guess I just don't want people to take everything at face value or to judge. Here is the info:
View a multimedia slideshow of highlights of the pharmacy simulation
• National Schizophrenia Foundation
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
After her disappearance in the 50's her image slowly started turning up in the media. You would see her on flyers for movies, comics, or album covers, with her image on it, or women that look overwhelmingly similar. The more these images started appearing the more collectors started to dig up old photo's and magazines, and wonder what happened to Bettie Page, and were did she go? In the early to mid 90's her mania was reaching a fever pitch, and no one knew anything about her past 1957.
The break was on an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, When Betties brother appeared with an audio tape with Bettie on it. Proclaiming she was alive and well and didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Amazingly that is how Bettie remains to this day, still very private preferring not to be photographed or filmed.
Bettie will always live on. She has appeared in more magazine covers than Marilyn Monroe, and Cindy Crawford combined. Bettie is the definitive model of the century.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
At first Page posed for camera clubs, sometimes in the nude, because the photographs were not to be published. In 1951 her image appeared on the cover of men's magazines with names like Eyeful, Wink, Titter, Black Nylons, or Beauty Parade. At the same time she posed for photographer Irving Klaw for mail-order photographs with a bondage or sado-masochistic theme, making her the first famous bondage model.